October 18, 2023

CFL.ca Game Notes: Betts looking to set new record

Steven Chang/BCLions.com

TORONTO — There are three games on schedule in Week 20 and all of them have playoff implications.

On Friday the Calgary Stampeders continue their race for third place in the West Division as they face the BC Lions in Vancouver. The home team is still alive in the race for first and features defensive lineman Mathieu Betts looking to set a new record by most sacks in a single season for a National if he secures another takedown to hit the 18 mark in 2023. A win by the Stampeders coupled with a loss by the Saskatchewan Roughriders the next day would clinch a spot in the Western Semi-Final for Calgary against the very same Lions, who would then be locked in second place.

If the Stampeders lose to BC, it opens the door for the Roughriders on Saturday to secure their place in the post-season with a win against a Toronto Argonauts team already locked in first place in the East Division. The Riders will either enter the matchup in a win-and-in scenario (if the Stamps lose on Friday) or a lose-and-out (if the Stamps win). Saskatchewan hasn’t won since September 3 when they took down the Blue Bombers on Labour Day Weekend while the Argos are currently on a two-game winning streak and are looking to tie their best regular season record of 15 wins set in 1996 and 1997.

The final matchup of the week features Winnipeg looking to clinch a Western Final appearance for the third straight year. The Bombers only need to win one of their final two matchups to secure first place in the West and will rely on Nic Demski and Brady Oliveira – who are looking to become the first National duo to combine for 1,000 yards receiving and 1,000 yards rushing on the same team in the same season – to lead the way. The Elks have been competitive in the second half of the season and play their final regular season game as the Tre-Ford led side looks to end the season on a high note. Who will take home the win?

Buy Week 20 Tickets
» Friday, 10:00 p.m ET: Calgary at BC
» Saturday, 4:00 p.m. ET: Toronto at Saskatchewan
» Saturday, 7:00 p.m. ET: Edmonton at Winnipeg


  • Mathieu Betts is one sack away from setting the all-time sack record by a National. He is currently tied with Brent Johnson (2005) and Jamal Westerman (2015) with 17.
  • Betts began the year with a six-game sack streak and he is currently on a four-game stretch. He has recorded one sack on eight occasions, two in three games, and three in Week 3. His sacks have totaled 120 yards lost.
  • Entering Week 20, the Laval product holds a five-sack edge over Bryce Carter, Jake Ceresna and AC Leonard.
  • On Friday night, the Lions take on the Stampeders; in their two previous matchups this season, Betts has one sack.
  • As a Lion, Betts has 24 sacks in 35 games.


  • Nic Demski needs 21 yards to record his first 1,000-yard campaign and teammate Brady Oliviera has 1,426 rushing yards on the season.
  • If Demski can reach the 1,000-yard mark, they will become the first National duo to record 1,000 receiving yards and rushing yards in the same season on the same team.
  • Oliveira is on pace for 1,604 rushing yards, which would be the second most by a National running back in CFL History behind only Jon Cornish’s 1,813 in 2013.
  • Oliveira has already set career highs in catches (37) and receiving yards (465).
  • Oliveira is on pace for 2,128 yards from scrimmage – no player has passed the 2,000-yard milestone since Cornish’s 344-receiving yard and 1,813-rushing yard performance in 2013. The mark has been reached 20 times by 14 players in league history with Charles Roberts, Willard Reaves and Robert Mimbs being the only Bombers to do so.


  • Toronto recorded a season-high nine sacks last week versus Ottawa, tying a franchise record set in 1984. In their past two games, the Argos have 14. ​
  • With two games remaining, the Argos are one sack from tying the team record of 64 set in 1987.
  • The Argonauts have nine players with 4+ sacks:
  • Toronto currently owns a +48 sack ratio (63 for and 15 allowed). Since sacks were first recorded in 1980, the best year-end ratio belongs to the 1988 Tiger-Cats at +47 (80 for and 33 allowed).
  • The Argos average 3.9 sacks per game; the league average is 2.6.
  • The team has recorded four or more sacks in eight games this season. ​


  • 2021 averaged 43.1 points over 63 games. The CFL conducted an extensive product review prior to the 2022 season, which resulted in an average of 50.4 points across 81 contests last year. This season has seen an average of 50.5 in 75 games.
  • Each Week 20 game carries playoff implications.
  • There have been 50 sacks (6.3 per game) over the past two weeks.
  • Field goal kickers in Week 19 made 25-of-26 attempts.
  • Four receivers are eying their first 1,000-yard seasons:
  • Calgary’s Rene Paredes (2,111) is 14 points shy of Terry Baker (2,125) for ninth on the all-time scoring list.
  • In Week 10, BC defeated Calgary at home to snap the Stampeders’ seven-game winning streak at BC Place.
  • BC’s Ben Hladik needs five defensive tackles for his first 100-tackle season. He would become the 4th Canadian to reach the mark following Alex Singleton in 2017-18, Henoc Muamba in 2013 and Kevin Eiben in 2004-05 and 2010.
  • Toronto owns a three-game winning streak versus Saskatchewan, including this year’s Touchdown Atlantic in Halifax.
  • Adarius Pickett needs six defensive tackles for 100 on the season.
  • Last week, Saskatchewan’s Larry Dean recorded his 100th tackle of 2023, reaching triple digits for a second straight year and the third time in his career.
  • Winnipeg has won nine straight against Edmonton, dating back to November 3, 2018. In Week 10, the Elks held a 22-point advantage before Winnipeg staged its second-largest comeback in team history to win 38-29.
  • Adam Bighill (889) is 11 tackles away from 900 in his career.
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