CFL Preview - Toronto (7-4) at Calgary (9-2)
From The Sports Network
By Gregg Xenakes, CFL Editor
DATE & TIME: Saturday, September 21, 7:30 p.m. (et).
GAME NOTES: The top teams in their respective divisions get together on
Saturday night, as the Calgary Stampeders host the Toronto Argonauts at
Calgary had been chasing Saskatchewan in the Western Division for most of the
campaign, but last Friday night the Stampeders rustled up their fourth
straight win and the eighth in the last nine outings with a 26-22 triumph over
a pesky Hamilton squad at home. With the victory Calgary improved to a league-
best 9-2 on the season, and moved two points ahead of the Roughriders in the
Trailing by nine points in the third quarter, the Stamps turned up the
pressure against Hamilton on both sides of the ball, ripping off 13 unanswered
points in order to claim the win. The deciding score came on a 15-yard pass
from Bo Levi Mitchell to Marquay McDaniel with just over a minute remaining in
Mitchell finished the night 20-of-30 for 257 yards and two touchdowns, was
sacked twice and intercepted two times by the Tiger-Cats. Maurice Price caught
five balls for 108 yards, one of those going 80 yards for a score, while Jon
Cornish picked up a game-high 72 yards rushing on 13 attempts for the hosts.
While he didn't exactly steal the spotlight from the regulars, Calgary punter
Rob Maver did attract some attention as he averaged 48.8 yards on five kicks,
earning CFL Special Teams Player of the Week honors.
As for the Argonauts, they needed a strong fourth quarter in order to surpass
the Roughriders and hold on for a 31-29 victory on the road, helping out
Calgary in the process. Quarterback Zach Collaros not only threw for 225 yards
and a score, he also ran in for a one-yard major for the visitors.
Running back Chad Kackert made his first appearance since being injured, but
he lasted only a few plays before heading back to the sidelines. In his place,
Toronto took advantage of Jerious Norwood who carried the ball 12 times for 73
yards and a score.
Saskatchewan, which was plagued by a staggering 16 penalties for a loss of 163
yards on the night, had a chance to tie the game in the waning moments, but
during a two-point conversion attempt quarterback Darian Durant was swarmed
under and never got off a pass.
With regular starter Ricky Ray out of action with an injury, Collaros has
brought some stability to the Toronto offense with his 68.2 percent accuracy
and eight aerial touchdowns. More importantly, the signal caller has thrown
just four interceptions in 120 attempts, minimizing his mistakes in order to
push the Argos to the top of the standings.
But as good as Collaros has been, not having Chad Owens at his disposal could
pose a problem. Owens, dealing with a concussion, is doubtful for this
weekend's outing as well, which means Toronto will again be missing one of the
most electrifying performers in the game.
Kackert may not be back on the shelf officially, but one has to wonder if he
is ready to try and take on more of the load for the Argos with Owens missing
in the lineup. Norwood filled in nicely last week for Kackert and Andre Durie
(60 catches, 669 yards) can stretch the field for Collaros, so it might be
better to rest the players who are not 100 percent and get them ready for the
For the time being, Mitchell appears to be the go-to passer for the Stamps,
particularly since he has three more touchdown tosses (10) than Kevin Glenn on
29 fewer completions. Mitchell has completed 70.3 percent of his passes and it
has been only in the last two games that opponents have caught on to him and
logged three interceptions.
McDaniel may lead the team in receptions (46) and yardage (556), but it is
Price who has one more receiving touchdown (five) on nine fewer catches. Both
receivers will again have to be at the top of their game in order to get over
on the Toronto pass defense.
Helping to stretch the field will be Cornish, the only active 1,000-yard
rusher in the league, tied with Saskatchewan's Kory Sheets for the most
rushing TDs with eight.
These teams faced off against each other last month in Toronto, with the
Stampeders coming away with a 35-14 victory. In that meeting the Argos, who
had won five in a row in the series, failed to score in the second half as
Collaros took over at quarterback and converted 16-of-26 passes for 221 yards,
was sacked four times and intercepted once.
Glenn took care of the action for Calgary as he turned his 14 completed passes
into 228 yards and two majors, while Rene Paredes accounted for another 13
points for the visitors.
With the win, Calgary moved ahead in the all-time series by one game, 42-41-1,
taking into consideration only regular-season matchups dating back to 1961.
Calgary, which is still undefeated at home after five games, is also a perfect
5-0 versus East Division foes but you figure those streaks will have to end at
some point. However, with so many key pieces missing for the Argonauts right
now, it would be difficult to pick them for a win on the road.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Calgary 31, Toronto 24
09/18 11:05:25 ET
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