In the opening fixture of the weekend we saw an upset and a performance that evoked memories of an all-time great CFL running back.
Week 4 Games
We saw 2 teams pick up their first win of the season and only one remain unbeaten in wee 4. So let’s get right to it.
Hamilton Tiger-Cats 29 at Montreal Alouettes 36
That thinking reckoned without the performance from running back William Stanback. He keyed this impressive victory in Montreal’s home opener at Percival Molson Stadium.
Stanback had an incredible game against the tabbies D rushing 22 times for 203 yards and 3 touchdowns. He notched up a further 46 yards receiving on a catch and run for good measure.
Riding Stanback’s great game the Alouettes led 36-18 with 9:40 left in the fourth quarter. Despite a spirited response that was too much for Hamilton who suffered their first loss of the campaign.
Winnipeg Blue Bombers 29 at Ottawa REDBLACKS 14
Following on from Hamilton’s defeat the night before this contest pitted the only undefeated teams left in the league head to head. Winnipeg at 3-0 now stand alone.
Winnipeg fans will be glad he looks good to go this week. They would have been hoping to avoid a repeat of last year’s absence for Nichols.
Nichols went 16-of-20 for 262 yards and a touchdown before leaving the game. Streveler coming in and deputising emphasised the strength in depth of this squad.
The Winnipeg D was dominant holding the REDBLACKS to just 14 first downs and 236 net yards. They also added 2 interceptions and 2 sacks.
Lewis Ward made both of his field goal attempts for Ottawa. Meaning he continued to extend his pro football record for consecutive regular season field goals.
Including a career-high 53-yarder in this game he has now hit on 59 consecutive file goals in the CFL regular season.
BC Lions 18 at Toronto Argonauts 17
The Lions picked up their first win by the slenderest of margins and left the Argos as the only winless team left in the league.
For NFL fans the end may have been confusing as the Lions won on a missed field goal.
However, the Rouge, or single point for a non returned kick out of the back of the end zone is one of the joys of the CFL game rules.
We have explained the rules before for the benefit of UK fans brought up on the NFL. Including the Rouge in the kicking game.
If you love special teams play, as I do, then this adds an extra dimension to the game.
If the Argos hadn’t kicked the ball out of bounds and given the Lions great field position the kick may never have happened. If Sergio Castillo had missed the kick, but Chris Rainey had caught it and kept his foot in bounds we could have had overtime.
This isn’t about rewarding a miss. It is about punishing the Argos for handling their special teams poorly.
Calgary Stampeders 37 at Saskatchewan Roughriders 10
Arbuckle, the 25-year-old Stamps QB had the better day. He led his to team to the win as he completed 19 of 22 passes for 262 yards and two touchdowns.
Fajardo meanwhile was bottled up by a strong Calgary D and could only go 9 of 15 for 89 yards and 2 interceptions. Both picks went to Tre Roberson, who already has 5 interceptions on the season.
Roberson turned one of those interceptions into a pick six. Alongside that the other big play of the game saw Arbuckle hit Reggie Begelton in-stride for a 76-yard catch-and-run touchdown.
As the game was gone the Riders put rookie Isaac Harker into the game. He finished 9 of 13 for 72 yards and the Stamps picked up their third interception from him.
Following week 4 a more familiar feel has emerged as the West Division now leads the inter-Division standings by 4 games to 3.
Just 4 games into the season and only one unbeaten team remains. The Winnipeg Blue Bombers are the current class of the CFL at 3-0.
At the other end of the spectrum only one winless team remains. The 0-3 Argonauts can take solace that they have improved week on week if only incrementally.
An 18 week season is a long one and a lot can still happen. It will no doubt be fascinating to see how it all unfolds.
Week 5 offers another full slate of games with this time Saskatchewan sitting out the action.
The Week will start off with Reilly Bowl II as the Lions host Edmonton on Thursday night. Then, it will be winless versus unbeaten as the 0-3 Argos travel to 3-0 Winnipeg.
Montreal will look to gather momentum at Ottawa. However the REDBLACKS will be looking to bounce back and re-assert themselves in the East.
Finally Hamilton will want to get back on track. To do that they will have to reignite their free flowing O against a tough Calgary D.
Banner image from cfl.ca