CFL Preview - Calgary (1-0) at Toronto (0-1)
From The Sports Network
By Gregg Xenakes, CFL Editor
DATE & TIME: Saturday, July 7, 3:00 p.m. (et).
GAME NOTES: After taking care of business on both sides of the ball in the
season opener on Sunday evening, the Calgary Stampeders aim for their second
win in as many tries on Saturday afternoon as they tangle with the Toronto
Argonauts on the road at Rogers Centre.
Not only were the Stampeders going up against Anthony Calvillo and the Montreal
Alouettes from a defensive standpoint, the squad was also breaking in a new
starting quarterback and Drew Tate rose to the occasion.
Tate, who took over the starting job from Henry Burris as the former league
MVP moved to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats during the off-season, tossed a couple of
interceptions, but still finished the outing 25-of-35 for 299 yards and a
score in the lopsided 38-10 triumph over visiting Montreal.
Coming up with a game-high 12 receptions was Nik Lewis, who turned those
catches into 105 yards and a major. Jon Cornish bulled his way for 86 yards
and a pair of TDs on 18 rushing attempts, his efforts on the ground more than
doubling those of the Als altogether as he was recognized as a top league
performer earlier this week.
Considered one of the all-time great quarterbacks in CFL history, Calvillo was
all but shut down by the Calgary defense, which allowed him to convert just 16-
of-31 passes for 174 yards and a score, while also being picked off twice.
Considering Calvillo threw a total of just eight interceptions all of last
season, the Stamps should be pleased with their efforts through the first 60
minutes of action.
As for the Argonauts, they were held scoreless through the first quarter of
action last Saturday as quarterback Ricky Ray returned to Edmonton to face his
former teammates. Ray managed to hit Cory Boyd with a five-yard TD strike in
the second quarter and finished the contest 29-of-39 for 298 yards, but was
sacked three times as he and Toronto came out on the losing end of a 19-15
Boyd stepped up with eight rushing attempts for 48 yards and was also tops
among all players with 10 catches, but those resulted in a mere nine yards.
Kicker Noel Prefontaine generated eight points for his squad, but missed a
couple of field goal tries which could have easily swung the game in Toronto's
The good news for the Argos, if there is such a thing coming out of a loss, is
that Chad Owens again showed why he is widely considered one of the most
dangerous players in the league. Owens, who will be getting his number called
more and more on offense as he lines up as a slotback, posted six receptions
for 100 yards, including a long of 52, brought back seven punts for another
105 yards, and returned four kickoffs for an additional 111 yards.
Unfortunately, even with all of his elusive efforts, the Argos were unable to
capitalize enough to earn the victory.
Owens not only registered a new personal, single-game record for all-purpose
yardage, but he also put himself in the CFL record books as just the third
player in history to have at least 100-100-100 yards. Next for the sprite
runner from Hawaii is gunning for the all-time, all-purpose yards record which
sits at a staggering 474 yards set by Albert Johnson III of Winnipeg 12 years
Obviously the Argonauts have a huge weapon in Owens and should be able to use
his talents accordingly, but getting him on the same page with Ray might take
a bit more time as this is a work in progress.
Toronto has won three straight regular season meetings between these two clubs,
including a 31-29 final at home on October 14. However, as far as the all-time
series goes, dating back to 1945, Calgary is clinging to a 41-39-1 advantage.
These clubs are destined to clash again once more during the regular season,
with Calgary entertaining the Argos on August 18.
It might take some more time for Ray to get used to new schemes and get in-sync
with his receivers, which is why, even at home this week, Toronto might be
again trying to claw its way from behind.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Calgary 31, Toronto 20
07/04 11:36:02 ET
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