The Canadian Press
Hello, Andrew Harris. Not sure quite what to say after that impressive, historic performance, so I think I’ll just quote Ottawa REDBLACKS receiver Nate Behar, who tweeted: “10,000 yards, 0 chinstraps tightened. A true legend.”
» Steinberg’s MMQB: The Hall of Fame can wait
» Andrew Harris surpasses 10,000 career rushing yards
» Harris proud of Argos’ effort in win over Riders
Indeed. Little known fact: Harris’ helmet was the second-leading rusher in Sunday night’s game, with 31 yards all on its own.
Here are the Week 7 takeaways.
MAYBE DON’T TRY A 61-YARD FIELD GOAL WITH MARIO ALFORD BACK THERE
Huh. I think the headline of this takeaway pretty well says it all. No need to add anything else.
So… I guess that’s it.
Okay, then. Good talk.
HE DOESN’T ALWAYS HAVE TO BE SUPERMAN
The BC Lions have a top-notch offence, led by quarterback Nathan Rourke, and everybody knows it. But a guy can’t always emerge from the fray with his hands on his hips, cape flowing majestically behind him in the summer breeze.
Most have noted the Lions have a pretty decent defence as well but for those who were wondering about that, their win over the Hamilton Ticats showed it to be true.
On its first two possessions, BC turned the ball over each time. And each time, the defence held the Ticats to a two-and-out, setting the tone for the rest of the night. To bookend that, the Lions’ defence came up with two turnovers on downs and an interception in the last three minutes of the game.
Sure, they gave up chunks of yardage on the night but you can do that if you make timely denials and takeaways (hello, Winnipeg) and that’s what the Lions’ defence did.
“It’s a good win,” said BC head coach Rick Campbell, looking very pleased by the way his team hard-scrabbled its way to a 17-12 victory.
“If we can win different styles of games whether it’s high-scoring, low-scoring, that’s a good sign.”
Sometimes kitty likes to scratch.
IT’S STILL A VALID TAKEAWAY EVEN IF THAT LAST THING HAPPENED
Part way through the Ottawa/Montreal game I scribbled a headline for a takeaway that read “Throw It To Darvin.”
I’d been thinking, over the last couple weeks, that the REDBLACKS needed to get the ball to receiver Darvin Adams more. But when he dropped an easy ball in the end zone with 42 seconds to go – a touchdown that would have put the REDBLACKS within a convert of tying the game – I shrugged and crossed it out, feeling that a good takeaway had to be scuttled.
But the more I thought about it, the more I realized it remains a valid takeaway from that game, as the Ottawa offence came to life against Montreal, stacking up 344 passing yards, with quarterback Caleb Evans finding Adams on nine connections for 118 yards and a touchdown. Adams caught four second down conversion balls as the evening unfolded.
And we all know that dropped TD pass is an outlier when it comes to Darvin Adams. Like, an extreme outlier. It’s the Pluto of Canadian Football League outliers. Who didn’t watch that and then exclaim “THAT was Darvin Adams?”
Feed Darvin. Good things happen. Almost always.
THE ELKS CAN HANG WITH ANYBODY NOW
So the Edmonton Elks lost to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. So what? So has everybody else who’s played them so far.
The Elks come out of that game with lots of positives to build on, even if head coach Chris Jones was reluctant to lean on those things in the immediate aftermath. “Unfortunately for us, discipline and intelligence is not something that we’re strong at right now,” said Jones in his post-game scrum. “We will get better.”
The Elks stayed right with the champs halfway into the fourth quarter, until a contacting the kicker penalty gave the Bombers a fresh set of downs and allowed them to continue a march that put them up by two touchdowns.
“It wasn’t just that punt,” said Jones with a tortured smile. He cited a bunch of things like quarterback protection, dropped footballs and, yes, discipline and intelligence as mitigating factors. The good news is that those issues don’t seem to be of gigantic proportions, and that means the Elks continue to trend in the right direction.
They’re a far cry from the team that lost by 45 to BC in Week 1.
TIME OF POSSESSION SHMIME OF POSSESSION
At halftime, the Blue Bombers had held the ball for a grand total of 9 minutes and 20 seconds, with Edmonton possessing it for 20 minutes and 40 seconds. Quarterback Zach Collaros had completed only four passes and he’d thrown an interception. Winnipeg had three two-and-outs in their seven first half possessions.
Yet they led by a score of 17-6. How?
The Bombers had a one-play touchdown ‘drive’ (26 yards following a turnover), and a two-play touchdown ‘drive’ (a run for a loss followed by an 81-yard touchdown pass).
Time is meaningless. Or it’s a flat circle, I forget which. Maybe it’s both.
“We did enough to win,” said Winnipeg head coach Mike O’Shea. That reminds me of an answer Scott Milanovich once gave, years ago, during a conversation about turnovers and time of possession and other big in-game factors. Asked which he thought were the most telling statistics in a game he replied: “I’ve always kind of thought score was important.”
BONUS TAKEAWAY: The Toronto Argonauts had just shy of 300 yards in offence at halftime and Saskatchewan had 70. Yet the Roughriders led, 15-11. So I say: Yardage shmardage.
AND FINALLY… Reggie White Jr. is quickly becoming a thing.