Ti­cats have 9 wins in Cal­gary … in 56 years

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - DREW ED­WARDS ded­wards@thes­pec.com 905-526-2481 | @scratch­ing­post

The sto­ry­line for Hamil­ton: The Ti­cats are 0-4 af­ter los­ing a heart­breaker to Ed­mon­ton at home last week, giv­ing up a late lead in the fourth quar­ter. Hamil­ton hasn’t won in Cal­gary since 2004, when Paul Mar­tin was Prime Min­is­ter, and will have to do so with­out all-star line­backer Si­moni Lawrence and start­ing left tackle Xavier Fulton. With a trip to Ed­mon­ton on deck — the team is stay­ing in Al­berta next week — Hamil­ton is star­ing at the pos­si­bil­ity of an 0-6 start.

Key in­juries and ros­ter changes: Lawrence is on the shelf with a lower body in­jury so Larry Dean shifts to the weak side with NFL vet­eran Kavell Con­ner tak­ing over in the mid­dle. Half­back Abdul Kan­neh, a ma­jor free-agent sign­ing this off-sea­son, makes his Ti­cat de­but af­ter miss­ing the first four games due to in­jury. With left tackle Xavier Fulton out, La­mar Holmes moves from the right side and Quin­ter­rius Eat­mon makes his first CFL start. Run­ning back C.J. Gable will start in place of Ross Scheuer­man — Gable’s su­pe­rior pass pro­tec­tion should help the in­ex­pe­ri­enced tack­les — while re­ceiver Kevin El­liott re­places Ju­nior Collins. De­fen­sive back Do­minique El­lis, signed this week, is the ex­tra de­fen­sive back, while rookie Cana­dian run­ning back Sean Thomas-Er­ling­ton makes his CFL de­but. Cana­dian line­backer Nick Shor­till (foot) and de­fen­sive backs Keon Lyn (leg) and Ter­rence Fred­er­ick are also off the ac­tive ros­ter. Three funky Hamil­ton stats: 1. The Ti­cats lead the CFL with an av­er­age of 8.3 quar­ter­back pres­sures per game and are sixth in sacks with nine (their 2.25 per game av­er­age in third, how­ever.)

2. Hamil­ton has gained the fewest yards per game at 288.0, and al­lowed the most at 455.3 per game. They are last in touch­down drives with just five in 53 pos­ses­sions (9 per cent) com­pared to 15 TDs al­lowed in 54 op­po­nent drives (28 per cent).

3. The Ti­cats are 30-61 against the Stamps since 1961, and have won just nine times in Cal­gary, against 36 losses, over than span.

The sto­ry­line for Cal­gary: The Stamps haven’t been play­ing their best foot­ball — they’d be the first to tell you that — but are still 3-1-1 af­ter dis­patch­ing of the Saskatchewan Roughrid­ers last week. Quar­ter­back Bo Levi Mitchell is third in the CFL with 1,635 pass­ing yards and se­cond in touch- down passes with nine. Run­ning back Jerome Mes­sam leads the league with 323 rush­ing yards.

Key in­juries: Start­ing safety Josh Bell was in­jured in last week’s win over the Rid­ers so rookie Cana­dian Tunde Adeleke will make his first CFL start. The Stamps have 15 play­ers on the six-game in­jured list, in­clud­ing a half-dozen starters … and don’t seem to have missed a beat. Three funky Cal­gary stats: 1. The Stamps have won 12 in a row at McMa­hon Sta­dium and they are 19-1 in their last 20 at home.

2. Cana­dian run­ning back Jerome Mes­sam had 28 car­ries last week, smash­ing his pre­vi­ous ca­reer high of 20. It was the most of any CFL player since Win­nipeg’s Charles Roberts had 32 car­ries in 2006.

3. Af­ter beat­ing Saskatchewan last week, the Stamps have now gone 92 games with­out back-to-back de­feats and are 72-18-2 (.793) over that stretch.

TSN play-by-play: Rod Black and Duane Forde. Ref­eree: An­dre Proulx Weather: Clear, 27 de­grees C with winds out of the south­east at 17 km/h gust­ing to 25 km/h.

LARRY MAC­DOU­GAL, THE CANA­DIAN PRESS

Cal­gary Stam­ped­ers’ Jerome Mes­sam, leads the CFL in rush­ing with 323 yards.

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