Week four of the CFL season is in the books. Six teams took the field this weekend after Thursday night’s Elks-Argonauts game was postponed. The undefeated Saskatchewan Roughriders had the week off as they enjoyed their first bye of the season.
Edmonton at Toronto
The Edmonton Elks and Toronto Argonauts were scheduled to kickoff from Toronto on Thursday night, but after a number of Elks players tested positive for COVID-19, the game was postponed. Details from the CFL on if and when the make-up game will take place remain up in the air.
Hamilton at Montreal
The Montreal Alouettes hosted their first home game of the new CFL season on Friday night, but it was spoiled by a hungry Hamilton Tiger-Cats team in search of their first win. The Ticats played a clean game, committing zero turnovers, and finishing drives with touchdowns. Dane Evans got the start at quarterback for Hamilton, and passed for 183 yards, 2 touchdowns and no interceptions on a 68% completion rate. Steven Dunbar was his top target, pulling in 6 receptions for 95 yards and a touchdown.
This one was close through three quarters, but a 14-0 fourth quarter onslaught from the Ticats sealed it, 27-10 the final.
Alouettes quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. is looking no further than himself for reasons why his team lost.
“This is a passing league, it doesn’t matter really,” he said. “I need to complete the ball, I need to move the chains, I need to make my correct reads and that’s it, man. If I played better, we were going to win. That’s it.”
Adams Jr. completed just 16 of his 31 pass attempts for 171 yards, a touchdown and an interception.
Montreal and Hamilton now sit in a three-way tie with Ottawa for second in the East, with a 1-2 record.
BC at Ottawa
Former Ottawa Redblacks head coach Rick Campbell led his BC Lions to a 24-12 victory at TD Place on Saturday evening. Campbell spent six seasons in Ottawa between 2014 and 2019, and reflected on his time in Ottawa before the game.
“Ottawa will always be part of me and who I am. I grew up a lot there and that was my first head coaching job so obviously it’s a big, big part of my life. Getting ready for the game, you kind of go about your business. But it was a huge time in my life for many reasons. I’m a big, big fan of the city. It’s definitely going to be weird. I’m thankful for my time there, totally. There are tons of good people. I’ll be a Redblacks fan for life and hope OSEG and that whole thing works. I’ll be a fan, other than when we’re playing them. I’m going to just try to focus on the task at hand. Once the ball is kicked off, you just do the football part of it.”
Michael Reilly was excellent for the Lions under centre. The CFL veteran passed for 301 yards, a touchdown and zero interceptions, connecting on 23 of his 32 pass attempts. Jevon Cottoy caught 5 of those passes and finished with 93 receiving yards and a touchdown. Bryan Burnham was not far behind with 84 receiving yards and 6 receptions. Kicker Jimmy Camacho came up big for the Lions, going a perfect 3-for-3 on field goal attempts, including a 49-yarder.
Similarly to the Ticats-Als game, this one was within three points through three quarters, but a 46-yard Reilly-Cottoy touchdown pass gave the Lions a ten-point lead early in the fourth. The Redblacks would have no answer, falling for a second-straight loss.
Kicker Ward Lewis scored all 12 of Ottawa’s points in the loss, going 4-for-4 on field goals, including two from 47 yards or more.
The Lions now sit at 2-2 on the season, while the Redblacks fall to 1-2.
Calgary at Winnipeg
The weekend’s final game featured the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Calgary Stampeders from IG Field on Sunday evening. Down by one late, rookie kicker Marc Lieggho drilled a 45-yard field goal to put Winnipeg up two with 37 seconds remaining. The Stampeders marched the ball into field goal range as the clock neared zero, setting up a potential game-winner for Rene Paredes. However, the veteran’s 52-yard field goal attempt fell short, as the Bombers picked up their third win of the season in thrilling fashion.
Andrew Harris rushed for 81 yards and a touchdown in his first game of the season after he missed the first three due to injury. Zach Collaros completed 16 of his 25 passes for 243 yards and no picks. Rasheed Bailey finished with 108 receiving yards and Kenny Lawler with 94. Liegghio finished 4-for-4 on the night, including the game-winner and a 50-yarder, in his first CFL start.
“That’s a first game you dream of,” said the 24-year-old Canadian. “I never thought my first game would come to that. I’m just glad I made all my field goals and helped the team get the win in the end. I missed that first (point after) early on and I wanted to make sure I was gonna be perfect from that point forward.”
Stamps backup quarterback Jake Maier got the start for the second-straight week, with Bo Levi Mitchell sidelined to injury. The 24-year-old continues to play well, despite the loss. Maier completed 30 passes on 39 attempts and finished with 307 yards and no interceptions. Josh Huff and Kamar Jorden racked up 92 and 77 receiving yards, respectively, and Ka’Deem Carey rushed for 66 on just 8 carries for Calgary.
Calgary falls to 1-3 on the year while the Bombers improve to 3-1.
Week five will feature four CFL Labour Day weekend matchups, starting with Montreal at Ottawa on Friday, followed by the annual Sunday afternoon clash between Saskatchewan and Winnipeg from Mosaic Stadium. Finally, the battle of Ontario between Toronto and Hamilton will kickoff early Monday afternoon, followed by the battle of Alberta featuring Edmonton and Calgary.