BASN’S ON THE 55-YARD LINE – CFL MID-SEASON REPORT

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Updated: September 3, 2016
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ON THE 55-YARD LINE: CFL MID-SEASON REPORT

By Michael – Louis Ingram, Editor – in – Chief

BASN

 

 

PHILADELPHIA (BASN) The Labour Day Weekend has been the traditional midpoint of the Canadian Football League season. Even with the staggered schedule which must be utilized due to its nine teams, most, if not all have played half of their 18 regular season games by this time and are prepping for the change of weather we will see in less than a month across the country.

 

Here’s the view as we see it, from East to West…

 

 

EASTERN CONFERENCE:

 

 

RESIZEDottawa red blacks

 

One immediate trend we see is that every one of the teams in the East has been more successful on the road; as the teams from the West seem to have made themselves very much home – at their homes. The Ottawa Redblacks have held serve and have not yet swooned from their pre-season perch, leading a very competitive East. Ottawa pivot Trevor Harris leads the East and the league in TD/INT (11/1) ratio and averages over 10 yards per reception in his seven starts. Chris Williams is on pace for a 2000 yard season with 991 on 65 receptions at the Labour Day pole…

 

 

CFL_Hamilton_Ticats

 

The Steel City Kitties let a couple get away from them in two shootouts versus B.C. and Calgary in recent weeks, putting them in a second place tie with their arch-rival Argos. The 53-7 whomping Hamilton put on the Green Riders has propelled them to what looks like the best balanced team in the East, at least for now; WR Andy Fantuz is continuing his solid play and leads all Canadian receivers with five major scores…

 

 

 

 

RESIZEDtoronto

 

 

The Toronto Argonauts have only one win at their new home thus far, but they have been perfect on the road. Brandon Whitaker has been the difference for them as he is among the league leaders in rushing, popping almost five yards a carry as a valuable chain mover for Ricky Ray and the Argo offense.

 

 

 

mont

 

Montreal’s Alouettes just lost their football version of Le Guerre Civil with Ottawa earlier this week, as veteran slotback Nik Lewis has been a pleasant surprise, leading the league with 67 catches. Linebacker Bear Woods leads the League in tackles at the season’s midpoint, and the 245 pound man from Troy is not playing like he needs any Charmin! Back on offence, QB Kevin Glenn has been struggling in terms of turnovers. While among the league leaders in passing yards, Glenn’s TD/INT ratio has hurt (13/11) costing Montreal on the scoreboard…

 

 

 

 

 

 

WESTERN CONFERENCE

 

 

RESIZEDcalgary

Calgary rides herd on the West with a perfect home record and a 6-1 record within the division. QB Bo Levi Mitchell has the team cooking, creating an efficient offensive machine with the help of tailback Jerome Messam’s five rushing majors on 542 yards. Mitchell is second in yards passing, TD/INT ratio (15/4) and Calgary has put the heat on opposing teams by forcing them to consistently play from behind. The Stamps’ key to this season, however, may be about its special teams as K Rene Paredes has made sure that Calgary’s offence walks off the field with points for their effort, topping the leader board with 32 field goals. The grudge match with the Edmonton Eskimos will highlight back-to-back affairs, with Calgary settin’ it off at home for Labour Day…

 

 

 

 

RESIZEDbclions

 

 

The Lions are sniffin’ close to Calgary as they have been Road Warriors with a 5-1 record while breaking even over their four home games. B.C.’s offense sometimes reminds me of the University of Florida when QB Chris Leak would drive down into the red zone, only to have QB Tim Tebow in for short yardage situations. Travis Lulay’s two rushing majors in the ‘tebow’ role helped power B.C. to a victory over Hamilton, but if the Lions are to be taken seriously, QB Jonathon Jennings needs to have a free hand in working his show. Lions have had defensive line standouts going back to Cameron Wake before  departing to Miami and the NFL, and Alex Bazzie’s nine sacks currently leads the league. Bazzie and linebackers Solomon Elimimian and Adam Bighill are the defensive core of the what could be a potential Grey Cup finalist in Vancouver…

 

 

 

 

RESIZEDwinnipeg

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers are currently tied with Edmonton for the last playoff spot, but ‘Bombers have the advantage  on head – to – head matchup. Halfback Andrew Harris has been doing the heavy lifting for the offence as QB Drew Willy has been scattershot from time to time. Born and raised in The ‘Peg, Harris leads the league in rushing with 575 yards, with four major scores thrown in for good measure.

Long time Saskatchewan Roughrider slotback Weston Dressler has tipped across the flatlands to Winnipeg and the Sunday Showdown with the ‘Riders will provide fireworks no matter what the standings say!

We mentioned in our first column how kicker Justin Medlock would pay dividends in the prairies and he hasn’t disappointed, second in the League with 27 field goals made and is a very capable directional punter when called on. Medlock’s toe may make a major difference when the fall grind is in full effect…

 

 

 

 

RESIZEDeskimos

 

Edmonton has always been the Pepe’ Le Pew of the CFL – every time another team takes off and seemingly runs away, they just take their merry little hop - and relentlessly pursue them until they wear out. Fitting that their archest of rivals will be looking to off them, with the Esks once again having Calgary right where they want them!

QB Mike Reilly leads the league in yards passing with 3,056 7ards and 16 touchdowns; wideouts Derel Walker and Adarius Bowman are making a case for being the best pair of receivers in the CFL, and Edmonton is the one team in the League where pedigree-wise, they rarely beat themselves…

 

 

 

 

RESIZEDsasach

Things are shaping up sadly for another struggling season for the Green Riders. Darian Durant, who did give them a fighter’s chance every time he stepped under center, may be done in what has been a distinguished career. Naanan Roosevelt has done his part on offense, but this team could use several shots of “WD-40.” Unfortunately, for Saskatchewan, Dressler will be in the wrong colors; but this could spark some ‘Git Back in the Prairies as the Green Riders cue the comeback…

 

 

 

The weekend concludes with two rivalry games on Labour Day as Edmonton and Calgary square off out West and hostilities renew in the East with Hamilton (who spanked them at their place to open the season) hosting Toronto.

 

Enjoy the games – and if you’ve never checked out CFL ball before, you are in for a treat! Have a great weekend!

 

always outnumbered…never outgunned.

 

michaelingram@blackathlete.com

 

Copyright (C) 2016 Michael – Louis Ingram all rights reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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