July 28, 2017

Red and White To Clash With Ticats

Hamilton Tiger-Cats at Calgary Stampeders
McMahon Stadium
Saturday, July 29
Kickoff: 7:30 P.M.
Radio: News talk 770, Sirus XM 167

For the second time in eight days, the Stamps will take to the turf in front of their fans when they welcome the Hamilton Tiger-Cats to town for a Saturday night encounter.

Calgary has won every home game against Hamilton dating back to 2005. Marcus Crandell was quarterbacking the Stampeders and Danny McManus was under centre for the Tiger-Cats when Hamilton last left Calgary with a win 13 years ago.

However, each of the Stampeders’ five triumphs over the Ticats at McMahon since 2012 has been by less than a converted touchdown.

“They’ve always played us well,” said head coach Dave Dickenson. “It’s been close games for the last four or five years and we’ve been fortunate to come out on top, but a lot of them were last-second field goals and that. They’ve got a great defensive line and they’re putting pressure on (quarterbacks). Their linebacking corps is solid and it looks like they may be minus Simoni (Lawrence) who is a great player, but I’m sure they will have great depth.”

When Hamilton most recently travelled to take on the Red and White 11 months ago, the Stamps came out on top by a score of 30-24 despite 439 passing yards by Zach Collaros.

A 17-point victory while hosting Saskatchewan last weekend propelled the Stamps to 3-1-1. Jerome Messam’s 135 yards rushing against the Riders not only earned him CFL player-of-the-week honours, but enabled him to move into top spot among CFL running backs with 323 yards in five appearances.

“I do think honestly the (best) way is to stay balanced,” offered Dickenson when asked about Messam’s 28 carries in Week 5. “Last week was more run (plays), but we had the lead. We were up 17-0 at half and that’s the way things occur when you have that type of game and you try to just work the clock and make sure they don’t have as many opportunities and win games. So we’ll just see how it goes.”

As for Hamilton, Kent Austin’s group fell to 0-4 on the year last week by conceding the game-winning touchdown to Vidal Hazelton of the out-of-town Eskimos in the final minute of play.

Only one roster change will be made by the Calgary coaching staff for Week 6 as Osagie Odiase will be added in place of the injured Joshua Bell.
Sergio Castillo, an off-season addition to the Tiger-Cats, is the league’s lone kicker without a missed field goal in 2017 as he’s made all nine of his attempts.

With opposing offenses having scored 21.6 points per game, the Stampeders lead the CFL in that category. Conversely, the Ticats sit in ninth place with an average of 34.0 points given up by Hamilton’s defensive unit.

Also No. 1 in the league is Calgary’s +6 turnover margin. As for the Tiger-Cats, their offensive struggles have resulted in part by accumulating the fewest first downs and lowest time of possession per contest.

“I believe Collaros, when he’s moving around and scrambling and making plays, is one of the best,” Dickenson explained. “They’ve got a great returner. They’ve got weapons. They can put points on the board and they can get after the quarterback and those are all things you need to win games.”

These two teams will collide again on Friday, Oct. 13 at Tim Hortons Field.