Every CFL week includes enough highlights for fans to talk about until football returns a week later, and a few lowlights that keep fans shaking their heads. The LWOS CFL team takes a look with CFL Week 15 Three and Out at the highlights and lowlights of the week that was in the CFL.
CFL Week 15 Three and Out
Game of the Week: B.C. Lions vs Ottawa Redblacks
With two teams fighting to secure their playoff spots, CFL fans were treated to one of the most explosive games of the year as the B.C. Lions faced off against the visiting Ottawa Redblacks. Lead by two of the most exciting players at their position, B.C’s Jonathan Jennings and Ottawa’s Trevor Harris, the Lions and Redblacks would put 73 points on the board before the final whistle.
The scoring started off quickly as both Harris and Jennings hit pay dirt on their opening possessions. The points continued to pile up as both teams were tied at 20-20 going the final two minutes of the first half. Even then the action didn’t let up as Jennings unleashed a series of deep strikes to put his team up by seven with less than a minute to go. Not willing to go into the half without some momentum of their own, the Redblacks clawed back as Harris got his team in range for a field goal to make it 23-27.
As if to not let the score get too out of hand, the B.C. and Ottawa defences finally slowed the bleeding with some solid play in the third quarter. But the final quarter saw the Lions claw back to a 34-33 As the seconds ticked down the Redblacks made a final effort to move down the field for a go-ahead score when disaster struck. On a night where offence had ruled the day it was Anthony Gaitor and a soul-crushing pick six off Harris that sealed the game and gave the Lions a much stronger grip on its second place standing.
Despite the impressive quarterbacking display, the receivers deserve much of the credit. Emmanuel Arceneaux went over 1000 yards for the third time in his career and was a monster in the end zone. Alongside Arceneuax, new addition Terrell Sinkfield didn’t look out of place with over 80 yards while reliable National receiver Shawn Gore continued to add on to his career year with a series of clutch catches. For the Redblacks, Chris Williams and Ernest Jackson both went over 100 yards while Greg Ellingson and Brad Sinopoli made some high impact plays as well. With all the firepower these two teams bring to the table, fans can only hope they meet again in the playoffs for what would be another riveting performance.
By Thomas Gunther (@ThomasJGunther)
Player of the Week: Rakeem Cato
Few were expecting the final result of Sunday’s game between the Montreal Alouettes and the Toronto Argonauts. But the Alouettes broke their four-game losing streak with a 38-11 victory over the Argos. Some may say a change at head coach to Jacques Chapdelaine may have boosted the confidence of Montreal’s players. But more likely, it has to do with the performance of our Player of the Week, Rakeem Cato.
Cato’s CFL career has had its ups and downs, but after replacing veteran quarterback Kevin Glenn, he is definitely on the rise. Cato threw four touchdowns for 210 yards and had a completion rate of 78.3%. What’s probably more impressive was that he was sacked five times, yet didn’t let go of the ball.
Cato’s numbers may not have broken CFL records, but Cato’s leadership on the field brought together a team that desperately needed to win. The Alouettes have a tough road ahead of them as they face the Edmonton Eskimos and the Calgary Stampeders twice before the season ends. But if there’s someone who can breathe new life into a struggling team, Cato is up for the fight.
By Gina Schiltz (@LWOSGina)
Unnecessary Participation: NFL Hopefuls return to the CFL
Every year around this time, CFL players return from the NFL after pre-season cuts. CFL teams eagerly respond by scooping up the big names. What are the implications of picking up NFL cast-offs this late in the season? Most teams now are looking to either pad their injured squad, hoping to add depth or fill in the holes, building their team for next year, or of course, a last hope of making the playoffs.
For example, let’s look at the Saskatchewan Roughriders. They have signed two big CFL names this past week. On the weekend, Saskatchewan signed wide receiver Jeff Fuller after being released from the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks. And Wednesday it was announced that linebacker Henoc Muamba signed with the Riders. Muamba has had a couple of stints in the NFL and has landed in Regina after attending training camp for the Dallas Cowboys.
What can this do for the Riders? The Riders are coming off a bye week and a two-game winning streak. Are they hoping for the playoffs? It’s not mathematically impossible, but it would likely mean a cross-over situation. Or are they building for next year? Fans will have to wait out the rest of the season to see. But these are the questions and implications of players coming back to the CFL from the NFL.
By Gina Schiltz (@LWOSGina)