Canadian Football League

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Eskimos closing in on first in Canadian Football League

A perfect night from kicker Sean Fleming lifted Edmonton to a 22-19 win over British Columbia Friday and kept the Lions from clinching first place in the CFL West Division.
Fleming was five for five in field goals, with his last coming from 36 yards out and no time left to win the game. The Eskimos (11-6) are now two points back of the Lions and can finish first if they beat Calgary in the final regular season game and the Lions (12-5) lose to Saskatchewan. The Lions have lost five of their last six games.
Troy Davis scored the only touchdown for Edmonton at 13:25 of the second quarter after the Lions had prolonged the scoring drive with roughing the passer and unnecessary roughness major penalties.
Kelly Wiltshire's third interception of the year set up a Fleming 47-yard field goal with no time left for a 13-9 Eskimos lead at the half.
Fleming, who was sat out three games earlier in the year for
inconsistent play, connected from 28 yards in the third quarter and 42 yards early in the fourth.
Lions quarterback Casey Printers made a third straight start for the concussed Dave Dickenson.
Printers, just 7-for-17 in the first half, hit Geroy Simon for a five-yard score to pull to within 19-16.
Edmonton quarterback Ricky Ray broke Warren Moon's 1983 team record of 664 pass attempts in a season. Ray is one of only three Edmonton quarterbacks to pass for 5,000 yards in a season.
NOTES: -One month after his induction into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame, former offensive lineman Rod Connop was inducted to the Eskimos Wall of Honour at the half. ... Eskimos defensive back Shannon Garrett spent the bye week at his home in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, seeing the devastation from hurricane Katrina for the first time ...The Stampeders are in Winnipeg Sunday

Friday, October 28, 2005

Canadian Football League fan kicks to win

Brian Diesbourg had a million-dollar leg after all.
After missing kicks from 20, 30 and 40 yards, the 25-year-old mechanical engineer from Belle River, Ont., connected from 50 yards out at halftime of Toronto's 34-11 win over Hamilton on Thursday night to win $1 million. Diesbourg will be paid a $25,000 instalment every year for 40 years. "It's unbelievable," he said afterwards. "When it left my foot I was hoping it went left because I just missed the first three to the right. On the last kick, I purposely kicked it to the left hoping it would even itself out and it did."
Diesbourg, a long-time soccer enthusiast and player who had never kicked a football before this event, said he has no immediate plans for the money.
"I was just worried about putting it through the uprights," he said. "I'll need some time to think about what I'm going to do with the million dollars."
Earlier this month, Diesbourg, who is not married but has a girlfriend, was selected from nearly 200,000 online entries in a contest sponsored by Wendy's to attempt four kicks for a variety of prizes.
Diesbourg attempted kicks from 20, 30, 40 and just missed all three. After being forced to wait for about five minutes because of a commercial break on TSN, which carried Diesbourg's attempts, he lined up the 50-yard try before a season-high Rogers Centre gathering of 40,085. It was the biggest Argos crowd since Oct. 28, 1990, when 40,449 watched Toronto play Saskatchewan.
Diesbourg hit the ball true and it had just enough leg to get over the crossbar for the big money.
"Oh my, my," Argos head coach Mike (Pinball) Clemens said. "I'm just overjoyed for him. This certainly wasn't a normal regular-season game - this one was special."
Said Diesbourg: "I knew I hit it good, but I wasn't sure if it was good enough because I kind of lost the ball before it went through. But then I looked and the official raised his hand to signal it was good and then I knew for sure.
"It was surreal."
Diesbourg admitted having to wait for the timeout to end was excruciating.
"Oh my God," he exclaimed. "I didn't know what to do (during the commercial timeout)."
After making the kick, Diesbourg was mobbed by members of the Argos as they returned to the field.
Among the Argos offering congratulations was kicker Noel Prefontaine, who worked out with Diesbourg on Wednesday.
"I had a feeling he'd make it because on the first three he got underneath them a bit but on the 50-yard one, he hit it like he had to," Prefontaine said. "That one would've gone in with an offensive line in front of him."
The 20-yard try was for $1,000 cash, with the 30-yard attempt for a digital imaging package. A successful boot from 40 yards out would've netted Diesbourg a home theatre package.
Diesbourg was allowed just one workout with Prefontaine prior to Thursday's game and it was held at the Argos practice facility on Wednesday. Prefontaine skipped out of the locker-room early Thursday to watch Diesbourg attempt his kicks.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Canadian Football League players of the week

Toronto Argonauts quarterback Damon Allen was among the CFL Players of the Week for the 18th week of the season.
Allen was named Offensive Player of the Week, completing 32 of his 40 attempts for 414 yards and four touchdowns in a 49-23 rout of Montreal. The veteran Allen also scrambled seven times for 56 yards and a score.
Calgary Stampeders linebacker George White earned Defensive Player of the Week for the second straight week. White had five tackles, forced a fumble, recovered a fumble and intercepted a pass in a 29-21 win over Saskatchewan.
Lineman of the Week went to Anthony Collier of the Ottawa Renegades. Collier had three sacks and a fumble recovery, as Ottawa suffered a 40-32 loss to Hamilton.
Stampeders kicker Sandro DeAngelis garnered the special teams honor. He converted 6-of-7 field goals in a close win against Saskatchewan.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Stamps secure Canadian Football League playoff spot

The Saskatchewan Riders had more turnovers than a French bakery and couldn't put a single point on the board in the second half.
As a result, the Calgary Stampeders won the CFL game 29-21 at Taylor Field Sunday afternoon and have clinched a playoff spot in the West Division.
Calgary's record is now 9-7. Saskatchewan slips to 8-9.
The sold-out game before a crowd of 28,800 was dubbed the Burris Bowl, marking as it did the return of former Riders pivot Henry Burris, who sent shock waves through the football-crazy province when he signed with the Stamps in March.
Calgary and Burris also came out ahead in their first match-up against Saskatchewan earlier in the season.
The Riders aren't out of playoff contention yet. Whether they advance may depend on the outcome of their final game against the B.C. Lions on Nov. 5.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Argos move into first place in Canadian Football League East

Damon Allen's legend continues to grow.
The 42-year-old threw four touchdown passes and ran one in himself as the Toronto Argonauts routed the Montreal Alouettes 49-23 on Saturday in the battle for first place in the CFL East Division.
"He never ceases to amaze us," said Toronto coach Michael (Pinball) Clemons. "He had a lot of poise and played really well.
"I really want to mention the offensive line. He had a lot of time, but when Damon takes off with the ball and gets the yards to move the chains, he's as close to a deity as I've seen."
The most valuable player of the 2004 Grey Cup game came into an Olympic Stadium packed with 51,279 Alouettes fans and ended Montreal's four-game winning streak with a masterful performance.
Allen found Arland Bruce, R. Jay Soward, Robert Baker and fullback Jeff Johnson for TD passes, while Noel Prefontaine booted four field goals for Toronto (10-6).
Allen completed 32 of 40 passes for 414 yards, was never intercepted and scrambled for another 56 yards on legs that looked only marginally aged in their 22nd CFL season.
"MVP, finally," said Clemons. "That's my comment. MVP, finally, so you can't edit it.
"It was a complete performance. So much control. That's one of the amazing things. He was - best ever."
Allen has never won the league's Most Outstanding Player award despite being the CFL's all-time passing yards leader and the only quarterback to rush for more than 10,000 yards in his career.
The brother for former NFL running back Marcus Allen has won four Grey Cups - the first in 1987 with the Edmonton Eskimos.
"I'm quite thankful that my coach believes that, but when it's all said and done, it comes down to the writers (who vote on the awards)," said Allen.
"If this is the game that solidifies it, I'm quite thankful. But my goal is to play all 18 games, give our team an opportunity to host an Eastern Final and to win the Grey Cup. Anything else is gravy."
The loss left the Alouettes (9-7) in shock. They thought they had overcome the defensive woes that plagued them early in the season, only to be picked apart by Allen and the Argonauts.
With the win, Toronto not only took a two-point lead in the standings, but won the season series between the two clubs 2-1, which is the tie-breaker if they end the season tied in points. Each team has two games left to play and Toronto can clinch first place with a win Thursday at home against lowly Hamilton.
"This is as embarrassing a game as I've been in," said Montreal coach Don Matthews. "We'll have to take a long, hard look at a lot of things and see where we can go from here.
"I'm at a loss to explain why we played like we did. I'm at a loss why we played so badly with everything on the line. It was a total team collapse."

Lions end 4 game losing streak to remain on top of Canadian Football League

Casey Printers threw four touchdown passes Saturday night as the B.C. snapped a four-game losing streak by pounding the lowly Winnipeg Blue Bombers 41-1.
After starting the season 11-0, talk of an undefeated season ensued.

However, the Lions have struggled during their losing streak and needed a strong performance against the Bombers to regain their lost confidence.
The Lions' defence, who's given up 90 points in their last two games, had three interceptions and a fumble recovery.
The turnovers were converted into 17 points.
Printers, the CFL's most outstanding player last year but has been hampered by a sore shoulder, finished the game with 303 passing yards.
He threw touchdown passes to Lyle Green, Ryan Thelwell, Geroy Simon and Paris Jackson.
Running back Antonio Warren rushed for his 16th touchdown for a share of the league lead.