Calgary holding off Saskatchewan was probably the biggest upset of Week 9 in the Canadian Football League, but it wasn’t the only highlight. The others being Montreal’s win in OT against Hamilton and Ottawa stopping Edmonton.
In what was a heart-stopping finale to the week’s schedule, Calgary (3-5) without a doubt scored the biggest upset of the week, and maybe of the season so far, by downing Saskatchewan (5-3) 23-17 at McMahon Stadium on Saturday night.
It wasn’t so much the pair of touchdowns Stampeders quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell threw to rookie receivers Shawn Bane and Malik Henry, as it was that the Roughriders were heavy favourites to win but couldn’t get it done against a team that had been pretty ordinary up until this game.
Calgary got their two TDs in the first quarter and from that point on only managed to add a field goal in each of the three remaining quarters. By rights, that shouldn’t have been enough to win against a Riders team that had only lost to Winnipeg in the lead up to this contest. But it was because Saskatchewan was just plain anemic on the night.
Related: CFL Power Rankings – Week 9
In the early game Saturday, Montreal (3-4) stunned Hamilton (4-4) 23-20 in OT in The Hammer. Alouettes kicker David Côté nailed the victory after the Tiger-Cats coughed up the ball within his field goal range and he made no mistake.
Montreal trailed for pretty much the whole game until they got their noses in front in the fourth quarter. But it wasn’t over, far from it. Both teams added more points to their tallies to end regulation tied at 20-20. Then Hamilton fumbled and Côté did the rest.
“It was an amazing moment and it’s an important win for our team,” Côté told 13th Man Sports exclusively. “I think this win can give us momentum for the rest of the season.”
Maybe it was the fact that the game was played on a Tuesday night, but the Elks (2-5) looked to be completely out of sorts in their 34-24 loss to the hitherto uninspiring Ottawa Redblacks (2-5) to kick off Week nine.
From Ottawa’s perspective, they finally put together a full team effort to score just their second win of the season.
“I think the story of the game, for me, is that it’s a three-phase game,” said Redblacks head coach Paul LaPolice. “The offence scored points, the defence got takeaways, kept them out of the end zone and the special teams were special and got another return touchdown.”
Rookie quarterback Caleb Evans threw three touchdown passes with no interceptions. He played so well that perhaps the question that should be asked is why is he only the third-stringer?
In the Friday night game, the high-flying Winnipeg Blue Bombers (7-1) kept up their red-hot form with a 30-9 thumping of the B.C. Lions (4-4). The big question from this one is how did B.C. even manage to score nine points? They were dreadful and they were playing at home.
Quarterback Zach Collaros had yet another stellar game throwing for more than 400 yards and two touchdowns.
The Bombers’ third kicker this season, Ali Mourtada slotted two late field goals and backup quarterback Sean McGuire was at it again, scoring on another quarterback sneak, his sixth of the season.
“I think our guys are playing well,” said Winnipeg head coach Mike O’Shea. “There’s still room for improvement and they’re all committed to that, which is extremely important.”
“Our guys are a good football team right now, but it’s not by accident. They work hard at it.”
That they do, and as we’re roughly two-thirds of the way through the regular season, Winnipeg is showing all the signs of being genuine contenders to repeat as Grey Cup champs in December.