Canadian Football League

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Eskimos falling in Canadian Football League west standings

Kahlil Hill helped jump-start the struggling Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Friday night as the newcomer sparked his teammates to an impressive 40-14 win over the Edmonton Eskimos.
Tiger Cats Kalil Hill celebrates his second quarter touchdown. His two touchdowns, including one on an 80-yard punt return, helped improve the woeful Ticats to 3-10 in front of 27,582 fans at Ivor Wynne Stadium. "Winning is contagious. Losing is contagious," said the 26-year-old, who was signed by the Ticats on Sept. 13.
After spending the summer with three different NFL teams, Hill was playing just his second CFL game - and first as a punt returner.
"Guys feed off each other's big plays and that's exactly what we did tonight," he said, giving credit to his blockers on the
momentum-building punt return in which he ran across the field and then down the sideline early in the second quarter.
Hill put the game out of reach two minutes into the fourth quarter when he caught an 18-yard TD pass from quarterback Danny McManus to make it 31-14.
Hamilton's Troy Davis also scored two touchdowns and Marcus Brady added one. McManus completed 13 of 23 passing attempts for 239 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
Hamilton kicker Jamie Boreham added a 38-yard field goal.
Quarterback Ricky Ray's one-yard keeper in the second quarter was the only major score for Edmonton (8-6). He completed 21 of 33 pass attempts for 217 yards and two interceptions.
Sean Fleming went 2-for-3 for Edmonton, hitting from 13 and 23
yards and missing from 33 yards out.
Hamilton head coach Greg Marshall said his team's ability to establish a running game was key to the win. They outrushed Edmonton 141 to 57 yards, led by Davis' 108 yards on 21 carries.
"We hung our hat on the running game and when you do that, you can get the run game going and you can always fall back on it," he said. "We were certainly able to utilize it. It was certainly very effective tonight."
Edmonton head coach Danny Maciocia had terse words for his team's effort, especially since they were coming off a big win over B.C. last week.
"There was no (pass) protection, no pass rush, we couldn't stop the run, special teams play was not good," he said. "There was nothing - absolutely nothing - that was positive about that football game."
A 32-yard pass from McManus to Kamau Peterson at the Edmonton 23-yard line setup Hill's second touchdown.
Davis' one-yard run with 5:33 left made it 38-14, thanks in part
to a Chris Martin interception off Ray. Adriano Belli tackled Ray in the end zone for a safety and the 40-14 score.
Edmonton had problems in the red zone from the get-go, failing to score a touchdown on first-goal from the 9 and first-10
from the 16. But they still took a 6-3 lead after the first quarter on the field goals from Fleming.
Hill lit up the field near the end of the quarter with a 38-yard punt return, but was apparently just getting warmed up. A little more
than one minute into the second, he caught a 44-yard Fleming punt on the Hamilton 30-yard line, ran across field and then turned it up for the 80-yard touchdown and a 10-6 Ticat lead

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Argos still on top of Canadian Football League east

John Avery and Sean Millington softened up the Ottawa Renegades before Arland Bruce III delivered the knockout blow.
Ottawa Renegades quarterback Kerry Joseph is tackled by Toronto Argonauts Antonious Bonner during the first half. Bruce caught two touchdown passes from Damon Allen, including a 15-yard toss late in the fourth quarter, as the Toronto Argonauts beat Ottawa 29-18 on Wednesday night, handing the struggling Renegades their sixth straight loss. Allen brought the Rogers Centre gathering of 24,886 to its feet at 9:08 of the fourth when he found Bruce on a 15-yard TD strike. That put Toronto ahead 29-18 and came after Allen's six-yard scoring toss to Tony Miles was nullified by a penalty.
It was Bruce's sparkling one-handed 12-yard grab that put Toronto at the Ottawa six-yard line. Bruce finished with five catches for 90 yards and also had a 31-yard completion to Michael Palmer in the first half.
"The coaches emphasize making big plays when we need them and I feel I'm the man to do the job," said Bruce. "Be it with one hand or two, I just want to make the play."
Allen finished 17-of-25 passing for 222 yards with the two TDs and an interception.
"They're pretty good," Argos coach Mike (Pinball) Clemons said of Allen and Bruce. "The thing about Arland is he's a complete receiver who can do it all.
"Being able to bring the ball in on the fingertips (on the one-handed grab), then take the shot he did afterwards was phenomenal."
Ottawa made it interesting when Kerry Joseph found a streaking Jason Armstead for a 75-yard touchdown pass at 4:31 to cut Toronto's lead to 22-18.
Toronto (8-5) moved four points ahead of Montreal (6-6) atop the East Division. The Argos played their second game in five days while Ottawa was playing for the third time in 13 days.
Ottawa (5-9) remains third in the East but its playoff hopes are fading. The Renegades must post a better record than the fourth-place finisher in the West - Saskatchewan and Calgary are tied for third with 7-6 records - to earn their first post-season berth. If the West club has the better mark, it will become the third seed in the East.
"For us, it was a playoff game," said Ottawa coach Joe Paopao. "That's the best we've played.
"There was better intensity, stronger football. But now, we're down to do or die."
A big part of Toronto's win was its ability to run the ball. With the five-foot-10, 192-pound Avery lining up behind the six-foot-three, 237-pound Millington, the Argos were able to beat Ottawa at it's own game.
Ottawa came as the CFL's second-ranked rushing team (134 yards per game) while Toronto was eighth (70 yards). But Toronto finished with 130 rushing yards, compared to 83 for the Renegades.
Avery ran for a game-high 68 yards on 13 carries while Millington, whose nickname is Diesel, had 55 yards rushing on seven carries and a TD.
"I think it (ball control) was the difference in the game," Avery said. "I don't mind running on diesel fuel.
"That guy is a beast. Not only is he big but he's smart."
Added Millington: "It's that weird balance. We've always thrown the ball here but now we've got the option not to throw the ball. By doing so, it makes throwing that much more effective."
But Clemons cautioned against people branding the Argos a running team.
"We desire to be a balanced attack because we believe it makes us a better football team, a more proficient football team," he said. "But the real key is we want to win games.
"If we win and we're unbalanced I'm happier than I am if we lose and we're balanced."
A key point in the game came at 7:05 of the third when Greg Moss returned an apparent Avery fumble 67 yards for the TD that would've made it 17-17. But the officials gathered and correctly ruled Avery was down on the play, a decision further supported by television replays, much to the dismay of the Renegades bench.
Toronto drove to the Ottawa eight-yard line before Noel Prefontaine's pass on a fake field goal to Jeff Keeping was incomplete. But the Argos got two points when the Renegades conceded the safety moments later for a 19-11 lead.
"I thought it was a bad call," said Joseph. "It didn't matter if he was down or not, there wasn't a whistle and the play continued, then they had a meeting.
"That call really cost us."
Paopao wasn't quite so sure.
"It's second-guessing to say the call made the difference," he said. "It went the way it did and there was still a lot of time left."
Joseph finished 18-of-27 passing for 220 yards and two touchdowns, with two interceptions.
The Renegades have struggled in Toronto, dropping to 0-5 here since their inception in 2002. The last Ottawa road win against the Argos was Sept. 18, 1994.
Since the Rogers Centre opened in 1989, Toronto is 15-2-0 versus Ottawa.
Yo Murphy scored Ottawa's other touchdown. Matt Kellett added the converts and a field goal while Pat Fleming kicked a single.
Prefontaine booted three converts and two field goals.
Notes - The Argos raised eyebrows in the third when they ran five straight times on a drive. There are times when Toronto's pass-happy offence doesn't run five times in a quarter, let alone one drive . . . Ottawa's Korey Banks came into the game leading the CFL in interceptions with eight . . . Toronto veteran offensive lineman Jude St. John appeared in his 170th career regular-season CFL contest.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Canadian Football League players of the week

Calgary Stampeders running back Joffrey Reynolds highlighted the list of CFL Players of the Week Tuesday after his impressive effort in Week 14 action.
Reynolds, the Offensive Player of the Week, carried the ball 29 times for 185 yards and two touchdowns in his team's 45-23 win over the Ottawa Renegades.
Edmonton linebacker Singor Mobley garnered defensive honours after picking up five tackles and a sack in the Eskimos' 37-20 win over the BC Lions. He now has five sacks on the year.
Mobley's teammates, Tony Tompkins and Joe Montford, earned the Special Teams and Lineman of the Week, respectively.
Montford had a tackle and two sacks, while chasing Lions quarterback Dave Dickenson all day. Tompkins, meanwhile, returned five kicks for 148 yards in the win, including a tie-braking 86-yard major.

Gades offer 2-for-1 Canadian Football League season tickets

The Ottawa Renegades Football Club will offer a one day, 2-for-1 season ticket sale on Saturday, December 10 in many of the prime sections at Frank Clair Stadium.
The one-day sale will headline a lengthy season ticket campaign designed to make Renegades home games attractive and affordable for fans in the Capital/Gatineau region for next year.
"The 2-for-1 sale is a great way to give the Renegades as a gift during the holiday season," said Lonie Glieberman, president of the Renegades. "The 2-for-1 sale is following the same formula of the successful $99 pass sale. Give the people of Ottawa -Gatineau great value and they will support the Renegades."
Priced at $400 (plus tax and surcharge), the 2-for-1 offer will be applicable between many of the seats between the 25 and 40-yardline at the stadium. Sections CC and EE on the lower south side, as well as the first 20 rows of LL in the south side upper deck fall under the 2-for-1 offer. On the North side, the upper part of sections D and F, as well as the bucket seats in C and G, will also be available as a 2-for-1 ticket.
"Buyers of the 2-for-1 season ticket will save over $450," pointed out Glieberman.
Season ticket holders, presently in those sections, will receive the same 2-for-1 offer and will also be allowed to add additional seats before the Dec. 10 season ticket sale.
Locations for where the season ticket sale will be happening will be announced in the coming weeks.
Ottawa returns to action on Tuesday, September 27 for a Week 14 road affair against the Toronto Argonauts (TSN, Team 1200) at Rogers Centre. The Renegades are back home on Friday, Oct. 7 when they host the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Tickets to the Thanksgiving weekend game are available either at the Renegades ticket office (1015 Bank Street), on the Internet (, by phone (613.599.3267 or 877.788.3267), any Sports Experts location in the Ottawa and Gatineau regions as well as the Corel Centre Box Office in Kanata.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Bombers Canadian Football League playoff hopes all but done

Led by running back Roberts Edwards and receiver Kerry Watkins, the Montreal Alouettes piled up 613 yards in a 42-23 victory yesterday over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
Quarterback Anthony Calvillo, who passed for 430 yards and ran for a TD, said having injured or missing players back is making a difference.
"Going into the second half of the season it'll be nice having every one of our starters playing because that's what we're capable of doing — putting up a lot of points and scoring touchdowns," he said.
Edwards scored two TDs while Watkins and Ben Cahoon also scored in the second half, when Montreal pulled away from the Bombers after a mistake-filled opening 30 minutes.
Cahoon was in his second game back from elbow and wrist injuries, while receiver Thyron Anderson has now played three games since returning from an NFL tryout. With all his weapons, Calvillo struck consistently for big plays, especially Watkins, who caught seven passes for 164 yards.
"Our biggest problem was that Calvillo was really good," said Bombers coach Jim Daley. "But we had the ball inside their 35 seven times and I think we came away with two or three field goals.
"Against a team like Montreal, on the road, you have to get touchdowns and we failed to do that. We turned the ball over twice inside the 20 and only got field goals inside the 35."
Montreal evened its record at 6-6. Milt Stegall caught a TD pass and cornerback Omar Evans scored on an interception, while Troy Westwood had three field goals for the Blue Bombers (4-10).
Montreal's 61st straight sellout crowd of 20,202 saw the running backs, Edwards and Winnipeg's Charles Roberts, used liberally on a wet day.
Edwards gained 121 yards, while Roberts, the CFL rushing leader, had 150 on 22 ca

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Lions lose first Canadian Football League game of the season

The Edmonton Eskimos got out of a funk by knocking the B.C. Lions off their perch.
Tony Tompkins broke a tie game with an 85-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter as the Eskimos swarmed quarterback Dave Dickenson and handed the Lions their first loss of the season, 37-20, Saturday night.
"They had a purpose," said Lions coach Wally Buono. "I don't sense we had much of a purpose.
"The psyche of the team was not what you want for this kind of game."
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The Eskimos (8-5) moved into second place in the CFL West a game up on surging Calgary and Saskatchewan.

The Lions had won their first 11 games and hadn't lost in the regular season since Oct. 11, 2004. The 1948 Calgary Stampeders, who were perfect during a 12-game schedule, are the only CFL team to go undefeated in the regular season. "Everybody wants to knock off the guy on top," said coach Danny Maciocia.
The usually disciplined Lions took six more penalties than Edmonton and had the ball almost 14 minutes longer.
They were in it even in the late going after Dickenson, who finished 21-of-33 for 364 yards, completed a 39-yard pass to Jerel Myers and rushed six yards straight up the middle in the fourth quarter before finding fullback Jason Gavadza for a four-yard score to tie it 20-20 at 6:15.
But Tompkins, a rookie, returned his first kickoff and scored 25 seconds later.
"Once I got my shoulder sqaure upfield, it was all she wrote,"' said Tompkins, 22. "We had to come back and play big."
Tailback Ron McClendon had two touchdowns and ageless rush end Joe Montford had two sacks for Edmonton.
Edmonton started early, with safety Kelly Wiltshire intercepting Dickenson's second pass of the game. Four plays later, McClendon ran the ball in from four yards.
McClendon also scored from 15 yards with less than two minutes to go to cap Edmonton's 17-point burst in the final quarter.
"We made them earn everything they got," said Eskimos linebacker Signor Mobley, who had five tackles and a seven-yard sack of Dickenson in the second quarter to lead to a conceded safety by kicker Duncan O'Mahony.
Eskimos quarterback Ricky Ray was 26-of-30 for 260 yards, and found Jason Tucker for a 13-yard touchdown early in the second quarter for a 15-3 advantage.
Dickenson brought the Lions back by sidestepping Edmonton's steady rush to find Jason Clermont behind coverage for a 69-yard score in the second quarter as B.C. clawed to within 17-11 at the half.
Sean Fleming, the Eskimos 14-season veteran kicker who was a healthy scratch for three games, missed a 34-yard field goal attempt in the first quarter, but he got a standing ovation from some of the 48,048 at Commonwealth Stadium after makng a 21-yard chip shot in the third quarter.
"We haven't played a solid game all year,"said Fleming, 35, who added a a 13-yard field goal in the fourth quarter to put the game away. "We did tonight.
"We showed to ourselves how good we can be."
O'Mahony kicked a 17-yard field goal and had a 54-yard single in the second quarter for the Lions before skying a punt for a 69-yard single in the third.
Canadian tailback Dahrran Diedrick entered his first CFL game in the second half for Edmonton and the fomer Nebraska Cornhusker finiished with nine carries for 31 yards.
NOTES: Edmonton wide receiver Ed Hervey is a week away from returning from a torn medial collateral ligament in his right knee . . . The Eskimos are at home against the Lions once more in the regular season, the second-last regular season game Oct. 28 . . . Children accompanied by a parent got a voucher for a free ticket.