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 19 Three and Out at the highlights and lowlights of the week that was in the CFL.
CFL Week 19 Three and Out
Game of the Week: Edmonton Eskimos vs. Hamilton Tiger-Cats
There was a playoff feel in the air as the Edmonton Eskimos rolled into Tim Hortons Field this past Friday to take on the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. A win for Hamilton meant a chance at keeping pace with the East Division leading Ottawa Redblacks, while a victory for Edmonton would keep the hope of a home playoff game alive.
The Ticats scored first as running back C.J. Gable pirouetted away from potential tacklers and dove into the endzone for a first quarter touchdown. Several drives later, Mike Reilly took advantage of strong protection in the pocket to fire a laser to Derel Walker for the Esks own score.
From there on out mistakes plagued both teams as Brett Maher missed a field goal while Sean Whyte went wide on a convert. To keep the theme going Junior Collins fumbled a catch for Hamilton and John White of the Eskimos put a ball on the turf while being tackled. The teams ended the second quarter at 12-11 in favour of the Esks.
The half-time rest paid off for Edmonton, who came out gunning with a field goal and Reilly touchdown plunge on their first two possessions. A clutch sack by John Chick, a possible MOP candidate, helped keep the score under control for the rest of the quarter as the struggling Ticats entered the fourth down 22-11.
The defence could only contain Reilly and Walker for so long, however, as the pair put up a second scoring connection to seemingly put the game out of reach. Desperate, the Ticats went to the air and managed to march their way down the field for a Terrence Toliver touchdown and a successful two-point convert. The comeback kept on rolling as two possessions later, versatile backup Jeremiah Masoli added a one-yard touchdown plunge to bring the game to 29-26 with 1:09 remaining.
Fans were tense as the two teams lined up for an obvious on-side kick attempt, but it was the coaches that went wild when the wrong call was made on the play in Edmonton’s favour. Thanking their lucky stars, the Eskimos quickly ran out the clock and emerged from the scrum with a record of 9-8. The Tiger-Cats, meanwhile, were left wondering what could have been on a night where anything seemed possible.
Player of the Week: Nik Lewis
In a game that meant nothing in the standings for both the Montreal Alouettes and Calgary Stampeders, it was a game that meant a lot statistically. The Stampeders lost to the Alouettes and subsequently did not tie the CFL record for most wins in a season. It was the first time the Stampeders have lost since June and was the first game they went without a touchdown.
For the Alouettes on the other hand, it was the first time they had back-to-back wins this season. Statistically, the Alouettes were eliminated from the playoffs last week, but this game was record-breaking, especially for Player of the Week, Nik Lewis.
Lewis started his career with the Calgary Stampeders in 2004 and stayed there for 11 years. For the first nine years of his career he achieved 1000-yard seasons. On Sunday, Lewis broke two CFL records. The first record was passing Allen Pitts and placing fifth in the all-time CFL receiving yards. Then late in the fourth quarter, Lewis surpassed Darren Flutie and placed fourth in all-time receiving yards.
That game also recorded Lewis in his 10th season with over 1,000 yards and the first 1000-yard season since 2012. Lewis shared his gratitude on Twitter.
It’s always tough in this business to keep a job for 13 yrs, but I’m truly blessed to still be playing this well.
— Nik Lewis (@nikel18) October 31, 2016
For a game that meant nothing, it sure meant something to Lewis.
Unnecessary Participation: Ruined Perfect Endings
Only if life was like fairy-tale endings. Too bad it is not. The CFL and its fans learned that the hard way this week, with two perfect storylines ruined: the Saskatchewan Roughriders win their final game at Mosaic Stadium and the Stamps finish with the best regular season record.
The Riders couldn’t even score a touchdown in their Saturday-night loss to the B.C. Lions, while the Stamps seemed to have given up on the record before their game started.
There wasn’t much the Riders could do. The Lions were fighting for second in the division. But the Stamps rested a good amount of their starters, including MOP front-runner Bo Levi Mitchell. Their plan gave the Alouettes a chance to win, which they surprisingly won, and ruined all aspirations to be the greatest regular season team in CFL history.
The Stamps are getting two more weeks off before the West Division Final, so why did they rest Mitchell? It probably would have been better to play him. By the time the division final rolls around, he will not have played in a month. Seriously, Stamps?
Why does life have to throw the media curveballs like that? At least we got to watch the Chicago Cubs win a World Series.