The Canadian Press
TORONTO — As the CFL regular season winds down, the storylines continue to swirl. With only three weeks remaining in the season the battle for playoff seeding in the East Division continues sort itself, with wins from both the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and the Ottawa REDBLACKS in Week 18.
In the West, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers earned a win, clinching the top seed in the division and homefield advantage in the Western Final. While the Saskatchewan Roughriders will have a bye week to regroup as they continue to claw for a playoff spot through the crossover. There is plenty to keep track of this week, CFL.ca is back with Checking Down to help fans track down the storylines of the week.
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|BC | Calgary | Edmonton | Saskatchewan | Winnipeg | Hamilton | Toronto | Ottawa | Montreal|
– In a post-practice media session this week, Lions head coach Rick Campbell said that he felt penalties were the deciding factor in their loss to the Toronto Argonauts, and is something they will look to improve upon in Week 19 (BCLions.com).
– Saturday is fan appreciation night as the Lions battle the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in West Division matchup. Longtime BC defensive back Ryan Phillips shares his favourite memories of playing at BC Place (BCLions.com).
– The Calgary Stampeders had a bye over the Thanksgiving weekend and will host the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in a Week 19 clash. Head coach Dave Dickenson told media that he felt his team was growing approaching the bye and hopes to continue building upon that momentum (Stampeders.com).
– Earlier this season a group of Stampeders players went out and spent a day at a firehall. Receiver Shawn Bane Jr. and defensive back Nick Statz shared their experiences and newly gained perspective (Stampeders.com).
– Calgary punter Cody Grace and kicker Rene Paredes have spent a lot of time as roommates for road games this season. Stamepeders.com put them to the test to see how well the two teammates really know each other (Stampeders.com).
– The Edmonton Elks will welcome the Toronto Argonauts to Commonwealth Stadium for Week 19. Fans with tickets to the game will also receive admission to Saturday afternoon’s USPORTS action in the Battle of Alberta between the University of Calgary Dinos and the University of Alberta Golden Bears taking place at Commonwealth. (GoElks.com).
– Elks return specialist Christian Saulsberry electrified audiences with 200 combined yards in the return game over the Thanksgiving weekend. The performance from Saulsberry helped to etch his name into the Green and Gold history books (GoElks.com).
– Following their Week 18 loss to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, Saskatchewan Roughriders head coach Craig Dickenson told media the team’s plan is to use the Week 19 bye to get better, knowing they need to win two games against Calgary (Riderville.com).
– Riders centre Dan Clark made his return to the lineup against Hamilton in Week 18, after being sidelined for the last 15 weeks of the season with and injury. Clark spoke to media about his return and the emotions he felt leading up to the game (Riderville.com).
– The Roughriders have announced that the voting and nomination process for this season’s 13th Fan Award is officially open. The awards is aimed to celebrate the biggest rider fan (Riderville.com).
WINNIPEG BLUE BOMBERS
– The Winnipeg Blue Bombers claimed a decisive 48-11 win over the Elks in Week 18. The win for the Bombers helped them to secure home field advantage as the Western Final will be played at IG Field on November 13 (BlueBombers.com).
– In his team’s win over the Thanksgiving weekend, receiver Dalton Schoen continued his breakout season, setting a new career-high with 162 receiving yards and three touchdown grabs. The performance also earned him honours as a CFL Top Performer for Week 19 (CFL.ca).
– Following the performance, Schoen was asked about leading the league in receiving yards, however the rookie playmaker gave all the credit to the Bombers coaching staff (BlueBombers.com).
– Ahead of the team’s Week 19 battle in Calgary, Hamilton head coach Orlondo Steinauer spoke to team media about the importance of their offensive line and they progress they have been making (Ticats.ca).
– Hamilton running back Wes Hills carried the ball 25 times for 132 rushing yards and helped his team control the ground in their 18-14 win over the Riders. For his efforts Hills, along side Hamilton’s Malik Carney were named two of the three CFL Top Performers for Week 19 (CFL.ca).
– Following the breakout performance from Hills, CFL.ca’s Brandon C. Williams explains why the Ticats back is a must-start option for CFL fantasy users this week (CFL.ca).
– In the latest edition of the CFL.ca Playoff scenarios the Toronto Argonauts can clinch the top seed in the East Division win a win over the Edmonton Elks, combined with a loss from the Montreal Alouettes (CFL.ca).
– Kurleigh Gittens Jr. has been one of the top targets in the Toronto passing attack this season, leading his team with 920 receiving yards. The Canadian receiver has earned high praise from his quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson for his play this season (Argonauts.ca).
– Receiver Tommy Nield caught the 37-yard game-winning touchdown in his team’s 23-20 win over the BC Lions. The young Boatmen pass-catcher spoke with team media following the win and described the game-winning play (Argoanuts.ca).
– In their 24-18 win over the Montreal Alouettes on Thanksgiving Monday, the Ottawa REDBLACKS earned their first win with Bob Dyce serving as the interim head coach, while also evading elimination from playoff contention (CFL.ca).
– REDBLACKS general manager Shawn Burke spoke to team media about the decision to name Dyce the interim head coach, explaining that Dyce demonstrated outstanding leadership qualities (OttawaREDBLACKS.com).
– A pair of Ottawa teammates recorded a career milestone in the Week 18 contest against the Alouettes. Defensive lineman Nigel Romick and punter Richie Leone each registered their 100th career game in the win, and spoke to REDBLACKS media about what the milestone meant to them (OttawaREDBLACKS.com).
– Ahead of his return to the field in Montreal’s Thanksgiving Monday game against the REDBLACKS, MontrealAlouettes.com talked one-on-one with William Stanback about his recover process and feelings ahead of the game (MontrealAlouettes.com).
– Following the loss to the REDBLACKS, quarterback Trevor Harris spoke to team media, placing importance on finishing drives and scoring touchdowns (MontrealAlouettes.com).