If Week eight of the Canadian Football League season showed us anything it’s that Ottawa is down for the count and Toronto has the potential to make the postseason provided they staysfocused.
To get things started, the Redblacks (1-5) lost to Hamilton (4-3) on a rainy night in the nation’s capital. And if it hadn’t been such a wet affair, the home team could well have lost by a bigger margin than the final score of 24-7.
The Tiger-Cats led from the start and Ottawa couldn’t manage to get on the scoreboard until the fourth quarter. Neither of the Redblacks’ quarterbacks could muster much offence on the night and turnovers combined with a pick-six was their undoing.
And by the way, playing on a Wednesday night is hardly going to win friends and influence people for the CFL, not to mention attract more fans in the stands or eyeballs on TV.
At BMO Field in Toronto on Friday night, the Argonauts (4-3) held on for an exciting 30-27 win against Montreal (2-4). In terms of being a nail-biter, this game certainly finished that way. Toronto had a 10-point lead with two minutes left and one could have been forgiven for thinking it was all over, but the Alouettes weren’t done and when Jake Wieneke scored a touchdown in the final minute, anxiety swept through the home crowd. However, the Als couldn’t pull off the last-second comeback victory.
The win was Toronto’s third straight at home this season. A disappointing note to the game was a paltry crowd of just over 7,700.
In another drama-filled game, Saskatchewan (5-2) beat the B.C Lions (4-3) 31-24 in Friday night’s second matchup in Vancouver.
The lead changed hands seven times in a contest in which Riders quarterback Cody Fajardo had the final say when he scored on a quarterback sneak late in the piece. Saskatchewan kicker Brett Lauther also had an influence on the final outcome by booting four field goals.
“Our guys just stayed together, even though there were times where we looked like we were starting to lose our composure,” said Roughriders head coach Craig Dickenson.
As stated at the outset, while they may not be completely written off yet, the regular season is now past the halfway mark and the Redblacks are languishing well behind everyone else at the bottom of the standings in the East Division and will need a huge turnaround in form if they’re to even to get a sniff of contending for the playoffs.
The other reminder of the week were the two Friday games. They showed just why the CFL is such an exciting game. Decent scoring games that went right down to the wire. You can’t ask for more than that.