TICATS FEELING A CHILL
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).