Hello, Ottawa REDBLACKS.
Well… you know…. Nope. I got nothin’.
Here are the Week 15 takeaways.
» Win over Bombers part of the journey of Ticats’ season
» Lions never stop believing in comeback win
» Play CFL Pick ‘Em presented by Old Dutch
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TWICE ON SUNDAY? HOW ABOUT TWICE ON SATURDAY NIGHT?
Terry Williams had just put the finishing celebratory touches on his 120-yard missed field goal touchdown return, the vapour trail of his excursion still hanging low and thick in the air at BC Place.
The camera caught him on the sideline. He greeted us in our living rooms and then reminded us that we ought to bet on him and we ought to do that “twice on Sundays.”
Then he went out and moved the timeline up.
His touchdown run was the bolt the BC Lions desperately needed in order to have some kind of a shot at a miracle finish against the Ottawa REDBLACKS. Moments later, Williams provided his team with another jolt.
The clock read 1:27 remaining when he scored his missed FG touchdown. It read 49 seconds when Williams spied an Ottawa punt coming down to him at the Lions’ 32-yard line. Surely he was low on octane at that point.
But for Terry Williams, fumes are enough. He took that punt back 24 yards (for one brief, ‘no-he-cannot’ moment it appeared he might break it for another major) to set the Lions up on the Ottawa 54-yard line, with 39 seconds remaining.
“Talk about a trade that was well worth it,” said Lions’ head coach Rick Campbell afterward, referring to last season’s deal that brought Williams over from…um… Ottawa.
Bet on Terry Williams. Not just on Sundays. And probably more than twice.
BONUS TAKEAWAY: Up ten points with two minutes to go and facing third down on your opponents’ 42? Do not try that long field goal. Punt and pin, my friends. Punt and pin.
ARGOS: IS THIS YOUR CARD? ALOUETTES: YES, YES IT IS. HEY, WHERE’S MY WALLET?
How in the world did the Toronto Argonauts come up with that win?
Big plays at the right time. Pressure leading to an interception, leading to a go-ahead field goal. A lunging beauty of a catch on a bomb. A blocked field goal. All in the last two minutes. The only things missing were some smoke bombs and glitter on their uniforms.
Now for their next trick, head coach Ryan Dinwiddie has to figure out how to manage something very few coaches have been challenged with; keep his team sharp even though they won’t play a “meaningful” game for almost two months. (Bonus mid-takeaway takeaway: I do believe general manager Michael Clemons will do his best to impress upon his charges that every game is meaningful, but particularly the team’s 150th anniversary game on October 6th).
BONUS TAKEAWAY: BC Lions: Is this your card? Ottawa REDBLACKS: Yes, yes it is. Hey, where’s my wallet? And my car? Wasn’t my house right here a minute ago?
BONUS BONUS TAKEAWAY: For the Alouettes, that step up still eludes them. Swept in three games by the Argos, two of those losses were, at least, close ones. “We can play with these guys,” said quarterback Cody Fajardo, on Friday night. “The challenge now is can we beat these guys?” Actually, first, they have to meet the challenge of getting to play the Argos again on November 11th.
And the team in the next takeaway has a li’l somethin’ to say about that.
CALL OFF THE SEARCH PARTY. WE’VE LOCATED THE HAMILTON TICATS
Week 15 and the Hamilton Ticats we thought we had all along have finally emerged.
They had some things to work out and they kept on trying to work them out, even as the howls for immediate change were gusting more ferociously than game day winds at the Tim.
After a short week win in Ottawa and a momentum-grabbing victory over the Blue Bombers at home, it appears the Hamilton Ticats have done some decent sorting out.
Most notably, but not exclusively, the Ticats have eased quarterback Taylor Powell into a spot where you have to wonder if he doesn’t remain QB1 even when Bo Levi Mitchell returns to the line-up. So long as he
keeps things up like he did on Saturday versus Winnipeg.
With three wins in four games, Hamilton has moved from ‘yikes, how do they hang on to a playoff spot’ to ‘how about a home playoff game?’ They’ve beaten both Winnipeg and BC in those four games, and next up is the opportunity to show they can beat the Argos too, having lost three to the Boatmen so far this season.
So, yes, call off the search party, we’ve found the Ticats. Or, rather, they’ve found themselves.
BONUS TAKEAWAY: Kats can fly. Is there a hotter defensive player in the CFL right now than Ticat safety Stavros Katsantonis? “The deposits have been paying out,” Katsantonis said of his hard work.
BONUS BONUS TAKEAWAY: Don’t look now but Ja’Gared Davis got back in the Hamilton line-up on Saturday, just in time for his usual autumn ascent. It’d be quite the story if he becomes an important factor down the stretch, after the Cats traded him to Calgary last July, only to have the trade nullified when Davis failed a physical.
TIME FOR SOME SOUL-SEARCHING, GENTLEMEN
After the Week 15 results, at least two teams I can think of are in need of a little self-reflection, and in great need of a statement in Week 16. Wait a minute. Four, actually.
And the delicious drama of that? Only two can get what they really want and crave. Ottawa, Saskatchewan, and Montreal are each coming off bitter losses in Week 15 and Calgary is coming off a bye after their own disappointment in Week 14. All four want immediate results in order to feel good about themselves going forward. Momentum? I can hear the final boarding call for the ‘big mo’ over the speakers right now. Like Don Henley said, though – actually, he sang it – things can change in a New
But Ottawa hosts Saskatchewan this week and Montreal visits Calgary, so somebody’s getting relief from their misery, while somebody’s just getting more of the same.
“I don’t know yet,” said Roughriders head coach Craig Dickenson, asked to size up the character of his team after a second straight loss, this one to the surging Edmonton Elks. “We’ll find out.” Then he went all Sean Connery in The Untouchables when he posed the philosophical question “What are you willing to do?”
It’s a question for each of these struggling teams. Two of them get out from under the dark clouds over top, presently. The other two?
Somebody’s going to emergency. Somebody’s going to jail.
THE JOKE IS NO LONGER ON THEM
It’s official. The Edmonton Elks have gone from punchline to just plain ol’ punch.
Punch, punch and punch again.
After an oh and nine start, they are winners of four of their last five and what’s more, they are entertaining. “This team is exciting to watch,” said TSN’s Milt Stegall and who woulda guessed he or anyone else would be saying that about the Elks after they got shut out for a second time by the BC Lions in Week 8?
Watching Tre Ford do his thing, again, on Friday night, I was once again dumbfounded by some of the moves he is capable of making. By the escapes. And once again, dumbfounded by his flat out speed. I’m waiting for the game in which he actually goes airborne and flies for the final 20 yards of a touchdown run.
The Edmonton Elks have started to punch back, and although they got themselves pretty well tangled in the ropes with an oh-and 9 start, they are landing some haymakers. Can they climb fully back into the ring?
BONUS TAKEAWAY: I don’t think it’s going to stick as a nickname but I get it. “He’s like a little squirrel,” said Elks’ running back Kevin Brown about Ford. “It’s a compliment. He’s fast, shifty, it’s hard to catch him.”
AND FINALLY… You want a missed convert to be even more exciting? Reward the returning team with a touchdown instead of two points if they lug it all the way back.