Who were those men in black and gold on the field at Ivor Wynne Stadium Saturday? Surely this wasn’t the same group of football players who couldn’t score a touchdown in four straight home games and just one in their past five games? After all, the team that took to the field on Saturday night, scored three majors in the first half. Yes, in 30 minutes!
Okay so maybe they didn’t burn up the second half offensively; Cats scored all their points in the opening half. But the Ticats 27-22 win over the Edmonton Eskimos is a far more important morale victory than it is a “W” in the standings.
The Cats, now 3-11 in the Canadian Football League, showed the 25,107 faithful that they can play football.
“To play that well, I mean we didn’t play probably as well as we should have in the second half, but we played a really good first half,” said an upbeat Hamilton quarterback and ex-Eskimo Jason Maas who threw one touchdown, zero interceptions and had one fumble. “Our special teams scored a touchdown. Our defence had four or five turnovers. That’s huge. When you can do that you’re going to win ballgames.” It was Mass’ first game against his former teammates. He was acquired in the off season.
Edmonton was in desperate need of the win to keep its playoffs hope alive and to make the post season for a 20th straight season. Now 4-7 they failed to gain ground on the bye week Saskatchewan Roughriders and their 6-6 mark in the CFL’s West Division.
For Hamilton the victory didn’t left them anywhere in the standings. They remain dead last. But there cause for hope. Rookie DaVon Fowlkes, playing in just his second CFL game after coming off the practice roster, ran a Sean Fleming punt back 86 yards to end the Ticats touchdown drought. D.J. Flick and Anthony Davis also had touchdowns in the first half. Until Fowlkes major, injured Corey Holmes, who is talk of trade speculation, had Hamilton’s last touchdown on July 14.
Hamilton kicker Jamie Boreham booted two goals, from 41 and 15 yards, and converted the three touchdowns.
Edmonton quarterback Ricky Ray scored both of Edmonton’s TD, each from one yard out. But he also threw three interceptions and had one fumble. out. Fleming connected on two of his three field attempts, connected from 46 and 34 yards out but missing from 40 yards.
The two teams will go at it again on Friday night in Edmonton. It’s possible Edmonton linebacker A.J. Gass may not be in the lineup. He delivered a vicious kick to a fallen Ticat on the final play of the game and the league will likely review that incident.