Touchdown pass makes comeback in CFL

IAN BUSBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:51 AM ET

Following a one-year hiatus, the touchdown pass has returned to the CFL.

So maybe there will be a quarterback to top the 30-TD barrier this season.

In 2009, Montreal’s Anthony Calvillo led the CFL with a modest total of 26 TD tosses, although his team did throw a total of 33. No other team had more than 26 TD passes, which works out to only 1.45 per game.

This season, more than half the league is on the TD track.

Without backup pivot Adrian McPherson in on short yardage due to injury, Calvillo is on pace to throw 36 TDs and rebound from an off-year.

Calgary Stampeders pivot Henry Burris has thrown 13 TDs in six games, putting him on pace to equal his 2008 season total of 39, and that earned West Division most outstanding player honours. He would likely have 14 if not getting injured for a play against the Lions.

Saskatchewan’s Darian Durant is on pace for 30 TDs and Hamilton’s Kevin Glenn is headed for 33, which would be career-highs for both.

Winnipeg’s Buck Pierce had five TDs in three starts, which would have had him on pace for 30 had he stayed healthy.

However, not every starter is having a banner year.

Edmonton’s Ricky Ray has thrown just six majors this season, and would be a career-low 18 if he keeps it up. Toronto’s Cleo Lemon has just four, but he is in his first CFL season and the Argos are getting by with a ground attack.

The B.C. Lions are the real anomaly. They have a receiving corps that features Geroy Simon and Paris Jackson but they have three TD receptions in six games, which is on pace for a paltry nine all year.

Opening drive

Could slotback Ben Cahoon actually be fading at age 38? The 13-year veteran has become a non-factor for the Alouettes this season and his numbers are sliding. He has just 21 catches for 226 yards in six games, which would put him on pace for his lowest totals since his rookie year of 1998 … In each of the Roughriders’ three Grey Cup seasons, they started with a record of 4-2. So no one should get upset that they dropped another thriller to Montreal and are 4-2 after six games. Last year, they were 3-3 at this point, so they had no chance at winning the Cup, right? … Former Bombers receiver Titus Ryan suffered a broken thumb Sunday playing for the Dallas Cowboys. Ryan had a shot at being a return specialist for the Cowboys but will likely be put on the team’s injured reserve.

Endzone toss

The Stampeders have one of the worst schedules this season and it doesn’t get any better in the next two weeks. The Stamps have the shortest break during the bye week of any team, with 11 days between games. The biggest break goes to Toronto, who have a 16-day hiatus … Some people might question why the Riders would sign another Canadian receiver (draft pick Jordan Sisco) when they have so many to begin with. But if you start three Canuck receivers, you probably need as many backups. The Riders only have Jason Clermont and Obed Cetoute backing up Rob Bagg, Chris Getzlaf and Andy Fantuz … Finally, the Blue Bombers are trying to switch their placekicker. Alexis Serna has missed six of 14 field-goal attempts this season and his track record isn’t great, although he did have the highest percentage of any Bombers kicker last season (81.6%).

Extra points

If the playoffs started today, the Saskatchewan Roughriders would host the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the opening playoff round. It would be the first time the East Division crossed over to the West … This is uncharted territory for Lions coach Wally Buono, who has never started a season 1-5 … The Argos have outscored teams 58-41 in fourth quarters this season … The Eskimos aren’t great late. They’ve been outscored 75-24 in fourth quarters this season.

ian.busby@sunmedia.ca


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