CFL action in the month of October featured an undefeated Winnipeg club, a young play-caller, trades, a slumping Calgary team, Gary Peters going viral, and drama within the B.C. and Montreal locker rooms.
Winnipeg Blue Bombers
The Bombers haven’t lost since the Banjo Bowl (September 8). Winnipeg went 3-0 in the last four weeks with wins over Ottawa, Saskatchewan, and Calgary. Stars like Adam Bighill and Darvin Adams are exceeding expectations, while players like Anthony Gaitor and Justin Medlock are quietly playing their best football. Once sitting at 5-7, the Bombers and Matt Nichols have turned their season around, getting the swagger back you could say.
MATT NICHOLS JUST DID THE CONOR MCGREGOR STRUT.
— Marshall Ferguson (@TSN_Marsh) October 13, 2018
A Six-year-old Football Guru
An offensive coordinator for a Missausaga high school football team’s daughter went viral last week when she impressively called out different formations/coverages during a Montreal Alouettes and Toronto Argonauts game. Maybe she should have been calling the Argos plays this year, am I right?
Lorne Park Offensive Coordinator, Coach Grant’s six-year-old daughter calling out formations and coverages at the @TorontoArgos vs @MTLAlouettes game. Apparently this is what happens when your dad is a football coach. pic.twitter.com/uY84JZUJiq
— Lorne Park Football (@LP_Football) October 24, 2018
Adam Bighill has played a massive role in each of the Bombers’ wins in October. Bighill forced a game-winning fumble against Ottawa, forced a fumble for a touchdown and recorded three sacks the next week versus Saskatchewan, and forced another fumble last week versus Calgary. Bighill needs 11 tackles next week to break his single-season career-high.
Including Tyrell Sutton, who was dealt after Week 15, Montreal has made three impactful trades in the CFL as of late. Strong-side linebacker Chris Ackie was shipped to Ottawa, and fullback Patrick Lavoie was dealt to Saskatchewan and has almost matched his receiving numbers from 15 games with the Als in just three with the Riders.
In Week 17 Lewis Ward broke the professional football record for most consecutive made field goals. Ward’s streak now stands at 46; not bad for someone who was a security guard 11 months ago at TD Place. Ward also broke the record in style by nailing a 52-yarder, his first 50-plus-yard made field goal this season.
Lewis Ward nails the 52-yard field goal to set the new record for most consecutive field goals made in professional football at 45 in a row. The previous record (44) was held by Adam Vinatieri. #LiveMic #CFLGameDay pic.twitter.com/to9Bt0Bs6J
— CFL on TSN (@CFLonTSN) October 19, 2018
With a 79% completion rate, an average of 312 passing yards, and an 8:1 touchdown to interception ratio over his last four games, Trevor Harris has found his game. The Redblacks have clinched first place in the East Division and are the favourites to reach the Grey Cup from the East. Led by Harris, the Redblacks are looking very good.
Montreal Alouettes Defence
Yes, the Alouettes defence is supposed to be in the studs category. The Alouettes averaged 16 points per game against in October, including holding Calgary to 12 points. Over those three games, Montreal recorded 12 sacks and forced 11 turnovers too. The Alouettes will be looking to build on these performances in 2019.
Four weeks ago the Calgary Stampeders were 11-2, cruising once again to first place in the West Division. After a 1-3 month, the Stamps have to win in B.C. on Saturday to clinch a bye and first in the West. Injuries to their receiving core and the boundary-side of their defence have played a big role in Calgary’s slump, but that doesn’t mean that their slump isn’t concerning. With two home losses in October, McMahon Stadium suddenly doesn’t seem so scary come November.
Gary Peters, c’mon man.
— Jason Milne (@JasonMilne) October 20, 2018
With a 4.1 average on 44 carries and a costly fumble against Winnipeg in the last four weeks, Don Jackson has had a month to forget. Jackson is one of many Stampeders struggling, and it’s at a time when Calgary needs him the most.
Ed Hervey and Jonathon Jennings
A few weeks ago B.C. Lions general manager Ed Hervey raised questions about then starting quarterback Jonathon Jennings’ commitment to football. Bardia Ghahremani, Jennings’ agent, fired back at Hervey, as expressed in TSN’s Farhan Lalji’s two tweets. This was just another falter in Jennings’ unfulfilling development as a CFL quarterback.
Statement from Jonathon Jennings’ agent @bardia_g: “Jonathon is one of the first to arrive to work every day. Ed would know this if Ed weren’t one of the last. Like many quarterbacks, Jonathon’s routine is to do additional film study on his own at home every night.” @CFLonTSN
— Farhan Lalji (@FarhanLaljiTSN) October 6, 2018
— Farhan Lalji (@FarhanLaljiTSN) October 6, 2018
The CFL Command Centre/Spotter
Calgary’s Eric Rogers had what looked like a crucial touchdown in the fourth quarter against Winnipeg last week. But the CFL’s Command Centre ruled it an incomplete pass. It seemed like he survived contact to me.
The next day in Regina, B.C.’s Odell Willis delivered a nasty headshot to Saskatchewan’s Zach Collaros. Collaros, visually in distress, stayed in the game for two more plays before being pulled by the Riders staff. Calgary’s Lemar Durant was pulled by a spotter after taking a much less impactful hit in Week 19, so how come Collaros was not? Commissioner Randy Ambrosie has since released a statement regarding the spotter’s lack of action from the incident.
Johnny Manziel Drama
From TVA Sports reporter Charles-Antoine Sinotte’s report about Manziel being hated in the locker room to Manziel and offensive lineman Tony Washington getting in a verbal disagreement on the sidelines last week, the (unwarranted?) Manziel drama has continued.
Entertainment in Regina
Ed Gainey said it, not me.
Regina is so boring ?
— Ed Gainey (@Multifacet_ED) October 22, 2018
Main image credit: Embed from Getty Images