Half time at IGF

What’s the best way to travel nearly 55 kilometers in Canada? Would you walk it? What about cycle or drive? How about Henry Burris it.

With his first throw of the game, the CFL’s top quarterback surpassed 60,000 yards passing in his career. Not only is Burris leading the league in passing yards, but his 72.2 per cent completion rating is best in the top ten, and he has the second fewest picks of the top five QBs.

Of the top dozen receivers in the league, four of them belong to Ottawa: Chris William (1044 yards), Brad Sinopoli (886 yards), Ernest Jackson (868 yards) and Greg Ellingson (807 yards).

Despite putting up some big numbers in completions and yards, the Ottawa offensive machine has been relatively quelled by the Bomber defense. The score at the half was 16–10 for the Redblacks, but a quick look at the numbers shows that it could be much worse for the Bombers.

Ottawa has well over 300 yards of offense compared to just over 150 for the Bombers, and led in time of possession by over ten minutes. Burris put up 314 yards with key receptions from Williams (86 yards and five catches and one TD), and Sinopoli (87 yards and also five catches), while the Redblacks run game out performed the Bombers’ running backs by 55 yards and a major.

Lin-J Shell intercepted a pass from Burris on the fourth play of the game and returned it 33 yards to give the Bombers their first possession at the Redblacks’ 54-yard-line. From there, Nichols strung together a couple first downs with receptions from Darvin Adams and Clarence Denmark. But the drive fell apart after a Cameron Marshall three-yard run on first down. After that, Nichols threw an incompletion to Rory Kohlert, and Castillo missed a 42-yarder.

Ottawa opened the scoring with 4:22 remaining in the half on a one-yard run in by Powell to take the lead 10–0 after a field goal and a single.

With 2:40 remaining, Nichols found Adams 36 yards downfield to score a TD, and later, Castillo added a field goal to tie it up.

But Burris went back to work with under a minute remaining in the half by throwing a deep strike to Williams from midfield for a major with nine seconds on the board. After missing their two-point conversion, the score at the half was 16–10.

Absent again is the Blue and Gold’s run game, with Marshall unable to break for any real estate worth noting. However, Marshall did break some major ground on a big reception from Nichols with less than two minutes in the half, resulting in a field goal from Castillo to tie things up with 38 seconds left.


CrossOver SportsCast Ep. 7

Sean and Jordan (or Jordaniel, as Sean refers to him as) start with Star Wars, and then it all goes downhill from there. They talk beer, food, table hockey vs foosball (and even invent a new game)…pretty much everything but hard hitting sports news. But that’s just how they roll.

Oh yeah, they also talk a little bit about strippers.

Make sure you check out the seventh (I know, I can’t believe the internet hasn’t kicked them out too) episode of CrossOver SportsCast.

Guns ablaze – A Playoff Trip to Saskatoon for the Winnipeg Rifles

The bus departed at nine in morning, and entered Saskatchewan a few hours later. Filled with young men, many playing the first serious playoff game of their life, the tour bus glided smoothly over the winding stretch of prairie highway. The sky was clear. The landscape rippled with hills that rolled on top of bigger hills that stretch out to a distant horizon. Streams and rivers carve out great gashes in the soft ground to form the great coolies. It’s a land that mimics the desert dunes.

Once you get north of Regina, the landscape takes on this face, and it’s one that’s quite different from the vast, great plateau that is south central Manitoba. This is the land where horses and bison once ruled.

The Winnipeg Rifles are in Saskatoon to face the Hilltops—a team that’s had their number for quite a while—after going four for four in the regular season and clawing their way to a playoff berth with a huge three game winning streak to cap off their most successful season since 2011.

The long bus ride in was calm. Players were at ease and cracking jokes, as one might expect from a group of 18 to 24-year-olds.

“Never trust an o-lineman when it comes to food,” said one player. “Like, why eat tacos on a bus.”

Another specifically requested Titanic for the in-flight movie. When he was denied, The Notebook was his backup.

The players looked cool and collected in the team walk-through upon entering Saskatoon, many of them showing off their one-handed grab skills. Some were warming up by playing ‘the knee game,’ which is, essentially, trying not to have your knee slapped by anyone else around you.

But coach Park has a booming voice, one that let’s you know when it’s time to get serious. And he’s not afraid to use it to keep his players in line and focused.

Once arriving at the hotel, the players checked into their rooms and then went down for a team dinner where hats are outlawed, and food is dished out in military-like order, starting with coaches and trainers.

After dinner, the coaches and coordinators went through some game film with their titans. The defensive coordinator asked his men what they were afraid of. One player replied, “dying,” another, “snakes.”

“No one’s afraid of the Hilltops,” said the coordinator. “They’re just dudes in football pads, no one’s afraid of them.”

The Rifles are cocked, loaded and ready to do battle on the gridiron tomorrow. But their opponents are one the best amateur football teams in the country. The Rifles have been playing great football of late. Their running game has been nothing short of stellar, with running back Michael Richott finishing second in the PFC with 801 yards. Their defense is solid and the Rifles own top spot in the PFC in picks with 6 from Braedy Will.

But the Hilltops have beaten the Rifles twice in consecutive weeks early on in the regular season, outscoring them 115-17.

Tomorrow, the Rifles play the biggest game of their lives so far.

CrossOver SportsCast Ep. 6

Beer and sports go perfectly together, right? And the combination always leads to friendly debate, correct?


This episode, the guys are at Sean’s apartment talking sports over some beers like men… Well, not really, though, because Jordan wasn’t participating in beer drinking. But we forgive him.

In episode six, the guys break down the Bombers’ big win against the BC Lions. They also talk CFL playoffs and the possibility of the Bombers making it in.

They talk some Rifles, as they’ve made their way into the CJFL playoffs, and they touch on the Jets’ successful start to the season.

Check out this week’s episode, guaranteed you won’t be disappointed.

CrossOver SportsCast Ep. 5

Catch all your local sports news in this episode. Sean makes a big announcement regarding the Winnipeg Rifles, the boys talk Bombers, specifically Lirim Hajrullahu and his bad day. They’ll also give you key information about the Jets’ roster, so listen in to find out what that is.

Sean and Jordan kick off the show with a word from their weekly sponsor, this week it’s MeUndies, and hilarity ensues.

Tune into what could be their best episode yet.

Subscribe to CrossOver on iTunes, or listen right here. Feel free to like and share if you enjoyed, and leave comments whether you like us or hate us.

Bombers vs Eskimos – Recap

With the game on the line, and five seconds left on the clock, the Eskimos were down by a score 23–21 when Kicker Sean Whyte put it through from 53 yards away. By contrast, Lirim Hajrullahu was 1 for 5 on the night, including two that went off the post. The Bombers lost a must-win game at home by one point, 24–23.


It took almost an entire half for the Bombers offense to start playing, but once they did they made a game of it. In the third quarter, the one that’s usually naptime for the Bomber offense, they came to life in a big way and put together a 91-yard drive and flexed a little creative muscle. On second and inches, Nichols went deep to Moore for a 41-yard strike to the Eskimos 5-yard-line. Nichols went to Moore again for the score to take the lead 14–13.

On Edmonton’s next possession, Johnny Adams got a big knock down on second and long forcing a punt. But Edmonton got it back after the Bombers went two-and-out and put together a scoring drive that Reilly capped with a 1-yard run to make it 21–14 after a two-point conversion.

Winnipeg responded immediately with a scoring drive of their own highlighted by big plays from Denmark (18-yard catch), Nick Moore (22-yard catch), and Rory Kohlert (14-yard catch). Bombers full-back Michel Pontbriand helped the drive out with a 9-yard catch and run that set up a 2-yard scoring run by RB Marshall to bring the Blue and Gold within one point.

Later, with two minutes left in the game, Adams picked off Reilly on a pass that was intended for Derel Walker, giving the Bombers the ball with enough time to march far enough for Hajrullahu to hit his only field goal of the night to put the Bombers ahead 23–21.

But with only a minute remaining, Reilly and the Eskimos brought the ball down to Winnipeg’s 46-yard-line. And with 5 seconds on the clock, the last play of the game was a winning field goal off the foot of Edmonton’s Sean Whyte. The Eskimos won the game by a score 24–23.

The Bombers missed out on 12 points from Hajrullahu’s missed field goals. They also weren’t good on a convert and a two-point convert. Which means the Bombers missed out on a total of 15 points on the night.

And it was another night of Bombers football absent a run game. Nichols was their best rusher, getting 23 yards. Chevon Walker found a way to finish the game with -5 rushing yards, while Marshall racked up only 17 for a grand total of 35 rush yards.

Nichols finished 22 for 39, 320 yards and one major, while Reilly went 30 for 42, 298 yards, 2 picks and one major.

Bombers vs Edmonton half time report

If special teams are you thing, this game is for you. If dropped balls by receivers is your favourite part of football, then stay tuned.

Despite the Winnipeg defense playing a solid first half, the offense hasn’t yet shown up to play. The Bombers have gone two-and-out (##) times, and the usually reliable Nick Moore has three drops.

Troy Stoudermire starting the game with a drop on the opening kick off, resulting in a turn over that gave Edmonton possession in the red zone, but the Bomber defense held their own and forced the Eskimos to settle for three.

But Stoudermire’s been having his best game of the season so far, bringing a punt 78 yards the other way to score the first touchdown of the game. Up until then, all points came off Edmonton kicker Sean Whyte. Stoudermire also had two good returns negated by illegal block penalties.

The Eskimos made the score 13–7 with 2:30 remaining in the second quarter on a 55-yard strike from Reilly to Kenny Stafford.

A big reason for the Bombers lack of offense is the pressure the Eskimos front seven has been putting on Nichols. The Winnipeg QB has barely had the time to properly grip the ball before someone in green and gold is in his face, never mind look to a second receiver.

The receiving corps has been having trouble catching the ball so far, too.

At the half, Nichols is 8 for 19 with only 81 yards, 35 of those coming from Cameron Marshall who found a way to become open twice for some decent YAC.

Mike Reilly is 17 of 24, 181 yards with one TD and a pick, and has distributed the ball to six different receivers.

Check in after the game for a full recap.