By Chris Lawton

Welcome to week five of our weekly review of each CFL game week for the 2024 season. ‘Quick Kicks’ will bring you week to week news of how the games went, scores, surprises, and a general feel of ‘what we learned’ from the games.

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Let’s dive right in. The opening game of the weekend saw the Saskatchewan Roughriders defeat the Toronto Argonauts 30-23. The old adage in football is that if you win the turnover battle, you win the game. That certainly applied here as the Roughriders forced 5 turnovers whilst not coughing up the ball once themselves. All the more impressive when you consider that going into this game Toronto was one of only 3 teams in the league with a positive turnover differential.

Cam Dukes had by far his worst outing starting at QB for the Boatmen going 19 of 27 for 206 yards with no majors and four picks. Whilst the Roughriders D had a great outing. The Saskatchewan D had 107 interception return yards on their 4 picks, and Marcus Sayles returned one of those 54 yards for a score. Meanwhile Roland Milligan Jr had 2 picks, including a 49-yard return of his own.

On the flip side, Shea Patterson, standing in for the injured Trevor Harris, did a great job of protecting the ball as he went 15 of 21 for 192 yards and a touchdown.

Both teams have been solid in run defence so far this year, and both held the opposition under 100 yards on the ground. According to team historian Rob Vanstone, this is the first time in franchise history the Roughriders have held their first four consecutive opponents under 100-yards rushing in franchise history.

A key off-season move for Saskatchewan was to bring in Corey Mace from the Argos as their Head Coach. Last year the Argos D, under Mace, was great at taking away the ball, and it appears Mace has carried that to his new team. This result also means Mace is only the third Head Coach post second World War to take the Roughriders out to a 4-0 start. This is also the first time the Roughriders have started 4-0 since their last Grey Cup winning season in 2013. Fans of the Green and White will be hoping that’s an omen of things to come!

Game two of the weekend saw the Winnipeg Blue Bombers host the Ottawa Redblacks and record their first win of the season 25-16.

This was the return of Dru Brown who was now the starting QB in Ottawa following three years as a backup in Winnipeg. Unfortunately for Brown it didn’t end well as he was knocked out of the game in the second quarter after taking a hit to the head from strong-side line-backer Redha Kramdi. It was a late hit on a sliding QB and got a penalty, but for what it was worth, Kramdi was apparently genuinely contrite for the injury to his former team-mate.

As far as the game itself, the Blue Bombers leaned heavily on their rushing game. They had 212 yards on the ground, 208 of them coming from last years’ MOC Brady Oliveira who had 23 carries for 129 yards, and QB Chris Streveler who had 13 carries for 79 yards and a touchdown. Across the line of scrimmage, Ryquell Armstead also had 17 carries for 103 yards and a touchdown.

This was not one full of big passing or memorable QB play, but Winnipeg used their ground game and three key turnovers. Meanwhile, Sergio Castillo, who set a new franchise record long Field Goal last week went six for six on Field Goals, including two from 53 yards. While we are on special teams, kudos also in this one to the Winnipeg coverage team who kept the dangerous DeVonte Dedmon to 49 yards on 6 punt returns (8.2 yards avg), and 63 yards on 3 kickoff returns.

The third game of Week Five saw the Montreal Alouettes come from behind at home to defeat the Calgary Stampeders 30-26. This win extended Montreal’s club record regular season winning streak to ten straight, and with last year’s playoffs, was their thirteenth consecutive win in competitive games.

It didn’t always look like this would be the case as at one point Calgary had built a 23-9 lead in the first half, and 26- 12 with just over six minutes left in the third quarter. They say winning can be a habit though and Montreal have certainly developed the winning habit, as after that they took over the game scoring 18 unanswered point and taking the fourth period 15-0.

For Montreal, their big guns made some plays on offence. QB Cody Fajardo went 35 of 42 for 374 yards with 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. Wide Receiver Tyson Philpot, who has to be leading the Most Outstanding Canadian Race at this point had 12 receptions on 13 targets for 134 yards, while Running Back Walter Fletcher had 5 carries for 56 yards and a touchdown as well as 9 reception on 9 targets for 104 yards.

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The last game of the weekend was the ‘battle of the cats’ as the Hamilton Tiger-Cats hosted the BC Lions. It was the Lions who looked most at home taking control early and leaving with a 44-28 win. This one was built off a BC pass attack that was really clicking, and a Hamilton D that was playing a soft zone so soft that at times the Lions receivers looked like they had all the time in the word. Such was BC’s dominance early on that wen Hamilton scored off a rouge to be 14-1 down there was a sarcastic cheer from the home fans.

The Leos did most of the damage in the first half when QB Vernon Adams Jr who went 26 of 36 for 383 yards and 4 touchdowns threw for 321 of those yards and all the scores. His favourite target in this one was Justin McInnis who had 10 receptions on 13 passes thrown his way for 144 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Adding to the mix for BC were Alexander Hollins who had 6 catches for 116 yards and a TD, and Running Back William Stanback who had 14 carries for 82 yards and a score alongside 5 catches for a further 74 yards and a touchdown.

The Ticats, who had been held to 139 net yards before halftime fired much better in the second half and put up over 250 yards of offence and 17 points against a BC team that already had it in the bag – including a TD as time expired.

Bo Levi Mitchell went 32 of 48 for 374 yards with three touchdowns and James Butler had 9 catches for 108 yads and a touchdown.

MOP's: Week 5

O – Vernon Adams Jr, QB, BC Lions, 26 of 36 for 383 yards and 4 touchdowns, 0 picks & 3 carries for 15 yards.

D – Rolan Milligan Jr, CB, Saskatchewan Roughriders, 3 tackles, 1 special teams tackle, 2 interceptions.

ST – Sergio Castillo, K, Winnipeg Blue Bombers, 6 for 6 on Field Goals, including 2 from 53 yards and 1 from 49 yards. 7/7 on all kicks.

Interdivisional Standings Week Three: East Division 1 West Division 3

Interdivisional Standings 2024 season: East Division 6 West Division 6



Chris originally started following the NFL with the ‘first wave’ of fans when it was shown on Channel 4 in the 1980’s. He has been a keen supporter of the Miami Dolphins since 1983. Chris first encountered the CFL in 2016 and instantly fell in love with the Canadian game. He has been writing about the CFL 2017. Chris has a degree in history, postgraduate degree in librarianship and can be found on twitter as @CFLfanUK