Our CFL season catch up has reached week 9 and we have had yet another fascinating slate of games to look back on.
CFL SEASON WEEK 9 GAMES
This week saw another full slate of games. Once again we were treated to some intriguing action. After this week we have clear leaders in both divisions once more.
A crossover from the West looks increasingly likely this year and Hamilton are in a very strong position in the East.
Calgary Stampeders 24 at Winnipeg Blue Bombers 26
It was all on the line for the outright lead in the Western Division in this one. Hard though it is to believe this is the first time since August 1982 that these two teams met with sole possession of first in the West at stake.
2019 is turning into the season of the kick returners. Newbie Janarion Grant got in on that for Winnipeg on his debut. Grant finished with 11 returns totaling 306 yards and 2 touchdowns. Not a bad breakthrough!
A lot has been made of Calgary finding a way to win, but this time it was the Bombers who found the catalyst for success.
Matt Nichols may or may not be a game manager, but he did enough on O alongside Andrew Harris to complement a D that had two interceptions and two sacks on the night.
The Stamps had their chances, but Grant was the real difference maker in this one.
Saskatchewan Roughriders 17 at Montreal Alouettes 10
The Riders came away with the win here, but Als fans may feel an asterisk should stand by the result. The game was called early, leaving the league to issue a statement on its weather protocol.
The incredible year for returners continued as Shakier Ryan took a punt back 101 yards for a Montreal touchdown.
Saskatchewan’s D was the real difference with two defensive touchdown returns. One of those TD’s was a fumble return from Charleston Hughes. Hughes’ CFL career speaks for itself as we noted last year, and he continues to build on it.
Vernon Adams Jr was injured for Montreal and the O missed a spark without him. Meanwhile Cody Fajardo did enough for the Riders. He went 15 of 21 passing for 166 yards and lead his team with 48 rushing yards on six carries.
After this result Saskatchewan go into their bye week on a four-game winning streak.
Ottawa REDBLACKS 12 at Edmonton Eskimos 16
Two teams with massively overhauled rosters from last year met and it was Edmonton that walked away with the win.
The Esks are now 5-3 in the ultra competitive West Division, and their coach thinks they have the best D in the league.
A good running game always helps support the D by keeping it fresh. C J Gable helped out the Esks on that score with 18 carries for 116 yards and 2 touchdowns.
This game was pretty evenly contested throughout and Ottawa were driving with under a minute to go but Edmonton and their D held on.
Edmonton had a 63 yard touchdown that might have broken things open called back on a holding call. It was one of those that you can see getting called both ways at times so fans of either team might have felt aggrieved had it affected the outcome.
At QB Trevor Harris went 33 of 40 for 323 yards but did not throw a touchdown pass. Harris has thrown for 300+ yards in 4 of his 8 starts this season for Edmonton.
BC Lions 34 at Hamilton Tiger-Cats 35
These two teams gave us a thriller to end the week as Hamilton stunned BC with a fantastic 4th quarter comeback.
The first half was a real back and forth affair. There were 4 lead changes before BC took a 21-19 halftime lead. A lead they extended in the second half to 34-19 in the 4th quarter.
We have talked about the amount of times BC have lost after leading this season on a few occasions already. So it perhaps wasn’t so surprising to see Hamilton come back at them here.
Talismanic receiver Brandon Banks was back from injury for the Ti-Cats and he delivered with 9 catches for 137 yards and 2 touchdowns.
BC had a solid game from their stars as John White ran 15 times for 124 yards and 2 touchdowns. Whilst Bryan Burnham had 7 catches for 149 yards and 2 touchdowns.
BC have had coverage problems all year and that was apparent again. For Hamilton Frankie Williams had 7 kick returns totaling 252 yards. They included an 108 yard kickoff return touchdown in the first half and a critical 57-yard punt return near the end that put Hamilton in a position to win.
Following week 9 of the CFL season the inter-Divisional standings are now tilted even further in favour of the West. The Western teams now lead the East by 12 games to 8 on the season.
Winnipeg stand alone atop the West at 6-2, but they have three 5-3 teams arrayed behind them vying for the lead.
In the East Hamilton are clear leaders at 6-2. Unlike Winnipeg however they have the luxury of a 3 game lead over their nearest rivals.
As it stands we would have a crossover team from the West in the playoffs again.
Week 10 of the CFL season should offer up greater clarity for who will finish where at the end of the season.
Edmonton and Winnipeg will look to remain competitive in the West and will go in as favourites against BC and Toronto respectively.
Hamilton travel to Ottawa looking to strengthen their hold on the East further, whilst both Montreal and Calgary will face off wanting to put this weeks losses behind them.
Banner image: Edmonton celebrate during a tense win. Image from cfl.ca