July 26, 2023

CFL.ca Game Notes: A look at Week 8

Jeff Vinnick/BCLions.com

TORONTO — Week 8 will feature a slew of interesting matchups, including a rematch of last year’s Touchdown Atlantic between the Toronto Argonauts and Saskatchewan Roughriders in Halifax on Saturday.

Before the action heads out to Nova Scotia, two East Division teams square up on Friday as the Hamilton Tiger-Cats travel to Ottawa to face a red-hot REDBLACKS. The Dustin-Crum led squad is coming off two straight wins to move to .500 on the season. The team as a whole has come to life after the young pivot took over, scoring 74 points in two weeks in wins over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Calgary Stampeders. Hamilton will feature the return of veteran Bo Levi Mitchell who has been activated from the six-game injured list and will start on Friday for the first time since suffering an injury in Week 2.

The weekend kicks off with this year’s Touchdown Atlantic from Huskie Stadium in Halifax as the Argos and Riders recreate the action from last year’s matchup when Toronto won 30-24 on a Wynton McManis pick six in the fourth quarter. Quarterback Chad Kelly leads the league in passing yards with 1,408 for an Argonauts team that holds a 5-0 record for the first team since 1960. The other sideline will have pivot Mason Fine and the 3-3 Roughriders coming off two consecutive hard-fought losses. Saturday’s game will be the sixth installment of Touchdown Atlantic and the first-ever regular season game played in Halifax.

Later on Saturday the BC Lions travel to Edmonton to take on an Elks team still looking for their first win of the season. The two faced off in Week 2 in Vancouver as the Lions came away with a 22-0 victory. BC’s defence has allowed only 94 points over six games so far in 2022, best mark across the league. The offence will be without quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. who suffered a knee injury in Week 7. The team announced on Tuesday that veteran pivot Dane Evans will be the starter on Saturday.

Sunday features the last matchup of the week with the Montreal Alouettes returning to action after a bye to host the Calgary Stampeders at Percival Molson Memorial Stadium. The Stamps will have a familiar face returning to their sidelines after trading with the Ticats for defensive lineman Ja’Gared Davis. The Als also made a move ahead of Week 8 after signing former CFL All-Star linebacker Shawn Lemon on Monday.

Buy Week 8 Tickets
» Friday, 7:30 p.m. ET: Hamilton at Ottawa
» Saturday, 4:00 p.m. ET: Touchdown Atlantic – Saskatchewan vs Toronto
» Saturday, 7:00 p.m. ET: BC at Edmonton
» Sunday, 7:00 p.m. ET: Calgary at Montreal


  • Third overtime game this season, matching the total in 2022
  • 117th overtime game in league history (OT began in 1986)
  • Second most lead changes in league history (eight; record of 10)
  • Most total points this season (84) ​
  • Most total yards in a game this season (872)
  • 14 scoring drives
  • 707 total passing yards
  • Six big plays on offence
  • Ottawa became the first team in CFL history to win consecutive weeks in overtime.


  • Saturday’s game will be the sixth installment of Touchdown Atlantic and the first-ever regular season game played in Halifax.
  • History of regular season TDA games:
    • September 26, 2010 | EDM 24 – TOR 6
    • September 25, 2011 | CGY 36 – HAM 55
    • September 21, 2013 | MTL 26 – HAM 28
    • August 25, 2019 | MTL 28 – TOR 22
    • July 16, 2022 | TOR 30 – SSK 24
  • The first five TDAs averaged 56 points.


  • SSK | Offensive Coordinator | Kelly Jeffrey
    • Former Mount Allison head coach
    • 3x AUS Coach of the Year
    • USPORTS Coach of the Year in 2014
  • SSK | K | Brett Lauther
    • Born in Truro, N.S.
    • Played at Saint Mary’s
  • TOR | OL | Gregor Mackellar
    • Born in Timberlea, N.S.
    • Played at St. FX
  • TOR | LB | Henoc Muamba
    • Played at St. FX


  • The Toronto Argonauts have started 5-0 for the first time since 1960.
  • Comparing the two Argos teams through five games:
    ​(Category: 2023 | 1960)

    • Scoring: 37.2 | 26.8
    • Points against: 22.2 | 16.4
    • Average margin of victory: 15 | 10
    • Passing leaders: Chad Kelly (1,408 yards and 7 TDs) | Tobin Rote (1,846 and 15)
    • Rushing Duo: AJ Ouellette/Andrew Harris (488 yards and 5 TDs) | Dick Shatto/Cookie Gilchrist (462 and 2)


  • Shawn Lemon has signed with the Alouettes for his 12th season in the league.
  • He is looking to provide a boost to a Montreal squad that has registered a league-low seven sacks this season.
  • The Charleston native is the active leader in sacks with 92 in 135 career games.
  • Lemon has four seasons with double-digit sacks, including 14 last season with Calgary.
  • He is 15th on the all-time sacks list, needing four to surpass Hall of Famer Mike Walker for 14th.
  • With eight more sacks, he will become the 13th CFL player to reach 100 career sacks.


  • 10 of the past 12 games have been decided in the final three minutes.
  • Home teams are 13-14 this season. The East is 6-4 in interdivisional play.
  • Hamilton has won its previous eight games against Ottawa. They haven’t lost in the nation’s capital since October 2018.
  • Hamilton’s Carthell Flowers-Lloyd leads the league with 12 special teams tackles. Tanner Cadwallader (Winnipeg), Darius Williams (Calgary) and AJ Allen (Saskatchewan) sit second with 9.
  • Ottawa’s Brandin Dandridge has three return touchdowns this season (two interceptions, one punt return).
  • Saskatchewan’s Shawn Bane Jr. caught all 10 of his targets last week, matching the league-wide season high.
  • The Argonauts last started 6-0 in 1935 in a nine-game season, before finishing 6-3.
  • Andrew Harris (10,246) needs 39 rushing yards to match Charles Roberts (10,285) and enter the Top-5 all-time.
  • BC has allowed one touchdown in their opponents’ 32 possessions over the last two games, and a total of five this season.
  • Mathieu Betts has 10 sacks this season, including at least one in each of BC’s six games. In 2005, Brent Johnson had six through six games and added one in his seventh contest, before going on to set a Canadian record with 17.
  • Canadian Bo Lokombo recorded eight defensive tackles last week for his fifth game this season with 7 or more.
  • Last week, Edmonton’s Dillon Mitchell registered 115 yards on four receptions. His 80-yard touchdown gave the Elks a league-leading three 80+ yard TD plays this season:
  • The last five games between Calgary and Montreal have all been decided in the final three minutes, while averaging a margin of victory of five points. Calgary has three wins in that stretch.
  • The Stampeders are 4-1 against Cody Fajardo as a starter; Jake Maier is 1-0 versus the Alouettes.
  • Last week, Maier set a career-high with 450 passing yards.
  • Last week, René Paredes (2,001) became the 10th player in league history to record 2,000 career points. Terry Baker is ninth with 2,125.
  • Paredes will be playing in his 200th career game.
  • The Alouettes are coming off a bye. Teams this year are 7-1 following a week’s rest
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