For the first time in three weeks, all eight teams were in action on CFL fields across Canada.
On Thursday night, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers used a breakout performance from Joey Elliott to upend the Tiger-Cats 32-25 at Canad Inns Stadium. Friday Night Football saw the Montreal Alouettes down Cory Boyd and the Edmonton Eskimos 38-25. On Saturday, Chad Kackert impressed in his first game as the team's starting tailback, leading the Argonauts to a 22-14 win over the Stampeders. Finally, Sunday night's matchup saw a solid defensive effort lead the Lions to a 24-5 win over the Roughriders.
Winnipeg 32, Hamilton 25
Well, it was worth the wait for Joey Elliott and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
Making his first start since 2010, Elliott completed 33 passes for 406 yards and one touchdown, leading the Blue Bombers to a 32-25 win over the visiting Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Thursday night.
The Bombers also received a resounding performance from its defence, most notably from Henoc Muamba and Jovon Johnson.
Muamba registered two forced fumbles to go along with his two tackles, while Johnson picked up one crucial fumble recovery and three tackles, to give the Bombers their second win of the season.
A brilliant first half performance by Anthony Calvillo supported by an admirable debut by running back Victor Anderson vaulted the Alouettes to a 38-25 road win over the Edmonton Eskimos, Friday night at Commonwealth Stadium.
Calvillo connected on 22 of his 32 passes for 327 yards and a season-high four touchdowns, while Anderson registered 102 yards on 18 carries, in addition to 32 yards and a touchdown through the air in relief for injured starting tailback Brandon Whitaker, giving the Als their fourth win of the season.
The BC Lions continued their defensive dominance over the rest of the CFL on Sunday, while Travis Lulay and the offence also impressed as the Lions rolled over the Riders 24-3 at BC Place.
Cauchy Muamba had two of the Lions' three interceptions on Riders' pivot Darian Durant, who struggled to find any rhythm against a Lions defence in top form, completing 18 of 27 passes for 170 yards and no touchdowns.
The BC defence extended its impressive streak to 13 quarters without a touchdown, dating back to almost a month ago when Hugh Charles scored for the Esks in the third quarter of a game on July 20th.
While the focus was on defence in this one, Lulay had another solid performance, throwing for 257 yards and a touchdown and avoiding turnovers on 22-30 passing.
NBC Sports Network’s 2012 CFL schedule (all times ET):
Aug. 27 Edmonton vs. Toronto 7:30 p.m.
Aug. 31 BC vs. Montreal 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 3 Toronto vs. Hamilton 1:00 p.m.
Sept. 3 Edmonton vs. Calgary 4:30 p.m.
Sept. 7 Calgary vs. Edmonton 9:00 p.m.
Oct. 5 Hamilton vs. Edmonton 9:00 p.m.
Oct. 19 Edmonton vs. BC 10:00 p.m.
Nov. 1 Hamilton vs. Toronto 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 2 Calgary vs. Edmonton 9:00 p.m.
Nov. 11 Semifinals 4:30 p.m.
Nov. 11 Semifinals 11:00 p.m.
Nov. 18 Div Finals 4:30 p.m.
Nov. 18 Div Finals 11:00 p.m.
Nov. 25 100th Grey Cup 6:00 p.m.
Another exciting week of CFL action came to an end on Monday night, as all four games provided down-to-the-wire drama that left fans ready for the upcoming Labour Day Weekend.
On Thursday night, Alouettes kicker Sean Whyte connected on a last-second field goal to give the Alouettes a 31-29 win over the visiting Hamilton Tiger-Cats. On Friday, fans were treated to another walkoff winner, as Lions kicker Paul McCallum sent the Lions back to BC with a win thanks to a last-second field goal of his own.
Saturday saw the Saskatchewan Roughriders drop their fifth-straight outing, losing 17-10 to the Stampeders at home. Finally, a rare Monday night matchup saw the Edmonton Eskimos down the Toronto Argonauts 26-17 at Rogers Centre.
Montreal 31, Hamilton 29
Anthony Calvillo celebrated his 40th birthday in style, orchestrating a last-minute drive that was capped off by a last-second 37-yard field goal by Sean Whyte, giving the Alouettes a 31-29 win over the Tiger-Cats on Thursday night.
Calvillo finished the night by completing 25 of his 36 passes for 329 yards and one touchdown, extending his streak of 300-yard passing games to a career-best seven.
The Als also received solid outings from both Brandon Whitaker and SJ Green.
Green stepped up in the absence of fellow slotback Jamel Richardson, hauling in 10 passes for 168 yards and a touchdown, while Whitaker shined in his return to game action, racking up 158 total yards, in addition to one touchdown.
BC 20, Winnipeg 17
The BC Lions stunned a large crowd at Canad Inns Stadium on Friday night, on a last-second drive to set up a 41-yard Paul McCallum field goal, giving the Lions a come-from-behind 20-17 win.
One day following the loss, the Blue Bombers relieved Paul LaPolice of his head coaching duties, handing over all responsibility to Tim Burke.
Calgary 17, Saskatchewan 10
Joe West recorded a touchdown on his first career reception and Jon Cornish had another stellar day as the Calgary Stampeders left Mosaic with a 17-10 win over the Saskatchewan Roughriders Saturday afternoon.
The two teams entered the game looking to get their respective offences in a groove after facing two very stingy defences the week before.
The Stamps faced a Toronto Argonauts secondary last week that was out to hit hard and often, punishing Calgary's receivers while the Riders went up against a BC Lions front that had been suffocating opponents of late and didn’t ease off Darian Durant last Sunday.
Edmonton 26, Toronto 17
Kerry Joseph came off the bench in impressive fashion, helping to lead his Edmonton Eskimos to a 26-17 win over the Toronto Argonauts at Rogers Centre Monday night.
All of the chatter heading into the contest was the group of players taking on their old team. Ricky Ray and Steven Jyles got their second and final regular season opportunity to take on the team that traded them. Meanwhile it marked Cory Boyd’s first time back at Rogers Centre since being released by the Argos two weeks ago.
2012 CFL Replay: A look back at Labour Day Weekend
The official midway point of the season, Scotiabank Labour Day Weekend, really did have it all with three games being decided in the final minute and a dominant showcase in the other contest.
The weekend kicked off with the spotlight on the league's two division leaders but it was the veteran Anthony Calvillo that outlasted last year's MOP Travis Lulay as the Alouettes topped the Lions 30-25. Sunday saw the Saskatchewan Roughriders play about as close to error-free football as a team can play, to the tune of a dominant 52-0 handling of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
Meanwhile, the Argos and Ticats renewed hostilities one last time on Labour Day Monday at Ivor Wynne with the visitors traveling back down the QEW with a 33-30 come-from-behind win. Not to be outdone, the Calgary Stampeders needed every last second of their matchup with the Esks to squeak out a 31-30 victory,
Montreal 30, BC 25
MONTREAL – Anthony Calvillo passed for over 300 yards and Brandon Whitaker registered three touchdowns as the Montreal Alouettes defeated the BC Lions 30-25 at Percival Molson Stadium to open up Scotiabank Labour Day Weekend.
It was a matchup of the league’s stingiest defence up against the CFL’s most explosive offence with the Lions suffocating opposing pivots and the Als shredding opposing defenders.
The legend for Calvillo continued to grow as he went over 300 yards on the drive – the 8th straight game he has eclipsed the mark and the first player in CFL history to do so. Travis Lulay had Arland Bruce in reach on the final play of the game in the endzone but Montreal DB Billy Parker knocked it down to preserve the lead.
REGINA -- Two touchdown grabs by Weston Dressler supported by a stellar outing by linebacker Tyron Brackenridge handed the Saskatchewan Roughriders a dominant 52-0 win over the visiting Winnipeg Blue Bombers on Sunday afternoon at Mosaic Stadium.
With the win, the Roughriders extended their Labour Day classic win streak to eight games over the Bombers.
Dressler hauled in his two scores from QB Darian Durant, who left the game midway through the third quarter with an upper body injury. He did not return, forcing the Riders to insert backup pivot Drew Willy into the game.
HAMILTON – Chad Owens and Ricky Ray teamed up for a dramatic fourth quarter comeback as the Toronto Argonauts took the Labour Day Classic with a 33-30 win over Hamilton. Owens found Ray twice over the middle on Toronto's final posession to help set up a 33-yard Swayze Waters field goal to win the game.
Monday’s matchup was the last Labour Day clash between these two teams as Ivor Wynne Stadium sets to close after this season.
CALGARY -- The Calgary Stampeders came out on top of a furious game of back-and-forth football, as they downed the visiting Edmonton Eskimos 31-30 in Labour Day action at McMahon Stadium.
Quarterback Kevin Glenn completed 23 of his 30 passes for 273 yards and two touchdowns, while running back Jon Cornish registered 94 total yards and a touchdown through the air.
The Eskimos would be given the ball for one last possession, and marched to within field goal territory for kicker Grant Shaw. However, Shaw would miss his attempt, and Taylor would take the ball out of the endzone, securing a 31-30 win for Calgary in the process.
The second half of the season kicked off with four big rematches, coming in the wake of a Scotiabank Labour Day Weekend to remember.
It all started with the Battle of Alberta, which showcased two feisty teams battling for key positioning in the West Division standings, as Jon Cornish had a career night in leading the Stamps to a narrow last-minute win for the second straight week.
Saturday featured a double-header, as the Ticats couldn’t avenge a touch Labour Day loss, falling 45-31 at the Rogers Centre to a red hot Ricky Ray and Chad Kackert.
In the second game, the Lions showed why they’re still the class of the league with an offensive assault in the second half on the way to a 43-10 win.
The week finished off with the highly-anticipated Banjo Bowl on Sunday, and it was just as thrilling as promised, as the Riders stole two key points on a last-play field goal by Sandro DeAngelis, securing a 25-24 win in Winnipeg.
Calgary 20, Edmonton 18
EDMONTON -- Jon Cornish had a career-high 185 yards on the ground and one touchdown, as the Stamps just held on for a tight 20-18 win on Friday night at Commonwealth Stadium.
Kerry Joseph went 27-35 for 275 yards in just his second start in two years, but struggled to get his team in the end zone as the Esks were held to just 18 points, with seven of those coming on special teams.
The Stamps, meanwhile, had their best defensive performance of the season, holding the dreaded Esks three-headed monster to just 45 yards.
TORONTO -- Chad Kackert scored the first of his three touchdowns on the team’s first possession of the game, on the way to 239 yards from scrimmage as the Argos scored early and often in a 45-31 win over rival Hamilton.
With the win, the Argos swept the Labour Day series, while moving into a tie for first place with the Montreal Alouettes atop the East Division.
Henry Burris had three touchdown tosses for the ‘Cats, including a 35-yard strike to Sam Giguere for the rookie non-import’s first career CFL touchdown.
VANCOUVER -- Travis Lulay and the hungry Lions’ offence flexed their muscles for the second week in a row, as the second-year starter tossed four touchdown passes in a dominant 43-10 win over the Als at BC Place.
The Als went ahead early in the game, when Anthony Calvillo hooked up with Jamel Richardson to put them ahead 7-3 in the first quarter, but the Lions responded soon after and never looked back.
Each of the Lions’ five touchdowns were scored by different players, and with the win BC improved to a league-best 7-3 record.
WINNIPEG -- Sandro DeAngelis hit from 40 yards out with no time left on the clock, as the Riders stunned a spirited Canad Inns Stadium crowd with an unlikely last-second drive to cap off a 25-24 win over the Bombers.
Drew Willy came off the bench in the first quarter for an injured Darian Durant, completing 17 of 23 passes for 188 yards and a touchdown to lead the Green and White to its second straight win over the Bombers, bringing them back to .500 football in the wake of a five-game losing streak.
Joey Elliott was solid for the Bombers, completing 19 of 33 passes for 241 yards and avoiding any turnovers, while running back Chad Simpson carried nine times for 74 yards in a losing effort.