BY: Jeff Schneberk
If Hamilton wins, it will be close, if Montreal wins, expect a blowout.
In their three previous meetings, Hamilton holds a 2-1 record against the Als, however both wins were very tight, and the Montreal win was by a 30-point blowout. Hamilton also won the pre-season game, in Montreal, on June 13 by a 33-26 final. Not like that means a lot though, lol.
What is Kent Austin thinking heading into the only game that matters now?
“I’ll be shocked if we’re not ready to play,” he said after the Ticats overcame a slow start to completely dominate the final three quarters.
They (Hamilton) will have home-field advantage in the Eastern Semi-Final against the Montreal Alouettes.
“Any type of confidence you can get, you need it, and we’re a confident group right now,” said quarterback Henry Burris.
“But we know it’s going to take a lot of hard preparation to get in focus for us to go out and win that game next week.”
Burris completed 17 of 24 passes for 135 yards and two touchdowns before Austin let him rest late in the game. He also didn’t throw any interceptions, one of his weak stats this season.
“He seemed like he completed a bunch of footballs,” said Austin.
He is probably going to need plenty of that when the CFL playoffs come to Guelph for probably the first time in the history of the league. The Tabbies are up for a little distinction if they can find a way to send the Als home (from Guelph)-again.
Not long ago, Hamilton beat up Montreal in one of the highest scoring games in CFL playoffs, but were then grounded by the Blue Bombers who went on to advance to the finals.
In their last battle vs Montreal, which was also in Guelph, the Ticats came from behind to beat the visitors, 27-24 at Alumni Stadium.
Hamilton used three different QBs to get the job done and were able to take advantage of turnovers and came back from a 16-0 first-half deficit and that led to their ninth win of the season (their 10th win came a week later in Winnipeg).
As it is not news anymore, Montreal’s Anthony Calvillo has been shut down for the remainder of the season. Backup Josh Neiswander was unable to bring Montreal’s offence to the level Jim Popp expected, meant the Als had to go with Smith behind centre.
Hamilton’s victories this season for the most part have been one-score victories.
Henry Burris had 163 yards and an interception in the win, while Jeremiah Masoli tossed his first career touchdown pass. Banks meanwhile added the game-winning return touchdown to a 45-yard touchdown run earlier in the game to notch his first two touchdowns in the CFL, against Montreal.
If their Week 18 matchup was any indication, we are in for a thrilling Eastern Semi-Final at Alumni Stadium. The Alouettes and Tiger-Cats met three times this season with Ticats taking two close contests and dropping one in convincing fashion in Montreal. That 36-6 win in Week 17 by the Als gave them the edge in points as they outscored the ‘Cats 86-60 in their three meetings in 2013.
The Rest of the Week:
Today is an extra day of practice for the Ticats in preparation of Sunday’s East semifinal. They’ll take tomorrow off, then do their usual three day schedule starting Wednesday. Here’s what’s happening:
• receivers Greg Ellingson and Luke Tasker are practicing today, along with all the regulars who sat out last week’s win over Winnipeg (Johnson, Lawrence, Isaac, Murray, Davis, Bulcke on defence, Grant, Fantuz, Gable, Wojt on offence.)
• both special teams aficionado Marc Beswick and defensive lineman Hasan Hazime, who were nicked in Winnipeg, are both practicing. The only guy of note who isn’t practicing because of injury is Marcellus Bowman.