LIVESTREAM (Free): CFL – Ottawa REDBLACKS @Calgary Stampeders, Sat. June 15, 5p (7p EDT, 1a CEDT June 16)

CALGARY — Week 1 of the Canadian Football League season will see a rematch of the 106th Grey Cup presented by Shaw.

The defending Grey Cup Champion Calgary Stampeders will host the Ottawa REDBLACKS at McMahon Stadium to kick off a Saturday night CFL double-header.

For the first time since November, the best teams from last year’s divisions will square off. Over the last four seasons, the Grey Cup has seen either the REDBLACKS or the Stampeders take to the field.

Calgary won all three matchups against the REDBLACKS last season, including a 27-16 Grey Cup win in November. Quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell was named the game’s Most Outstanding Player after throwing two touchdowns, two interceptions, and 253 yards passing. With the victory, Mitchell became the first quarterback in franchise history to capture two Grey Cups.

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The Stampeders were the best team in the CFL last season, racing to a 13-5 record. The team also boasted the second-highest scoring offence (522 points) and the best defence (363 points allowed). The REDBLACKS were the best team in the East Division and finished the year with an 11-7 record. No other team in the East finished the season with a winning record.

But both teams will be fielding completely different squads than the ones that took the field last November.

Calgary lost a number of players on both sides of the ball, including receiver DaVaris Daniels, defensive tackle Micah Johnson and linebacker Alex Singleton. The team even lost defensive coordinator DeVone Claybrooks, who joined the BC Lions as their new head coach.

Brett Monson is tasked as the team’s new defensive coordinator, assembling a unit that’s missing roughly two thirds of the starters that took the field last November.

The REDBLACKS have had their changes too. While the defence, under Noel Thorpe, remains mostly intact, quarterback Trevor Harris, receivers Diontae Spencer and Greg Ellingson, offensive tackle SirVincent Rogers and running back William Powell all landed elsewhere during a winter of unparalleled off-season movement.

Despite the changes, the Stampeders remain confident group under Head Coach Dave Dickenson, who enters his fourth season with a 41-11-2 regular season record.

“Everybody thinks we have a little Grey Cup hangover,” Stampeders running back Terry Williams said earlier in the week in an interview with Stampeders.com. “You can bet against us, but we’re going to be Stampeders and do what we do.”

Williams will return kicks and also spell starting running back Don Jackson. Romar Morris is currently on the six-game injured list as he recovers from an Achilles injury suffered last November.

It helps that the Stamps still have Mitchell, their star quarterback and the league’s number one ranked player according to this year’s TSN top-50, back in the fold. Mitchell re-upped with the Stamps in the off-season by signing a four-year deal worth nearly three million dollars.

While Daniels along with Chris MatthewsMarken Michel and Lemar Durant will no longer be catching passes for the Red and White, and Kamar Jorden will be out for the foreseeable future as he recovers from last year’s season-ending knee injury, Mitchell will have plenty of familiar targets.

Eric Rogers, whose three-touchdown performance in the Western Final helped the Stamps win the Grey Cup, leads a talented core that also includes promising up-and-comers Reggie BegeltonMarkeith Ambles and Canadian Juwan Brescacin. University of Calgary product Michael Klukas has won a starting job at wide receiver and will make his first career start after a strong training camp.

 

On the Ottawa side of the ball, the REDBLACKS will start quarterback Dominique Davis behind centre. The East Carolina alum won the starting job in training camp over off-season addition Jonathon Jennings and will look to fill the shoes of departed quarterback Trevor Harris.

Davis, 29, joined the REDBLACKS in 2018 as a backup to Harris. The pivot threw three touchdowns and 373 yards in eight games played last season.

“It means a lot, I’ve been waiting for my moment and the time is here. I just want to do the best I can to win games and hoist the Grey Cup,” Davis told OttawaREDBLACKS.com earlier this week.

After losing much of their core, the offence comes into 2019 with something to prove. Many are doubting the REDBLACKS this season, while the team was ranked eighth in the pre-season Nissan Titan Power Rankings, ahead of only the Montreal Alouettes.

While mainstays Brad Sinopoli and RJ Harris will do much of the heavy lifting, Caleb Holley showed immediate chemistry with Davis throughout the pre-season. Dominique Rhymes has also won a starting job, while Canadian Seth Coate gets the nod at field wideout. Mossis Madu is the starter at running back going into Week 1.

Up front, the REDBLACKS will start five Canadian offensive linemen, a rarity in the CFL, as 2018 first round draft pick Mark Korte gets the assignment at left tackle. On the defensive side of things, veteran corner Chris Randle will get the start for Ottawa.

BY THE NUMBERS

– The consecutive number of home openers the Calgary Stampeders have won. The last time the Stamps lost a home opener was July 1, 2011 in a 23-21 loss to the Toronto Argonauts.

35 – The number of touchdown passes thrown by Bo Levi Mitchell last season for Calgary. Not only was the total good enough to lead the league, they’re the most touchdowns the Texas native has thrown in a single season since joining the CFL in 2012.

11 – REDBLACKS named to the All-East team in 2018. Only five of those players remain with Ottawa for this season.

116 – Receptions for REDBLACKS receiver Brad Sinopoli, who set a career-high while also leading the league in catches and targets (154). The Canadian was the only receiver to have made over 100 grabs last season.

The Stampeders will commemorate their Grey Cup victory by raising a flag in the northeast corner of their stadium prior to kickoff. Singleton, who’s now signed with the Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League, will be in attendance to sign autographs before the game as well.

AFI, Yare Media and the CFL

American Football International is collaborating with Yare Media and the Canadian Football League to present 2019 CFL games live. This is more than a livestream. This is a stream of the top flight TSN network television broadcast.

LIVE STREAM: CFL – Ottawa REDBLACKS @Calgary Stampeders, Sat. June 15, 5p (7p EDT, 1a CEDT June 16)

CFL
Today's CFL is more than just our great game of football. It's fans sharing their excitement for what they see on the field, and what they experience off it. Stay up to date on all the non-stop action at CFL.ca. And join all of Canada as we celebrate the 105th Grey Cup, presented by Shaw, this November in Ottawa.
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