Li­ons-Cats Eastern semi­fi­nal bat­tle will be con­test be­tween quar­ter­backs

Vancouver Sun - - SPORTS - FRANK ZICARELLI

1. Hip, Hip, Lu­lay

There isn’t a more re­spected player in three-down foot­ball than Travis Lu­lay, who the Ti­cats have yet to meet this sea­son. Lu­lay has won a Grey Cup and un­der­stands what it takes when play­ing a post­sea­son game. Pro­tect­ing the foot­ball, mak­ing the right reads and de­liv­er­ing the ball on time will be asked of Lu­lay. He can move in the pocket and when nec­es­sary. Lu­lay can make plays with his feet.

2. Ma­soli the Mes­siah

All eyes in the Ham­mer will be on Jeremiah Ma­soli, the ul­ti­mate dual-threat quar­ter­back who has flour­ished un­der June Jones’ sys­tem. If the Li­ons don’t con­tain Ma­soli in the pocket, rush­ing yards will be yielded. B.C. fig­ures to mix up their cov­er­age in the sec­ondary and force Ma­soli to be pa­tient. For Ma­soli to be con­sid­ered an elite quar­ter­back, he must come through.

3. Wally’s World

This could be Wally Buono’s last stand as he wraps up a 46-year run in the CFL. “I know the play­ers will be mo­ti­vated,” Jones said of the vis­i­tors. “They’re go­ing to play hard whether Wally was re­tir­ing or not. Wally has mo­ti­vated a lot of play­ers to play at a high level for a lot of years. He’d love to go out with a win. We’d like to send him out with a loss.”

4. No Small Tasker

Luke Tasker will get all the at­ten­tion from B.C.’s pass­ing de­fence, the one tar­get the Li­ons must al­ways ac­count for in the in­jury ab­sence of Bran­don Banks, one of the game’s elite play­mak­ers. Tasker isn’t go­ing to get be­hind cov­er­age with his speed un­less there’s a break­down in the back end, but he’s savvy, tough and sure­handed. For Hamil­ton to win, Tasker must have a min­i­mum of 10 tar­gets.

5. Best Foot For­ward

No punter has distin­guished him­self bet­ter in the CFL than B.C.’s Ty Long and no kicker must re­deem him­self more than Hamil­ton’s Lirim Ha­jrul­lahu. Both Long

and Ha­jrul­lahu han­dle all the spe­cial-teams du­ties for their re­spec­tive teams and each will have to be at their ab­so­lute best in the big­gest game of the sea­son.

Travis Lu­lay

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