Mark's Labour Day Edition

Week 11 features a five-game set starting tonight with the BC Lions visiting BMO Field to take on the Toronto Argonauts. The Lions look to continue their winning ways on the road this season (4-1) while the Argonauts are looking for their second victory in their new digs.

The start of Mark’s Labour Day Weekend officially begins in Montreal when the Alouettes host the Ottawa REDBLACKS for the first time on Labour Day Weekend since 2005. A Montreal win would give all East Division teams four wins (subject to Toronto’s week opener with BC on Wednesday night)

The surging Blue Bombers make their annual visit to Regina on Sunday. Labour Day Sunday games in Saskatchewan have not been kind to the Blue Bombers who are winless in the 11 games since 2004, however a victory for the Bombers would bring their current win streak to five.

Rounding out Week 11 is a Labour Day Monday double-header. First it’s the Battle of Alberta in Calgary, where the visiting Edmonton Eskimos look to snap Calgary’s eight-game unbeaten streak this season. Following that game, the Argonauts will travel down the 401 to take on the Tiger-Cats in a Primetime East Division clash.

Mark’s Labour Day Matchups

Ottawa at Montreal
Thursday, September 1st – 7:30pm ET

  • Ottawa and Montreal have played 18-times on Labour Day Week dating back to 1949. The game on Thursday will be the rubber match as each club has nine wins each.
  • This will be the first game in 11 years that the Ottawa and Montreal clubs meet during Labour Day Week. The last time they met was in 2005 with Montreal winning at home 41-18.
  • Montreal has won the last two times they have played on Labour Day Weekend.
  • A Montreal victory would mean that all East Division teams would have four victories this season subject to Toronto’s clash with BC on Wednesday at BMO.
  • Kevin Glenn owns a record of 5-5 as a Labour Day Classic starting quarterback with four different teams:
    • Saskatchewan 0-1
    • Winnipeg 1-4
    • Hamilton 2-0
    • Calgary 2-0
  • Trevor Harris threw for 352 yards and a touchdown in his return to the starting lineup versus BC last week. That marked his fourth 300+ passing game this season.
  • Greg Ellingson’s last three weeks: In Week 7 he recorded 121 receiving yards, Week 9 he didn’t register a reception and then followed that game with a 142 receiving yards performance.
  • Ernest Jackson: Enters the game riding a four-game touchdown streak. He has a total of five this season.
  • Ottawa has four receivers on pace for 1,000 yards (Chris Williams 900 yards, Greg Ellingson 750 yards, Brad Sinopoli 588 yards and Ernest Jackson 517 yards).
  • Home field disadvantage: This will be the third meeting of the season between both clubs. In Week 2 Ottawa won in Montreal 28-13 and in Week 9 Montreal won in Ottawa 43-19.

Winnipeg at Saskatchewan
Sunday, September 4th – 3pm ET

  • This will be the 53rd time the Riders have hosted the Bombers on Labour Day Weekend dating back to 1949. One game was hosted in Winnipeg in 1952.
  • During that span, Saskatchewan owns the edge going 34-18 (.654 winning percentage).
  • Since 2000, Saskatchewan has a 13-3 (.813 winning percentage) record on Labour Day versus Winnipeg, including a current 11-game winning streak where the Riders average margin of victory has been 18.3 points.
  • Last time the Bombers won on Labour Day in Regina was September 5, 2004 when Kevin Glenn led the Bombers to a 17-4 victory.
  • Riders quarterback, Darian Durant enters his seventh start in the Labour Day tilt and owns a remarkable 6-0 record.
  • The Bombers are looking to win their 5th consecutive game for the first time since August 2011 when they got off to a 7-1 start. That’s the same year they went on to the Grey Cup game.
  • Matt Nichols will make his 12th start for Winnipeg. He’s 6-5 in those games, including a 4-0 record this year.
  • Nichols will get the nod for the Bombers becoming the sixth different quarterback to start the Labour Day game in the last six years (Brian Brohm (2015), Drew Willy (2014), Justin Goltz (2013), Joey Elliot (2012), and Buck Pierce (2011).
  • Comparatively, the Riders have had two different quarterbacks to start in the classic (Brett Smith in 2015 and Darian Durant from 2011-2014, and again in 2016).
  • The combined attendance for Labour Day Classics in Regina since the 2000 season is 516,692, an average of 32,293 per game.
  • Kicking Battle: Justin Medlock is riding a streak of 20 consecutive made field goals, which is a Winnipeg club record and also the 17th longest streak in CFL history. 7 of those kicks have come from 40+ yards out.
  • Tyler Crapigna returned from injury two games ago and is 3-for-3 on field goal attempts. He has made his last nine field goals, and his field goal success rate is now at 90.5% (19/21). That is the highest percentage recorded by a first-year kicker in CFL history.
  • Crapigna is on pace to surpass Boris Bede’s record of 90.0% (36/40) set last year.
  • Naaman Roosevelt comes into this home-and-home match up with Winnipeg as the league’s number four receiver with 877 yards and he has been the most targeted receiver in the CFL with 92 intended passes. He’s second in receptions with 62.
  • In Andrew Harris’ first five games with the Bombers he averaged 41 rushing yards a game, in his last four contests he has averaged 92 yards per game including 11 runs of 10+ yards and four touchdowns.

Edmonton at Calgary
Monday, September 5th – 3:00pm ET

  • Monday will mark the 56th Labour Day Game between provincial rivals Calgary and Edmonton. It is also the 35th year in a row they meet on Labour Day and the 46th time in the last 48 years.
  • Of the 55 games on Labour Day between the two clubs, Edmonton holds the advantage going 29-25-1 (.527 winning percentage). The lone tie occurred in 1978, with a score of 28-28.
  • This will be the 51st time that Calgary has played Labour Day hosts since 1949.
  • Calgary with a 7-1-1 record this season enters the Labour Day Classic with a winning record for the 9th consecutive season and is looking for it’s 5th victory in a row on Labour Day versus the Eskimos.
  • This will be Bo Levi Mitchell’s third Labour Day start (2-0). He is riding a career record of 35-7-1 (.729) into this game, the highest winning percentage among all-time CFL quarterbacks.
  • It will be Reilly’s second-career start in the Labour Day tilt. His first was in 2013 when he threw four touchdown passes in a 37-34 loss.
  • This will be the fifth starting quarterback for Edmonton in the last six years (James Franklin (2015), Matt Nichols (2014), Mike Reilly (2013), Kerry Joseph (2012), and Ricky Ray in 2011).
  • The last four Battles of Alberta held on Labour Day have been decided in the final three minutes of play.
  • In the last three Labour Day Classics between the Alberta rivals, the Eskimos have never led the game despite how close these contests have been.
  • This will be Dave Dickenson’s and Jason Maas’ first Labour Day Classic as a CFL Head Coach.
  • Edmonton is the only team to have ever beat Bo Levi Mitchell in consecutive games (Sept 12 and Oct 10 in the 2015 season).
  • Reilly is 2-4 in six career starts against Calgary.
  • Shakir Bell: Had a CFL season-high 138 yards rushing last week versus Saskatchewan in his first game of the season. He added four catches for 32 yards, totalling 170 yards from scrimmage.
  • DaVaris Daniels: In two games he has nine catches for 174 yards including 97 yards after the catch. He added a punt block in his second game versus Hamilton.

Toronto at Hamilton
Monday, September 5th – 6:30pm ET

  • This will be the 46th Labour Day Classic meeting between the Argonauts and Tiger-Cats.
  • The Hamilton Tiger-Cats hold a convincing record in the contests going 31-13-1 (.689 winning percentage).
  • Since joining the Tiger-Cats, Zach Collaros is 2-0 in the annual game while Ricky Ray is 1-1 for the Argonauts and 5-5 overall in Labour Classic starts
  • The Tiger-Cats have not lost a Labour Day Classic at Tim Hortons Field, going 2-0 in that span.
  • The last time Toronto won a Labour Day Classic was on September 3, 2012 where they pulled off a 33-30 win at Ivor Wynne Stadium.
  • In that win, the Argonauts scored 22 points in the fourth quarter including a final minute field goal by Swayze Waters to give the boatmen the victory.
  • Over the last two Labour Day Classics in Hamilton, Tiger-Cats receiver Luke Tasker has 12 receptions for 167 yards.
  • Terrence Toliver is continuing to heat up. With Collaros back, he has led all Ticats the last two weeks in receiving with 139 and 183 yards. He has racked up those yards on 14 combined receptions ( six of them being 30+ yards) and three touchdowns.
  • In Collaros’ three games back, he has averaged 384 passing yards. In those three games he has 10 TD passes with only one interception and a passer rating of 119.7. He has 12 completions worth 30+ yards.
  • In his first two games this season following a back injury, Diontae Spencer has recorded 17 receptions for 183 yards.
  • Two of the last three Labour Day games have been decided in the last three minutes between Toronto and Hamilton.
  • Since 2008, Hamilton owns a 4-2 record in the Labour Day Classic.


  • BC Lions are playing back-to-back games in Ontario for the first time since 1992. That year the Lions were swept.
  • With a 29-23 victory over Ottawa in Week 10, BC is looking to reverse that stat and go back out west with an Ontario sweep.
  • In the last 63 seasons, the Lions have never swept both games of a road trip in Ontario.
  • From 2012-2015, the Argonauts are 6-1 coming off a bye week.
  • Away teams split last week’s games and now have an overall record of 24-15-1 (.631).
  • If the playoffs were to begin ahead of Week 11 action, the West Division would take the third and final East Division spot via the Crossover Rule.
  • After hitting five field goals last week, Rene Paredes is on pace to record the most field goal attempts and most field goals made in a single season.
  • Paul Osbaldiston currently holds the record for most field goal attempts in a season with 74 set in 1989 and Dave Ridgeway owns the record for most Field goals made in a season with 59 set in 1990.
  • During Winnipeg’s four-game win streak, three have been wire-to-wire victories. The Bombers have trailed only once in the last 240 minutes. That was against Toronto, and it lasted for 14 minutes and 35 seconds.
  • The Bombers have built a 17-point lead in each one of those games. The last time that feat was accomplished was in the 2003 season.
  • Justin Medlock has hit 20 field goals in a row, which is a new Blue Bombers club record.
  • Bo Levi Mitchell is 16-3 as a starter at McMahon Stadium.
  • Mike Reilly is the first quarterback since Doug Flutie in 1996 to eclipse the 3,000 passing yard mark after only nine games.
  • Ricky Ray needs 279 passing yards to reach 54,000 in his CFL regular season career. This week marks his 197th start (103-92-1).
  • Bear Woods, Adam Bighill, Solomon Elimimian, Ian Wild, Deon Lacey and Simoni Lawrence are on pace to record 100+ tackle seasons. The most in any previous season came just last year with four players reaching that mark (Adam Bighill, Jeff Know Jr., Winston Venerable and Khalil Bass).
  • 53% of CFL games this year have been decided in the final three minutes with nearly 25% of contests won by four points or less.
  • There has been an average of 2.43 Coaches Challenges per game this season with 42% of the calls being overturned. Week 10 saw seven challenges, tied for a season-low.
  • Accepted penalties are down to 19.25 per game. That’s a 6% decrease from last year’s final numbers and 11% decrease from the same point last season.
  • Week 10 games averaged 754 net yards – the second highest weekly total this season.
  • Week 10 games averaged 111 rushing yards – the second-highest weekly total this season.

Paulo Senra

Director, Communications, Canadian Football League

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