With the playoff picture settling and the weather getting chillier, it’s time to highlight September’s CFL Studs and Duds, featuring some stand out individuals, a diehard European fan, a locker room night club, entertaining soundbites, free-falling teams and a devastating arrest.
Between Dane Evans, Cody Fajardo, and Vernon Adams Jr. the next crop of CFL quarterbacks is looking special. Evans threw for 1,055 yards in three games in September, 308 of those yards coming in just the first half against Winnipeg. The performance was good enough to become one of the CFL Studs, as well as the GolDane boy last Friday.
Tre Roberson’s been getting love all summer for his tremendous interception numbers, but the truth is he’s been more lockdown than ever this past month. In the last three games, quarterbacks targeted Roberson 11 times and he gave up four catches for 48 yards. He was in man/tight coverage seven of the 11 targets, giving up just two catches for 12 yards. Oh, and this game-saving field goal block deserves some attention too.
The UK Bomber
One of the feel-good stories of the CFL season is courtesy of Frank Horsley, a diehard Bombers fan from Nottingham, England. Horsley made the trip to the Prairies for the Banjo Bowl, seeing the Canadian game live for the first time ever. Local news outlets picked up Horsley’s story, as well as the Blue Bombers, who followed him around all afternoon.
Bo Lokombo’s Power
Bo Lokombo’s hit on B.C. running back Wayne Moore in Week 13 is hands down the hit of the year so far. The Montreal safety has made a name for himself this season by laying out opponents, and this clean hit which resulted in no injuries was some old-fashioned football.
Whether you’re a country music fan or not, Keith Urban is a fantastic performer for the CFL’s Grey Cup halftime show. The four-time Grammy winner has sold over 20 million albums and will certainly appeal to the crowd at McMahon Stadium in late November.
During walkthrough day at home, the Montreal Alouettes turn their locker room into Club 514 — a night club named after a Montreal area code. It’s another team event that Khari Jones’ club has united from. The Als showcase the dancing party on their Instagram stories too. Check out the CFL’s video, or Trey Rutherford’s documentation of Week 15’s scene where Spencer Moore steals the show during “Jump On It,” becoming a CFL Studs lock.
The B.C. Lions are finally living up to the hype, or rather beating up on East Division teams — whichever way you want to look at it. The Lions went 3-1 in September, and in the three wins Mike Reilly averaged 316 passing yards, Duron Carter had three total touchdowns and they held their opponents to 35 total points. It may be too late, but the Lions are grooving.
Montreal Alouettes Soundbites
The Alouettes were feeding the media some meaty comments in Week 15. First, John Bowman had strong feelings about Andrew Harris’ PED suspension. Then Vernon Adams Jr. called William Stanback the best running back in the CFL. In the game, Harris went off for 196 yards compared to Stanback’s 19, but the Als got the last laugh with a 38-37 win.
Ottawa’s five-point loss at home to Edmonton was easily their best showing of the month. The Redblacks lost their other three games by an average of 28 points and failed to reach 20 points in any game. In fact, they haven’t scored 20 points in a game since August 2. Their problems start at quarterback, and rotating them in and out won’t fix things. It was fairly predictable, but the decimated Redblacks are a mess in 2019 after starting 2-0.
The Blue Bombers gave up 562 passing yards in a three-quarter span in the last two weeks. It could be left at that, but the overall collapse of Winnipeg’s secondary is the main reason the club has dropped to third in the West Division with a brutal schedule ahead. Their cornerbacks have been fine, but some changes elsewhere may be coming this week.
In Week 15, Logan Kilgore started for the Edmonton Eskimos on an evening in which the team was honouring Ricky Ray. While the Eskimos haven’t officially retired any numbers, seeing Kilgore out there in Ray’s 15 didn’t feel right. Being down 24-7 at the half didn’t help. Kilgore and Ray are former teammates and are on good terms, but it was still odd.
Jonathan Hefney’s Arrest
Former CFL defensive back Jonathan Hefney pleaded guilty to trafficking cocaine, earning a nine-year prison sentence. Hefney suffered a career-ending vertebrae injury in 2015, and it was public knowledge that his medical bills stacked up once the CFL’s coverage ended after one year. It was a poor decision by Hefney, although some believe the league should hold responsibility in how one of their former player’s life spiraled downwards.
When the NFL season starts, the CFL rightfully abandons Sunday games. That leaves Fridays, Saturdays, and even Thursdays for game nights. Two of the past four weekends have featured one Friday game and three Saturday games, the others having two on each night. The latter is superior. Spreading out the four games allows more fans to tune in, and doesn’t cause fans with unrelated Saturday plans to miss out on three CFL matchups.
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