Week 10 in the CFL was filled with a few lopsided victories and one really close affair separating the two teams by a point. Two middle of the pack teams in Winnipeg and Ottawa duked it out while the Argos looked to win their second game with a new quarterback, the Alouettes looked for a win on the road with Johnny Manziel out of the line-up and the Stampeders looked to remain undefeated on the road in Regina.

 

Here’s how Week 10 went down:

Week 10 Bye:   

 

Ottawa (5-3)  – 44

Winnipeg (5-3)  – 21

Week 10 of the CFL season kicked off with a pair of teams that seemed to be playing inconsistently through the first half of the year. The Winnipeg Blue Bombers looked to welcome the Ottawa RedBlacks into Investor’s Group Field Friday night.

The Bombers saw themselves in third place in the West with a 5-3 record coming into the game, due in large part to Matt Nichols climbing his way up the league QB ranks. Heading into Friday’s action, Nichols found himself 6th in the league in passing yards and 5th in passing touchdowns.

Winnipeg has also enjoyed the benefit of the league’s best rusher with Andrew Harris, who came into the game with 720 rushing yards on the year. He also added a dominant performance the week prior in a win against Hamilton.

The RedBlacks have been the most inconsistent team all year for me. They’ve often started out slow and found ways to turn it on late and come out of games with wins, much like the week prior against Montreal.

Ottawa sat on top of the East with a 5-3 record coming into Friday night, with Trevor Harris lighting it up through most of the early season. His 2,374 passing yards was third only to Mike Reilly and Jeremiah Masoli as well as Harris’ 9 TD’s, which put him behind only Reilly and Bo Levi Mitchell.

Ottawa was hoping to get a more consistent showing out of the rest of the RedBlack roster going forward. They got the quicker start this time around, as the RedBlacks would score on their second drive of the game.

Ottawa and Trevor Harris would go on a 9-play drive starting from their own 37-yard line all the way to a score. Harris had three straight completions for 10+ yards before Dominique Davis scored the 1-yard QB sneak TD. Ottawa went for 2-points and Harris completed a pass to Greg Ellingson in the end zone for the early 8-0 lead.

The Bombers would answer with a scoring drive of their own. Matt Nichols would take the offense down to the Ottawa 45-yard line before Nichols would connect with Darvin Adams on a 45-yard bomb, over the sprawling defender for the 8-7 score.

Old bad habits for Ottawa would result in Winnipeg getting the ball back. The RedBlacks took the ball after the Adams TD, Trevor Harris would try and scramble for a first down, but he was tackled by Kevin Fogg, fumbling the ball which was recovered by Mo Leggett for Winnipeg at the Ottawa 39-yard line.

The turnover would not lead to any points for Winnipeg; in fact, they would give the ball back to Ottawa after three plays, and the RedBlacks would score on the following drive. Harris would lead the offence on a 10-play scoring drive.

After a 17-yard completion to Brad Sinopoli and an 18-yarder to William Powell, Dominique Davis would score his second TD of the night on another 1-yard sneak. Following that, another successful 2-point conversion gave us a 16-7 Ottawa lead.

Ottawa would then add another three points on Lewis Ward’s 23rd consecutive made field goal, a 41-yarder giving the RedBlacks a 19-7 lead. Ward would add another field goal, this time from 38-yards out, taking a 22-7 lead into the half.

The Bombers would cut into the lead with just under 8 minutes left in the third quarter. Nichols leads the team down the field from their own 46-yard line on a 6-play drive before Andrew Harris took the wild-cat direct snap 13 yards for the touchdown and the 22-14 score.

It didn’t last long, however, as Ottawa answered right back. Harris hit Dominique Rhymes for a 59-yard bomb before hitting Rhymes again for the 5-yard TD, the first of Rhymes’ career. The RedBlacks would add a 2-point convert making it a 30-14 lead.

Things would go from bad to worse for Winnipeg as Matt Nichols would be hit as he was throwing causing a fumble which was recovered by Avery Williams who ran it 43 yards for the touchdown upping the lead to 38-14.

Winnipeg wouldn’t go down without a fight, however, as a shootout broke out. On the first play of the next drive, Nichols threw an absolute bomb 42 yards to Darvin Adams who it took it another 30 yards to the end zone cutting the lead down to 38-21.

The RedBlacks, however, would seal the deal two drives later. It was only a four-play drive with William Powell going off for three straight runs. One for 16 yards one for 6 and finally one for 28 which lead him to the end zone for the 44-21 lead and win.

The Ottawa RedBlacks finally showed a full 60-minute effort, something they haven’t really done before. They jumped out to an early lead and they kept their foot on the gas for all four quarters. Trevor Harris lit it up through the air. He has a completion percentage of 78.5% and 848 yards over his last two starts.

He received a great effort out of William Powell who ran for 106 yards and gained support from his receivers with Greg Ellingson making 8 catches for 100 yards and Dominique Rhymes with 5 catches for 81 yards and a touchdown.

The RedBlack defense was the most impressive as they dialed up the pressure on Matt Nichols with four sacks and forcing a fumble while holding Andrew Harris to just 72 yards on the ground and 1 through the air. This was a game where all three sides of the ball seemed to click for Ottawa and if they can keep that up they’ll run away with the East.

Winnipeg seemed like they had something going early but made too many mistakes and fell too far behind an Ottawa team and defense that looked like it wasn’t going to give up an inch. The offense despite racking up 420 yards Never seemed to get any rhythm.

They had some big plays here and there that lead to the high yardage numbers, but they couldn’t gain consistency and the defense gave up 500 yards to Ottawa with a time of possession ratio of 25:17-31:29.

The Bombers drop to 5-4 in a crowded Western division where every loss matter, and they’ll need a much better effort going forward to compete. Despite a quiet night Andrew Harris passes Earl Lunsford into 14th place for all-time rushing yards with 7,060 and is the second Canadian to rush for 7000 yards behind Normie Kwong.

Player of the Game: Trevor Harris. Harris was efficient and was running the offense up and down the field and with some support behind him, made his team look like a real force. Harris went 29/39 for 361 yards and 1TD.

BC (3-4)  – 23

Toronto (2-5)  – 24

The first game of the Saturday doubleheader in the CFL this week featured a matchup of two playoff hopeful teams in the Lions and Argos, both teams aren’t exactly where they want to be in the standings but there’s still a lot of season left ahead to make some moves.

BC would get the ball to start the game and would score on their first drive, chewing up over 6 minutes on the clock they drove down the field but eventually would have to settle for a Ty Long 34-yard field goal. Toronto’s first drive of the game would also be successful as they would score some points as well, a drive that featured James Wilder often, however, they would also stall and must settle for a field goal. A first quarter that featured only field goals would be capped off with an Argo 39-yarder that would put them up 6-3 going into the second quarter. The Argos would force a two-and-out by the Lions and get the ball back. The Argos would eventually have to punt the ball away for a 69-yard single point.

Finally, we’d get some fun in this game. 12 minutes left in the 2nd quarter the Lions would drive down the field before Travis Lulay would connect with Bryan Burnham on a 44-yard passing TD and the Lions would go up 10-7.

It wouldn’t take long for the Lions to get the ball back and the Lions would make the Argos pay once again, after some short but effective plays down the field. Jeremiah Johnson would run it in from 2 yards out to put the Lions up 17-7 with 2:45 to play in the first half.

The Argos would score some much-needed points to end the half as they would get within field goal position and drain a 44-yard field goal to go into the half down by 7 points. 17-10 Lions.

The Lions would be the first team to score in the second half, as once again they would put through a 45-yard field goal to go up 20-10 with their first drive of the half.

McLeod Bethel-Thompson would drive the Argos down the field as they needed to answer to stay within the game, with just over 4 minutes left in the third quarter. Bethel-Thompson would connect with Anthony Coombs on a 20-yard TD pass to bring the Argos within 3 points.

The Lions wouldn’t accomplish anything with their next drive, with the Argos having all the momentum in the game, they drove down the field and punched in another TD, this time James Franklin with the 1-yard QB sneak to put the Argos back in front 24-20.

Travis Lulay wouldn’t be able to find the end zone for the remainder of the game and the Lions would have to settle for one more field goal, but that’s as close as they would get as the Argos would pull off another close victory and improve to 3-5 on the season, putting them in second place in the East.

The Lions still look better with Lulay at the helm than they did earlier in the year, I’m just worried they are going to be the “odd team” out in the Western Division this season, it’s highly competitive and they can’t seem to keep pace. Still, a lot of season left to play, however, but it seems as if the Riders found their groove, which would effectively put the Lions out of contention because I don’t see any other Western teams slowing down.

The Argonauts despite playing terribly for most of the year are lucky they are in a division where even if you play terrible you can still make the playoffs. For perspective, the last place team in the West would currently be tied for second in the East. Let the debate of balancing the division’s rage on. The Argos will be fine, they’ll more than likely squeeze into the playoffs in the East, but I think the Redblacks basically have the division locked down.

Player of the Game: Not really any standouts in this game, but McLeod Bethel-Thompson played well under center for the Argos. 18/29 for 260 yards and a TD helps him earn our POTG.

 

Montreal (1-7)   – 24

Edmonton (5-3)  – 40

The second half of our Saturday doubleheader featured a game that was in jeopardy of even being played due to all the smoke from the wildfires in BC, but when it came to game time they were ready to go. Montreal is coming off a week where they lost Johnny Manziel due to concussion protocol and in a match-up with a very lethal Edmonton offense. They simply couldn’t keep up in this one.

Edmonton would get the ball to start the game and it wouldn’t take them long to get on the board, Reilly would drive the team down the field but unfortunately would have to settle for a field goal that would put the Eskimos up 3-0 early.

The Alouettes would get the ball and with Antonio Pipkin under center wouldn’t accomplish anything on their first drive of the game and would punt the ball back to Edmonton.

As Edmonton has done all year, they have a high-flying offense that doesn’t take long to move downfield, the Eskimos in just over 2 minutes would drive 96 yards and cap it off with a Shaq Cooper TD catch, giving themselves a 10-0 lead early.

Montreal would get the ball back in good field position as they would start their drive of the Eskimo 53-yard line before Eugene Lewis would run it in from the 4-yard line bringing the Alouettes within 3 points and putting them on the board for the first time in this game.

The Eskimos wouldn’t take long to score in the second quarter as Mike Reilly would find his favorite target in Duke Williams for a 10-yard TD pass, Williams sixth on the year. Eskimos up in front 17-7.

Montreal was able to keep pace early in this game as they’d score on their very next drive as Antonio Pipkin would sneak in for his first career CFL rushing TD and bringing the Alouettes within 3 points with just over 8 minutes left in the first half.

Mike Reilly and the Eskimos would start pulling away in this game as the Eskimos offense was just too much for Montreal to keep up with, they’d get ball back with just under 8 minutes left to play in the half and after an extremely weird passing play Bryant Mitchell would pull in a Mike Reilly lob for a 13-yard TD, putting the Eskimos up 24-14. They would eventually end the half with another field goal and take a 27-14 lead into halftime.

Montreal would get the ball to start the second half but would, unfortunately, settle for a two-and-out surrendering possession back to the Eskimos who drove down the field. Montreal’s defense stood tall and was able to make the Eskimos settle for a field goal and a 30-14 lead.

The two teams would go back and forth trading field goals for all the third and majority of the fourth quarter before Mike Reilly would sneak in for another rushing TD on the year with 6:39 left in the fourth to put the Eskimos up 40-18 and pretty much seal the deal in this one.

Montreal would hang around though as it only took two plays for them to get those points back as Pipkin would find B.J Cunningham on a 22-yard pass to bring the Alouettes within 16 with 5:20 left in the game.

That’s as close as the Alouettes would get in this game as the Eskimos would take it 40-24 and move to 6-3 on the season and firm control of second place in the West.

Montreal time and time again finds ways to look terrible, to be honest though, they didn’t look that bad in this game, they played good enough to win on most nights. Edmonton’s offense is simply too good though, they have by far the best passing offense in the CFL and on most nights you’ll have to put up 30+ to win games against them. Montreal just needs Johnny Manziel back to be an exciting team to watch, for the most part, though I don’t’ believe he’s enough to save them this season.

Edmonton is a team that can score with the best of them, however, most nights their defense looks dodgy. They played well in this one despite allowing 24 points so there’s for sure room for improvement. I’d also like to see Mike Reilly secure the ball a bit better, naturally, when you’re throwing the ball 40+ times a game you’re going to turn the ball over, it’s just frustrating to see it happen every single game.

Player of the Game: Mike Reilly. 33/42 for 424 yards, 3 TDs & 1 INT. He also ran the ball in for a TD.

 

Calgary (7-0)   -27

Saskatchewan (3-4)  -40

Wrapping up Week 10 was a match between the undefeated Calgary Stampeders who looked like they weren’t about to slow down any time soon and a Saskatchewan Roughrider team fresh off releasing its best offensive playmaker.

The Roughriders have had an up and down season up to this point with a defense that continues to be at the top of the league, with Charleston Hughes leading the CFL in sacks and an offense that has been trying to figure out its identity.

They finally got Zach Collaros back two weeks ago in a loss to the Eskimos after missing four games with a concussion, making the quarterback situation a tad bit less foggy. Would he be enough to add to an offensive unit that had just released Duron Carter to be able to top the league’s best team remained the question?

The Stampeders came into New Mosaic Stadium with the league’s best record at 7-0. Bo Levi Mitchell was second in the league in touchdowns and with the best defense so far this year looked like an unstoppable force.

Calgary continues a trend of the last decade of being the team to beat not only in the West but the entire CFL. They had handled Saskatchewan a few weeks prior with a 34-22 victory in Regina and looked to do the same to stay undefeated.

The Riders came out firing early with an excellent first drive. Starting from their own 31-yard line, Saskatchewan drove down the field with Collaros completing passes to Jordan Williams-Lambert three times for a combined 51 yards before Brett Lauther kicked a 13-yard field goal giving them the 3-0 lead.

The Green & White would get the ball back and Collaros would lead them on another impressive drive from their own 23-yard line to Calgary’s 35 before Lauther would add another three points, despite Stamps head coach Dave Dickinson being caught on the live mic trying to distract the young kicker, he would nail the kick this time from 43 yards out making it 6-0.

Saskatchewan would then score its the first TD before the end of the first quarter, but not with the offense on the field. Nick Marshall would intercept a pass from Bo Levi Mitchell and return it 67 yards for the score giving the Riders a 14-0 lead with the converted 2-point attempt.

Mitchell and the Stamps would get right back into the game just a little under halfway through the second quarter. Bo Levi Mitchell would throw a 45-yard strike to DaVaris Daniels, scoring the TD and cutting the lead down to 14-6 after a missed PAT.

The Rider defense would show its dominance stopping Calgary on a two-and-out and on the punt Samuel Eguavoen would come up with the block who then scooped the ball and returned it 30 yards for the score and the 21-6 lead.

Another big pass from Collaros would add to another three points as he would hit Shaq Evans for a 38-yard gain before Lauther kicked a 43-yarder to make it 24-6 which they would take into the half.

Heading into the second half, Saskatchewan’s defense would get the ball back after Charleston Hughes recorded yet another sack on Mitchell, this time forcing a fumble which was recovered by Zach Evans giving the Riders possession at the Calgary 30-yard line.

After a 22-yard pass from Collaros to Williams-Lambert, the Riders got creative, putting Nick Marshall in as a wildcat QB. Marshall, the former starting QB at Auburn took the snap and ran it 3 yards for the score increasing the lead to 31-6.

The Stamps would answer back on their next drive. Mitchell would hit three different receivers with 10+ yard passes before fitting one into tight coverage to Kamar Jorden for the 32-yard touchdown cutting the lead to 31-12 after a failed 2-point conversion.

Mitchell and the Stamps would make it even tighter on their next drive moving the ball from their own 35-yard line on a 6-play drive before Mitchell hit Juwan Brescacin on a 29-yard throw scoring the TD and a successful convert making it 31-20.

Jordan Williams-Lambert continued to be a force for the Riders on offense as Collaros hit the rookie receiver for a total of 63 yards on their next two drives leading to a pair of field goals and a 37-20 lead.

The Stamps would answer back with Mitchell leading them on a 10-play drive ending in a 17-yard touchdown pass to DaVaris Daniels. The Riders would add another field goal however and eventually force another fumble on backup QB Nick Arbuckle sealing their 40-27 victory.

This was by the far the most dominant performance by the Roughriders all year. They took on the best team in the league and completely shut them down from start to finish. The Stamps had a few flashes and may have looked like they would get something started but Saskatchewan was in control for the full 60 minutes.

Zach Collaros was very efficient going 25/34 for 270 yards and most importantly did not turn the ball over. He got help from a consistent running game with Tre Mason rushing for 55 yards and Marcus Thigpen for 43. A dominating performance from rookie receiver Jordan Williams-Lambert who had 10 catches for 152 yards, while making big-time catches was a huge contribution.

With Shaq Evans putting up 69 yards on 5 catches it was great to see them be able to rely on a receiver other than Naaman Roosevelt with the departure of Carter. Whether it be on defense which racked up sacks and touchdowns or special teams coming up huge or the offense piling up yards this Rider team found a way to dominate the best team in the league.

There isn’t a tonne that can be said about the performance of the Stampeders. They showed effort at times and made some plays to get into the end zone, but they were never really in this game. Bo Levi Mitchell did put up 275 yards through the air and 4 touchdowns as well as got 70 yards on the ground from running back Romar Morris, but the defense for Saskatchewan was too much.

Statistically, both these teams were nearly even but on tape was a different story. Turnovers killed Calgary with them giving the ball away 5 times. They turned it over with three fumbles one interception and a turnover on downs. Against a great defense like the Riders’ it doesn’t matter how high-powered your offense is, it will be difficult to win with that many turnovers.

Player of the Game: Rider D: Charleston Hughes/Nick Marshall. It was so hard picking a player of the game. Jordan Williams-Lambert went off but the defense for the Riders dominated with 5 sacks two from Hughes and two from Matt Elam. Nick Marshall had a massive pick-6 and contributed on offense with the wild-cat QB rush for the TD.

Previous CFL Content:

CFL Week 10 Recap

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