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109th Grey Cup Playoffs: Division Semifinals Recap

The Alouettes get a good quick start and never look back, while the Lions draw one step closer to their first Grey Cup in 11 years

By Clyde E. DawkinsPublished 3 months ago 3 min read
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One of the things I do love about the month of November is the Canadian Football League's Grey Cup Playoffs. After a 21-week regular season, six teams remain in the hunt for the prestigious Grey Cup, with two of the six getting an additional week off as a bonus for finishing first in their respective divisions. The other four teams face off in the opening round of the playoffs, the Division Semifinals, with the winners moving one step closer to that ultimate goal.

The playoffs began in Montréal, Quebec, with the Alouettes hosting the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the Eastern Semifinal. From the opening kickoff, the Als had the advantage, as they actually began in Hamilton territory, resulting in the Als only needing barely over two minutes to strike first with a touchdown. Montréal dominated the opening frame; leading 14-6 after 15 minutes, and it turned in to a 22-6 lead over Hamilton at the half. The Tiger-Cats wouldn't go down without a fight--a touchdown and a two-point conversion made it a one-score game, but that's as close as they came to the Alouettes, who went on to win the Eastern Semifinal by a score of 28-17.

So for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, they will not reach the Grey Cup Game for the third straight year. It actually seemed like they wouldn't even be in the playoffs this year, but they ended up winning at the right time and capitalizing on the woes of the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Even so, the CFL's longest current Grey Cup drought continues--23 years since Hamilton's last Grey Cup.

Out west, the Western Semifinal took place in Vancouver, British Columbia between the BC Lions and the Calgary Stampeders, and it started with the kickers: Rene Paredes (CGY) and Sean Whyte (BC) trading field goals. It was 3-3 after one quarter, and 6-6 in the midpoint of the 2nd quarter, but BC would find the end zone first. It was 13-6 Lions at halftime, but they would completely take over the second half, keeping Calgary out of the end zone until late in the fourth quarter. By then, it was too late for the Stamps, and the Western Semifinal went to the Leos by a score of 30-16.

So with that, the Final Four is all set, and here are the Division Final matchups:

The Eastern Final will take place in Toronto, Ontario, as the Toronto Argonauts will host the Montréal Alouettes. This is the second straight year that the Eastern Final will emanate from Toronto, and the Argos are looking to do much better than they did a year prior. As an Argonauts fan, I'm still stinging from that loss last year, especially since it was due to some self-inflicted errors in play-calling. Hopefully, this will be a better outcome for the Boatmen. This is the first Eastern Final meeting between the clubs since 2012, which saw Toronto win on the road en route to winning the Grey Cup. Since 1973, the home team is 32-14 in the Eastern Final, but lost last year. For the Alouettes, this is their first Eastern Final appearance since 2014, and they've only beaten Toronto in the Eastern Final once, doing so in 2005. The Argos won the season series over the Als, winning in Weeks 2 and 20 before Montréal won a meaningless third meeting in the final week.

The Western Final will take place in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and will feature the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and the BC Lions. For the Bombers, this is their fourth straight Western Final appearance, and they are hosting for the second straight year. They are looking to win their third straight Grey Cup, and they are only two wins away from doing so. But will BC be a problem for them. Overall history says they might be. This is the fourth Western Final meeting between the Lions and Bombers, and it's the Lions who have the edge--2-1--in the past three meetings. Winnipeg won the season series 2-1, defeating BC in Weeks 5 and 21, while BC's win took place in Week 19. However, this is the first meaningful meeting between the clubs since Week 5.

The Division Finals take place on Sunday, November 13, and a week later on Sunday, November 20, it's the 109th Grey Cup in Regina, Saskatchewan! Regarding TV, TSN will have the Division Final games in Canada, while in the US, ESPN2 will have the Eastern Final, while ESPNEWS will have the Western Final.

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About the Creator

Clyde E. Dawkins

Born on March 18, 1985. I am an avid fan of sports and wrestling, and I've been a fan of female villains since the age of eight. Also love movies--especially comedy and horror--and among my favorite TV shows are The Simpsons and Family Guy

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