TI­CATS FEEL­ING A CHILL

Ottawa Sun - - SPORTS -

HAMIL­TON — The Tiger-Cats aren’t ex­actly head­ing into the East Divi­sion semi­fi­nal on a roll.

Hamil­ton (8-9) hosts the B.C. Li­ons (9-9) on Sun­day af­ter­noon af­ter drop­ping its fi­nal three reg­u­lar-sea­son con­tests. While hardly ideal, the Ti­cats still fin­ished sec­ond in East stand­ings to se­cure home field for the con­fer­ence semi­fi­nal.

And in the past two sea­sons, both Ot­tawa (89-1) and Toronto (9-9-0) went on to cap­ture the Grey Cup af­ter post­ing medi­ocre reg­u­lar-sea­son records. But that’s of lit­tle so­lace to Ti­cats head coach June Jones.

“Our goal was to just get here ... and then to the Grey Cup,” he said. “That’s all I’m think­ing about, that’s all the kids are think­ing about. Win in Novem­ber, you win it all.”

Trou­ble is, Hamil­ton hasn’t done a lot of win­ning this sea­son at Tim Hor­tons Field. The Ti­cats were 4-5 at home al­though one of those wins was a con­vinc­ing 40-10 de­ci­sion over B.C. on Sept. 29.

Some­thing both teams could have to con­tend with is Mother Na­ture. It’s been a cool, windy and wet week in Hamil­ton.

Ti­cats QB Jeremiah Ma­soli said the key in windy con­di­tions is throw­ing a tight spi­ral into it so the ball can ef­fec­tively cut through it.

“At the end of the day you’ve just got to throw,” he said. “You fin­ish on top of your balls and make sure you get spi­rals.

“If you’ve got spi­rals there shouldn’t be any prob­lem. It is what it is.”

With Ma­soli un­der cen­tre, Hamil­ton’s of­fence av­er­aged 405.6 to­tal yards per game (first over­all) and 310.7 yards pass­ing (No. 2). But B.C.’s de­fence fin­ished tied for most sacks (45) and was ranked sec­ond against the pass (247.2 yards).

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