The sixth week of the CFL regular season featured its share of the good, bad and ugly. A sparkling one-handed grab by Saskatchewan Roughriders receiver Duron Carter highlighted the good while a couple of missed tackles topped the bad. And the Hamilton Tiger-Cats’ lopsided 60-1 road loss to the Calgary Stampeders was certainly ugly. Here’s a look at the week that was:
- Carter’s back-handed circus catch in Saskatchewan’s 38-27 home win over Toronto on Saturday was amazing. Despite close coverage from Argos’ defender Akwasi Owusu-Ansah, Carter went airborne then fully extended his right arm to snag Kevin Glenn’s TD pass with just one hand. Carter finished with nine catches for 131 yards and two TDs. He had just one touchdown reception coming in. Predictably, Carter’s catch set social media ablaze with his father — Pro Football Hall of Famer Cris Carter — tweeting “#catchoftheyear.” Afterwards, Duron Carter gave the ball to Paige Hansen, a 12-year-old cancer survivor.
- On Saturday, Saskatchewan honoured former running back Joe McKnight, who was fatally shot in the off-season. McKnight’s family attended the game and participated in the ceremonial coin toss. They saw Cameron Marshall rush for 110 yards on 18 carries versus Toronto.
- Toronto quarterback Ricky Ray threw for 386 yards and three TDs versus Saskatchewan for a career-best sixth straight 300-yard game. Ray, 37, also became the Argos all-time passing leader with 16,634 yards, surpassing Condredge Holloway (16,619).
- Mike Reilly had 412 yards passing and two TDs in leading Edmonton (5-0) past B.C. 37-26 to remain the CFL’s only unbeaten squad. Reilly found Vidal Hazelton on an 108-yard touchdown pass in the first half, the longest in Eskimos history and in the CFL since 2002.
- Calgary native Andrew Buckley was 10-of-10 passing for 106 yards and TD replacing starter Bo Levi Mitchell versus Hamilton. Buckley became the first Canadian quarterback to throw a touchdown pass since Brandon Bridge of Mississauga did so Nov. 8, 2015 with Montreal.
- Montreal’s inability to close the deal against Winnipeg. See above.
- Safety Chris Ackie had a chance to make Winnipeg’s comeback bid more difficult late in the fourth quarter. On first-and-10 from the Alouettes’ 45-yard line with Montreal leading 40-35, Ackie sacked Bombers quarterback Matt Nichols for a six-yard loss but was flagged for unnecessary roughness after a high hit on Nichols. Winnipeg took over at the Montreal 30-yard line and four plays later Harris scored the winning TD.
Hamilton was simply awful in Calgary. The Stampeders scored six offensive touchdowns and added one each on defence and special teams in handing the Ticats their worst defeat since an 82-14 loss to Montreal in 1956. All Hamilton (0-5) could muster was Sergio Castillo’s 53-yard punt single in the second quarter that cut Calgary’s lead to 32-1. The Ticats face Edmonton (5-0) on Friday night but did play the Eskimos tough in a 31-28 loss at Tim Hortons Field on July 20. Hamilton’s precarious state puts plenty of pressure on Kent Austin, in his fifth season as head coach/vice-president of football operations. But since guiding the Ticats to consecutive Grey Cup appearances (2013-14), Austin is 17-24. To be fair, Hamilton’s injured list features all-star linebacker Simoni Lawrence and six defensive backs, including CFL veterans Emmanuel Davis and Craig Butler and Demond Washington. Also hurt are 1,000-yard receivers Andy Fantuz and Terrance Toliver. The last time the Ticats began 0-5 was 2007.