Cahoon has 101 reasons to play

WES GILBERTSON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:21 AM ET

The hoopla is done with, but the streak certainly is not.

When the Calgary Stampeders host the Montreal Alouettes tonight (8 p.m., McMahon Stadium), slotback Ben Cahoon will be quietly trying to extend a string of 101 consecutive games with at least one catch, minus the hype he drummed up when he hit the century mark two weeks ago against the B.C. Lions.

Cahoon, never one to seek out the spotlight, simply shrugs it off.

"One hundred was a topic because it's just a nice round number," he reasoned.

"The streak is cool, but it basically just means I've done my job at least one time in each of those games."

Cahoon has been a model of consistency in 11 CFL seasons, although the 36-year-old would have to play into his 40s to have a shot at former Saskatchewan Roughriders star Donald Narcisse's league record of making a reception in 208 straight outings.

Cahoon, who was born in Utah but counts as a non-import because he spent part of his childhood north of the border, has been named the CFL's Most Outstanding Canadian twice and has climbed into the top-10 in career receptions and receiving yards. He's had seven straight 1,000-yard seasons and is an eight-time East Division all-star.

No. 86 has caught a pass in 160 of his last 161 outings. The only exception? Way back on Aug. 15, 2002, Cahoon was stifled by the Stamps secondary in a 38-23 Alouettes win in Montreal.

Since then, he's posted three 100-yard outings and reached the endzone four times against the Stamps.

Ironically, Cahoon's most memorable moment at McMahon, where his parents and other family members are often in the stands, was actually a pass -- a strike to one of his biggest fans about five years ago.

"I'd gone a long time without a ball -- late into the second quarter -- and I finally caught a pass and I just turned around and chucked the ball in the stands," he recalled.

"After the game, my parents were behind the locker-room and my dad's holding the ball and he says 'Hey, thanks for the ball.' I guess I hit him right in the chest."

Now we know where those steady hands come from. It didn't take long for rookie Alouettes head coach Marc Trestman to find out he can count on Cahoon in the clutch.

"On my card, I've got Ben plays. There's plays when we need a catch and something good to happen, we try to get the ball to Ben," Trestman said. "It's no surprise to anybody. At times, teams have done a good job of taking him out of there, but there have been times we've been able to get him the ball and he's made plays every time."


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