THIS WEEK IN THE CFL: MARK’S LABOUR DAY WEEKEND

THIS WEEK IN THE CFL: MARK’S LABOUR DAY WEEKEND

Thursday, August 30, 2018 — Mark’s Labour Day Weekend kicks off in our nation’s capital when the Montreal Alouettes visit the Ottawa REDBLACKS on Friday night beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET. The Alouettes are looking to make it two in a row following their thrilling victory over the Argonauts in Week 11. Ottawa enters Friday Night Football in first place in the East Division, coming off a Week 11 bye and riding a two-game winning streak.

Sunday in Regina will be the 54th meeting of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Saskatchewan Roughriders; kickoff is scheduled for 3 p.m. ET. The Labour Day Classic has been a joy of late for the Roughriders, who have won 12 of the last 13 such games. However, with both teams with fives wins apiece this season, the winner of Sunday’s contest will have third place in the division all to themselves.

Monday features a Labour Day Classic double header. At 3 p.m. ET the Calgary Stampeders and Edmonton Eskimos will play in their 58th Labour Day Classic. The Stampeders enter the game on a six-game Labour Day winning streak and are led by Bo Levi Mitchell who is undefeated in the annual game (4-0). Edmonton is looking to cut into Calgary’s lead in the West Division: if the Esks can win the next two games they will be tied with Calgary with eight wins on the season.

The Labour Day Classic finale brings us to Tim Hortons Field when the Toronto Argonauts travel the QEW to take on the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. The Argonauts have had a tough time in the Labour Day game of late, losing four in a row. The Ticats own a 33-13-1 record on Labour Day and have not lost one at Tim Hortons Field since they moved in (4-0). Kickoff is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. ET.

MONTREAL ALOUETTES AT OTTAWA REDBLACKS
Friday, August 31 – 7:30 p.m. ET

  • This will be the 21st meeting between Montreal and Ottawa on Labour Day Weekend
  • Ottawa is 11-9 in those games and have won the last two meetings on Labour Day Weekend
  • In those 20 games, 10 have been decided in the final three minutes
  • The series between both teams dates back to September 3, 1949.
  • In the past two Labour Day Classics, Trevor Harris has passed for 625 yards, four touchdowns, and only one interception while completing 72.8% of his passes.

WINNIPEG BLUE BOMBERS AT SASKATCHEWAN ROUGHRIDERS
Sunday, September 2 – 3 p.m. ET

  • Sunday’s game will be the 54th meeting between Winnipeg and Saskatchewan in Regina on Labour Day Weekend.
  • Saskatchewan owns the series, going 35-18 (.660), and have won 12 of the last 13 Labour Day Classics
  • Saskatchewan enters the game with the better record for the 15th time. In those 15 occasions holding the better record they are 11-3.
  • It’s the fourth consecutive year the Roughriders will start a different quarterback in the Labour Day Classic: Brett Smith (2015), Darian Durant (2016), Kevin Glenn (2017) and Zach Collaros (2018).
  • The last time Winnipeg won was in 2016.
  • Weston Dressler, who has played for both teams, has 40 receptions and 488 yards –  fifth-most in the Labour Day series between the two teams. He needs 33 yards to pass Jeff Fairholm (520 yards) for fourth .
  • Roughriders quarterback Zach Collaros will play in his first Labour Day Classic with Saskatchewan. Collaros went 3-0 in Labour Day games with the Tiger-Cats.
  • Of the 53 games between the two teams, 29 were decided in the final three minutes.

EDMONTON ESKIMOS AT CALGARY STAMPEDERS
Monday, September 3 – 3 p.m. ET

  • Monday’s Labour Day Classic between Edmonton and Calgary will be their 58th such meeting
  • Edmonton holds the edge in the series, going 29-26-1. However, Calgary has won six in a row and 10 of the last 12 LDC games.
  • Calgary will be looking to make it seven in a row; the last time a team won seven straight in the series was Edmonton, who won seven games in a row 1950-1961 (games played: 1950, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1959, 1960 and 1961).
  • Calgary enters the game with eight wins, which is the second-most during the series. Only the 1963 team had more wins entering the game with nine.
  • Bo Levi Mitchell is 4-0 in LDC games, while Mike Reilly is 0-3.
  • Former Calgary Stampeder Jeff Garcia passed for 546 yards with six TDs in 1995's LDC.
  • Edmonton has not had a lead in the Labour Day Game since 2012. In the last five games, Calgary has built at least a 12-point lead in each game.

TORONTO ARGONAUTS AT HAMILTON TIGER-CATS

Monday, September 3 – 6:30 p.m. ET

  • This East Division battle on Labour Day will be the 48th in their storied history.
  • Hamilton hold a firm grip in the game, with a 33-13-1 record.
  • The Tiger-Cats have won four straight and haven’t lost a LDC at Tim Hortons Field.
  • The last time the Argonauts won a Labour Day Classic was September 3, 2012.
  • Of the 47 LDCs between the two teams, 25 have been decided in the final three minutes.
  • Since 2002 (excepting last year), the team that wins the fourth quarter has won the game.
  • This is the first time since 2009 that Hamilton enters the game with a better record than the Argonauts.
  • It’s the first time since 2010 that Hamilton enters the game having won the week before.
  • Jeremiah Masoli is 1-0 in Labour Day Classic starts.
  • In the last four years there have been 10 lead changes in these games.
  • In Tasker’s four Labour Day games with the Ticats he has recorded 21 catches, 304 yards and two touchdowns.

QUICK SLANTS

  • Week 11 saw all four games decided in the final three minutes, with three games decided by three points or fewer. It marked the first time since Sept. 29-30, 2017 that a four-game week had all four games decided in the final three minutes.
  • Antonio Pipkin passed for more than 300 yards and rushed for two touchdowns last week. That's the first time a Montreal quarterback has done that in their history.
  • 1K Watch: Duke Williams (947) is 53 yards short for his first thousand-yard season. Kamar Jorden (895) is 105 yards short for his first thousand-yard season. Williams’ teammate Derel Walker (875) is 125 yards short for his third thousand-yard season.
  • Kamar Jorden's 249 receiving yards breaks the Calgary record held by Herm Harrison at 237 yards set on September 29, 1968.
  • Jeremiah Masoli’s performance in the fourth quarter to lead the Tiger-Cats over the Edmonton Eskimos was his 5th fourth quarter leading drive in his career.
  • Mike Reilly now owns the two longest touchdown passes this season: Derel Walker’s 101-yard TD in Week 1 and Duke Williams’ 95-yard TD in Week 11.
  • Montreal's six-point comeback victory over Toronto last week was their first come-from-behind win in 24 games.
  • Ottawa’s Brad Sinopoli is on pace for 126 catches, a mark that would tie Allen Pitts for second all-time.
  • Henoc Muamba and Chris Ackie are both on pace for 115 tackles this season. A team has never had the top two tacklers in the league, and only the 2016 BC Lions (Solomon Elimimian and Adam Bighill) had teammates who both had 100+ tackles. 
  • Not far behind Muamba and Ackie is Branden Dozier, who is on pace for 97 tackles.
  • Saskatchewan’s Charleston Hughes will be looking to extend his sack streak to eight games. Hughes has had a sack in every game this year except for one.
  • Trevor Harris has passed for 1,229 yards in his past three games, the most since Henry Burris passed for 1,294 yards in 2015.
Lucas Barrett Manager, Communications & Public Affairs at Canadian Football League