Winnipeg Blue Bombers slotback Milt Stegall runs in the improbable winning touchdown with seconds left on the clock beat the Edmonton Eskimos 25-22 on July 20. (Jason Scott/Canadian Press)
Top on-field plays
Miss that jaw-dropping touchdown? Need a refresher on that sweet trick play? Sports Online will gladly jog your memory with these highlight-reel moments from the 2005-06 CFL season.
Last Updated Nov. 8, 2006
10. King Edwards
Robert Edwards makes his living with his legs, but on July 15 against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, the Alouettes running back flashed a pretty good pair of hands. With Montreal leading 30-15 and driving for another score in the fourth quarter, Alouettes quarterback Anthony Calvillo saw Edwards find a seam in the middle of the end zone and lofted a soft pass to his running back. The throw looked to be beyond Edwards's reach, but the five-foot-11, 220-pound bruiser showed a delicate touch in using his right hand to tip the ball back toward his left paw for a falling one-handed grab that helped Montreal to a 44-16 win.
9. Down but not out
It's not often that a two-yard reception brings a crowd to its feet, but Hamilton Tiger-Cats receiver Brock Ralph did just that during a home game this season against the Toronto Argonauts. Operating near mid-field, Ralph began a short button-hook route but was knocked off his feet near the line of scrimmage by Argos linebacker Chuck Winters. Hamilton quarterback Jason Maas threw the ball to Ralph anyway and the sure-handed receiver made a spectacular grab, reaching up to snare the ball while laying flat on his back.
8. No ordinary Joseph
Trailing 18-3 at home against Toronto on July 22, the Saskatchewan Roughriders dipped into their bag of tricks. With the ball at the Argonauts' 35-yard line, Riders quarterback Kerry Joseph took the snap and fired a quick lateral pass to Jason Armstead. As several Argos converged on Armstead, the receiver made a return throw across the width of the field to Joseph, who sprinted in for a 34-yard touchdown. Spectacular, yes, but the play wasn't enough for Saskatchewan to defeat the Argos, who hung on for a 26-23 win.
7. Celebration time
With its archaic views on player behaviour, the football loop south of the border is sometimes referred to as the No Fun League. Few would apply such a moniker to the CFL, where outrageous end zone antics are, if not encouraged, then at least met with a smile. This season the Calgary Stampeders took celebrating six points to news highs (or lows, depending on who you ask). At various times, members of the Stampeders' offence capped major scores by assembling in the end zone to mime out a cyclist on his bike, a track relay team, a bobsleigh team and a group of drunks.
6. Big-play Johnson
B.C. Lions defensive end Brent Johnson was a fixture in opposing backfields this season, leading the CFL with 16 sacks. But perhaps his most memorable play came with Johnson nowhere near the enemy quarterback. During a game Aug. 10 in Winnipeg, Johnson found himself in pass coverage as Blue Bombers quarterback Mike Quinn chucked a ball toward receiver Quentin McCord. The pass was broken up by Lions defensive back Korey Banks and, as the ball dropped to the turf, McCord tried to keep it alive with his foot. But the receiver kicked the ball right to Johnson, and the alert six-foot-three, 265-pounder rumbled up the right sideline for a big run back that helped B.C. to a 32-5 stomping of the Bombers.
5. Anything you can do…
Perhaps Brent Johnson's big play inspired the B.C. defence. Later in the same Aug. 10 game during which Johnson pulled off his unlikely interception return, fellow Lions defensive end Nautyn McKay-Loescher did him one better. With the Bombers driving into B.C. territory, a rushing McKay-Loescher beat his blocker around the outside edge, snuck up behind Mike Quinn and simply plucked the ball out of the quarterback's hands. Whereas his teammate had been brought down shy of the end zone earlier in the game, McKay-Loescher went all the way for a touchdown.
4. DeAngelis gets his kicks with field goal 56
Some hardbitten football types like to say that placekickers aren't really part of the team. But even the most grizzled gridiron warrior would have to give a nod to the impact Sandro Angelis had on the Calgary Stampeders this season. Named player of the week four times and player of the month for July, DeAngelis led the CFL with 214 points, nearly half of Calgary's scoring this season. The 25-year-old from Niagara Falls, Ont., entered the Stampeders record book on Oct. 21 by booting his 55th field goal of the season. DeAngelis ended the season with 56 field goals, the third-highest total in CFL history, en route to earning the West division's nomination for the league's outstanding special teams player.
3. Simon says score
Geroy Simon's 1,856 yards receiving in 2006 put him well ahead of anyone in the CFL in that category. And, as his 15 touchdowns suggest, Simon was a threat to score on each of his league-leading 105 catches. The six-foot, 198-pound speedster from Johnstown, Penn., proved that fact on Aug. 4 against the Edmonton Eskimos. With the Lions in the shadow of their own goalposts, Simon caught a short pass over the middle from quarterback Dave Dickenson, surged toward the right sideline and blazed downfield for a 92-yard touchdown, the longest of his remarkable season. And he didn't stop there, later catching a 56-yard TD from Buck Pierce as part of a five-catch, 196-yard day in a 34-17 B.C. win.
2. Pro football's new passing king
It was far from the most spectacular toss of his 22-year CFL career, but when Damon Allen's third-quarter shovel pass to Arland Bruce III in the Labour Day classic went for a 29-yard touchdown, it made Allen the most prolific passer in the history of professional football. Allen, 43, ended the day with 207 yards through the air and a pair of touchdown strikes to help his Toronto Argonauts to a 40-6 drubbing of the rival Hamilton Tiger-Cats. After receiving the game ball and a loud ovation from the Ivor Wynne Stadium faithful, Allen left the field with 70,596 yards in his career, surpassing former CFL and NFL star Warren Moon for the most pro passing yards of all time.
1. Turtle-Man leaves the Eskimos shell-shocked
Of Milt Stegall's 136 CFL touchdowns — one shy of the league record — the most memorable may be the one he scored on July 20 in Edmonton. With his Blue Bombers trailing by three and caught deep in their own territory as the clocked ticked down, the "Turtle-Man" (named for his abdominal muscles) hauled in a pass from quarterback Kevin Glenn at his own 40, causing two defenders to collide in a botched tackle attempt, and raced untouched for a 100-yard touchdown with no time remaining to give Winnipeg a miracle 25-22 comeback win over the Eskimos. The play capped a remarkable performance by Stegall, who racked up 254 yards receiving for perhaps the finest day of his illustrious 12-year CFL career.
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