CFL: The Final Stretch of the Season Has Arrived for the B.C. Lions
The 13th week of the Canadian Football League has been wrapped up, several players have been banged up and the practice roster has been expanded.
For the week that was, we saw many injuries pile up during the Toronto Argonaut and Winnipeg Blue Bomber game, two running backs run for over 100 yards and the end of an era.
The B.C. Lions made big strides in the Western division who are currently on a five-game winning streak and improve their season record to 6-6 and sit in third place.
Their win now puts them two points away from sharing the top spot in the West, thanks to both Edmonton and Calgary losing to their opponents this weekend.
This was a team that started the season on a five-game losing streak, winning one contest before finding their stride in week eight. Travis Lulay continues to be strong behind center and had his fifth game of the season throwing for over 300 yards and seventh on the season.
The Saskatchewan Roughriders after winning two straight games against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and a win over the Toronto Argonauts found themselves back in the race for a playoff spot.
That may change following their 42-5 dribbling at home by the hands of the B.C. Lions. Quarterback Darian Durant mustered only 188 yards and two picks on the day, completing 60 percent of his passes.
With the struggles that came for the Montreal Alouettes camp this season, which saw two back-to-back losing streaks, it only gets worse as Anthony Calvillo is listed as questionable entering this week’s match-up for top spot in the East.
We are looking at a first-place showdown this coming Friday night in the Eastern division between the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and the Montreal Alouettes after Winnipeg lost to Toronto and Montreal was able to defeat Edmonton.
The news is worse for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers as they’ve lost both running backs Carl Volny and Fred Reid to torn ACL injuries, out for the season while quarterbacks Buck Pierce and Alex Brink are both listed as questionable.
Meanwhile down in Steeltown the Hamilton Tiger-Cats are slowly moving back to where they want to be and that was in the middle of the play-off race in the East after their 55-36 win over the Calgary Stampeders, their largest point total of the season amongst all teams.
Kevin Glenn was able to incorporate his offense using one of his latest weapons in Marcus Thigpen who moved into slot after working mostly on the return game. Thigpen would receive six catches for 139 yards and two touchdowns from Kevin Glenn.
The team continues to build confidence as the season progresses and for the most part has been on the right path. Their future continues to lie in their hands with four games remaining against the East.
As for Edmonton they’ve had their share of troubles over the last few weeks winning two of their last seven games after starting the season 5-0. Ricky Ray was unable to build off any momentum which included a turnover by the defense which saw Ray throw a pick the very next play.
Adarius Bowman continues to be a weapon in Ray’s receiving core after catching five passes for 132 yards. Bowman has had three games this season which he had over 100 yard games.
Offensive Player of the Week: Brandon Whitaker
It’s hard to find anyone else this week that put up better numbers for their team than Brandon Whitaker. On the day, Whitaker had 64 yards through the air and two touchdowns, while rushing for 113 yards on 20 carries and one touchdown.
Defensive Player of the Week: Jovon Johnson
Jovon Johnson was a force in Winnipeg’s secondary during their tilt with the Toronto Argonauts, a losing cause which did not stop Johnson from having a solid performance. Johnson recorded two interceptions, one of which was a pick-six to kickoff the game’s first score and another late in the game as well as three tackles.
Special Teams Player of the Week: Marcus Thigpen
For most of his time with Hamilton, Marcus Thigpen was used as a returner, even setting a new record for scoring a touchdown five different ways last week. Hamilton’s receiving core had a few troubles and the switch was made as Thigpen moved into slot, catching six passes for 139 yards and two touchdowns.
Canadian Player of the Week: Sean Whyte
Sean Whyte allowed himself to be an instrumental part of the Montreal’s win over the Edmonton Eskimos after contributing 14 points on three field goals, three extra points and two singles.
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