Fans that happened to tune in to the Friday tilt featuring the BC Lions and Saskatchewan Roughriders were likely surprised about two things.
Firstly, the Riders played so poorly after beating the Calgary Stampeders the week before. And secondly, a crucial call was missed in the first half that may have changed the momentum of the game.
The call happened near the end of the second quarter. Sean Whyte had just punted the ball and Gerran Walker had attempted to catch the short punt in the air. Walker fumbled the football, and a crazy series of events pursued.
The Lions' James Dennis failed to pick up the fumble, and then rookie linebacker James Yurichuk of the Lions kicked the ball forward. As the ball was bouncing toward Saskatchewan’s end, Jason Arakgi tried and failed to pick up the pigskin. Eventually, O’Neil Wilson picked up the football and scored a 14-yard touchdown.
So what was wrong with the play?
Well, according to CFL rules, a player is allowed to dribble the ball forward, but it has to be recovered by an onside player. Jason Arakgi, the first Lion to touch the ball after the kick, was offside. The ball should have returned to the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
Head official Tom Higgins said, "It was wrong, we made a mistake, and this is too big not to 'fess up to.'" It's hard because the official who is watching has to watch the football. How can he tell if someone is onside or offside when he's watching the football?
This was a huge momentum changer in the game. Saskatchewan could have had time left in the half to increase their 14-12 lead, but instead they went into the half down 19-14, on a touchdown that should not have even counted.
BC went on to outscore the Riders 16-10 in the second half and won the game 35-20.
Of course, the bad call isn’t taking anything away from the Lions' performance. The Lions were on a mission and took advantage of a sloppy Roughriders squad. However, that non-call still had a huge impact on the game.
The Riders basically lost by one touchdown, as the Lions scored one late. Instead of giving up a touchdown late in the first half, the Riders may have increased their lead. Needless to say, the officials will need to do a better job on these crucial plays.
While Ken Miller and the Riders should have challenged the call, the officials also could have as well, especially on such a pivotal play.
Other Notes from Week Six:
The CFL—Where Shutouts Happen:
The Toronto Argonauts fell to the Montreal Alouettes 25-0 on Friday, failing to register a point for the first time in 17 years. Though offensive struggles have been nothing new to the Toronto Argonauts, a shutout is a new low for the team.
Both Argo pivots, Cody Pickett and Kerry Joseph, were sacked a combined total of seven times, and neither threw over a hundred yards. Jamal Robertson’s struggles continued as he only rushed for 20 yards.
On the other side of the ball, the defense struggled to contain Anthony Calvillo and Ben Cahoon. Calvillo threw for 380 yards and Cahoon had over 100 yards.
Do or Die For the Lions:
In the Lions aforementioned victory over the Saskatchewan Roughriders, the Lions' big guns finally stepped up. Buck Pierce was 26/34 with 215 yards and a touchdown.
Martell Mallet rushed for 99 yards and Paris Jackson had 92 yards receiving. New middle linebacker seemed to fit in well for the Lions. The win was crucial for the Lions, who would have fallen to 1-5 with a loss.
Glatt’s Got the Riders Number:
Lions' linebacker Javier Glatt, who has currently been demoted with the signing of Jojuan Armour, registered an interception against the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Glatt has two interceptions on the season, both against the Riders.
Hamilton Makes A Statement:
The Tiger Cats beat the Eskimos 28-21 this week, in what was one of the most exciting games of the season so far.
The Tiger Cats faced adversity throughout the game, but their defense stepped up big-time. They held the Eskimos to three points in the second half. Meanwhile, the offense did enough to get the job done.
DeAndra Cobb tore it up on the ground, pulling off a huge run near the end of the game that set up the game-winning touchdown. Many doubted Hamilton heading into the season, but they are succeeding where a lot of other supposed contenders are failing.
Bruce All Mighty:
Tiger Cats receiver Arland Bruce, who was traded from the Argonauts because of his poor attitude, has been making a great impression on his new team. Bruce has been a much better tea player in Hamilton, and he has started contributing to the offense. Bruce had 78 yards for the Tiger Cats against the Eskimos.
Shoot-Out in Calgary:
The Blue Bombers have been struggling a lot on offense recently, but they did much better this week against Calgary. Winnipeg nearly pulled off the upset, losing 31-23. The exciting Michael Bishop threw for 209 yards and Fred Reid tore it up on the ground, running for 167 yards and two touchdowns. Yet, when all was said and done, the Stampeders got the job done.
Players of the Week: Week Six
Offensive: Anthony Calvillo
In the Als route of the Argonauts, Calvillo threw for 380 yards. That is never easy against a usually stingy Argonauts defense.
Defensive: Brent Johnson
All year, the Lions have been lacking a solid pass rush with the loss of Cameron Wake. Brent Johnson finally stepped up against the Riders. He recorded three sacks and a forced fumble.
Special Teams: Sean Whyte
Whyte was 4-4 in the kicking department this week. He nailed four crucial field goals in the Lions' victory over the Roughriders.