October 31, 2016

About last night …

Photo by Dominick Gravel

Here’s a closer look at Sunday’s regular-season finale in Montreal:

Marvelous in the middle

The Stamps’ regular season started with a loss in Vancouver.

It ended with a loss in Montreal.

In between was an unparalleled stretch of success, in terms of both league and franchise history.

A 16-game unbeaten streak — 15 wins and one tie — from Week 2 to Week 19 represents the longest single-season stretch without a loss ever put together by a CFL club.

And the 31 standings points produced by those wins and that tie represent the best single-season total in franchise history, surpassing the 30 the Stamps earned in four 15-3 seasons, most recently in 2014.

The Stamps missed out on the CFL record — the 1989 Eskimos, with 32 points from a 16-2 record, remain the most successful regular-season team in the 18-game era — but they’ll hope to top Edmonton in one all-important category.

While the 1989 Eskimos were upset in the West final, the Stamps will look to follow their big regular season with post-season success. It starts with hosting the Western Final on Nov. 20 and then, hopefully, a trip to the 104th Grey Cup at Toronto’s BMO Field on Nov. 27.

Just for kicks

Stamps kicker Rene Paredes booted a couple of field goals on Sunday to tie Sandro DeAngelis’ single-season team record of 56 in one season.

Paredes finishes the season with 203 points, marking the second time in his career he’s cracked the 200-point barrier,

What a difference

Despite the loss to the Alouettes, the Stamps finish the season with 586 points scored and just 369 allowed. With a 217-point differential, Calgary is the first squad since the 2009 Montreal Alouettes to finish the season with at least 200 more points scored that surrendered.

Title hunters

Jerome Messam winds up the regular season with 1,198 rushing yards and in excellent position to claim his first career league rushing title.

Winnipeg’s Andrew Harris, who is 284 yards back of Messam, and Toronto’s Brandon Whitaker, who has 306 fewer yards than Messam, would need monster games in Week 20 to overtake the Calgary tailback.

Messam is trying to become the 10th different Stamps player to be the league’s No. 1 ground gainer since full stats started being kept nation-wide in 1954.

The nine Calgary rushing kings to date are Jon Cornish (2012, 2013, 2014), Joffrey Reynolds (2008, 2009), Gary Allen (1986), James Sykes (1980, 1981), Willie Burden (1975), Hugh McKinnis (1970), Lovell Coleman (1963, 1964), Earl Lunsford (1961) and Howard Waugh (1954).

Meanwhile, Charleston Hughes had one sack — and several close calls — in Montreal and finishes the year with 16.

Hughes is two ahead of Hamilton’s John Chick and Toronto’s Shawn Lemon for the league lead, with each of those challengers having one game remaining.

Hughes already has one CFL sack title to his credit as he led the league with 18 bagged quarterbacks in 2013.

Finch in a pinch

Stamps returner Roy Finch completed a brilliant season on Sunday by surpassing the 1,000-yard mark in kickoff returns in 2016.

He also improved what was already a team single-season record by upping his punt-return total to 993. Despite missing two games due to injury, Finch finished third in the CFL with 2,251 return yards and his punt-return (14.0 yards) and kickoff-return (24.7 ) were both good for second in the league.

Here’s more coverage from Sunday’s game:


Game story
Locker-Room Blog: Simon Charbonneau-Campeau
Hughes hungry for more


Action photos