Calgary Stampeders at Hamilton Tiger-Cats Tim Hortons Field Friday, Oct. 13 Kickoff: 5 p.m. MDT Radio: News Talk 770, Sirius XM 167 TV: TSN, ESPN 2
In order for the Stamps to have a chance at wrapping up the West Division this weekend, they’ll need to take care of business against the Tiger-Cats in Southern Ontario on Friday night.
A win over Hamilton paired with a BC victory against Winnipeg on Saturday would clinch the fourth divisional title for the Stamps in the past five seasons.
“Anytime you go on the road to the east, it’s never going to be easy,” explained head coach Dave Dickenson. “We’re playing a team that basically has to beat us to make the playoffs. We definitely know they’ll be motivated. We have to make sure we’re ready to go out there and fight and come out with the win.”
Calgary, at 12-1-1, most recently enjoyed a Week 16 bye after defeating the Alouettes at home in convincing fashion by a score of 59-11. Meanwhile, the Ticats took to the road for a 30-13 triumph over the Blue Bombers to improve to 4-10.
On July 29, the Red and White had their most convincing outing ever and finished with the second-highest single-game point total in franchise history by pouncing 60-1 over Hamilton at McMahon Stadium. Jerome Messam scored three majors, Shaquille Richardson had a pick-six and all three quarterbacks completed a pass.
“(The Ticats) had good talent, and now they’ve got a little bit more belief,” Dickenson said comparing their first meeting to tomorrow’s tilt. “They’re much more sound in what they do and they’re getting solid quarterback play. But their defence, to me, has really taken a huge step forward. It’ll be a challenge for us this weekend.”
The Stampeders’ most recent trip to Hamilton was also a success, winning by 19 points in the Red and White’s lone 2016 trip to Tim Hortons Field.
With plenty of playmakers at their disposal, the Stamps leads the CFL in statistical categories such as points allowed, average gain per pass and kick return touchdowns. No team has committed fewer turnovers or forced more premature changes of possession than the Stamps.
Bo Levi Mitchell will be going against Ticats head coach June Jones for the first time since the two were together at Southern Methodist University from 2008-09. Jones has held his current coaching position for just seven weeks.
Rookie defensive back Richard Leonard of the Tiger-Cats has a league-high 12 knockdowns in addition to a fumble and interception returned for a touchdown. Since assuming the starting role under centre, Jeremiah Masoli has gone 4-2 with a 61.1 completion percentage.
“He’s playing well,” offered Dickenson on the play of Masoli. “It looks to me like they’ve simplified the game and he’s running a nice, tight system. They run some of the same plays over and over but different guys are getting the ball with different options. I do think a running quarterback is dangerous in this league.”
Ex-Stamps Ben D’Aguilar and Osagie Odiase will be facing their former squad after arriving in Hamilton mid-season. Another new addition to the Ticats roster, Kenny Allen, will be making his punting and kicking debut in place of the injured Sergio Castillo.