Old style bully ball: 13 ideas on Hamilton’s 18-14 win over the Saskatchewan Roughriders

Jane Levy

Old style bully ball: 13 ideas on Hamilton’s 18-14 win over the Saskatchewan Roughriders
Photograph: Bob Butrym/3DownNation. All rights reserved.

And identical to that, the 5-10 Hamilton Tiger-Cats are proper again within the thick of the East Division playoff race.

It might not have been fairly, however the Ticats escaping Tim Hortons Subject on Friday with an 18-14 win over the Saskatchewan Roughriders provides them an enormous shot within the arm.

With 5 wins and three video games left to play, the Tabbies now management their playoff fates. Win out and the Cats are within the dance.

There are nonetheless a number of different eventualities that would see Hamilton make the playoffs now that they’re simply two factors again of the Riders, however the best one is the best one.

Hamilton gained Friday night time’s contest by taking part in some good, old school bully ball. They ran the ball down the Riders’ throat and established dominance on the line of scrimmage on each side of the ball.

The Ticats completed the sport with extra dashing makes an attempt than move makes an attempt on offence and the defence tallied seven sacks of Roughriders’ quarterback Cody Fajardo.

Listed below are extra of my ideas.

Hills, Hills, Hills

Fast, title the final Tiger-Cats working again to have over 100 yards dashing in a recreation was? If you happen to answered Don Jackson, congratulations, you win no prize.

Except for a small blip in 2018 below June Jones, the working recreation in Hamilton has been vastly under-utilized since DeAndra’ Cobb left the crew following the 2010 season. The Ticats employed top-of-the-line dashing assaults in your complete CFL within the early 2000s, however regardless of having gamers reminiscent of C.J. Gable, Avon Cobourne, Tyrell Sutton, Alex Inexperienced and Don Jackson, the working recreation has been an afterthought in Tiger City for over a decade.

It appears as if Wes Hills’ ascent to RB1 is altering that.

In opposition to the Montreal Alouettes, the Ticats used a heavy dose of Hills however I don’t suppose something would have led individuals to consider simply how closely utilized he could be on Friday night time.

Hills rushed the ball 25 instances for 132 yards, probably the most dashing yards by a Hamilton Tiger-Cats working again since Mercer Timmis ran for 133 towards Edmonton in Week 2 of 2018. Hills’ 132 yards was simply the eighth time the Ticats have featured a 100-plus-yard rusher of their final 65 video games.

The Ticats as a crew had solely rushed for greater than 100 yards 5 instances this season, and Hills’ 132 yards had been greater than double the output of any single Tiger-Cat, topping his personal statline of 61 yards towards the Alouettes two weeks in the past.

If Hamilton has lastly unlocked a dependable run recreation, it might be the factor that opens up this offence for fulfillment over the common season’s last three weeks.

Inflicting Carney-age

What Hills was for the offence, second-year move rusher Malik Carney was for the defence.

Carney, who has seen his function enhance during the last month, notched three of the crew’s seven sacks of Fajardo on Friday night time and tied for the crew lead in defensive tackles with 4.

The College of North Carolina product had simply 4 profession sacks getting into Friday’s recreation, and doubled his whole on the season along with his output towards the Riders.

The Ticats have been in search of a Ja’Gared Davis alternative all season they usually could have lastly discovered one within the 27-year-old from Alexandria, Virginia.

Zebra herding

I do know most individuals wish to rag on CFL officiating — and I’ve accomplished so myself up to now — however the refs, for probably the most half, often do an amazing job and the occasional missed name is one thing we simply have to just accept.

Having stated that, some calls should be proper and the crew final night time obtained a giant one fallacious.

Early within the fourth quarter with the Ticats nursing a 15-14 lead, Riders’ QB Cody Fajardo was referred to as for intentional grounding whereas he was standing in his personal finish zone.

Screengrab courtesy: TSN

Right here is how the rule reads (my emphasis added):

If a Staff A passer intentionally, and within the official’s opinion for the aim of avoiding lack of yardage, throws the ball behind the road of scrimmage to the bottom or Out of Bounds or to an space in which there’s not an eligible Staff A receiver, the crew shall be penalized.

PENALTY: LD at level from which move was thrown. If the move was thrown from the Purpose Space, a security contact rating shall be awarded to Staff B, topic to the appropriate of Staff B to say no the rating and settle for the play because it terminated.

Primarily based on the picture above, it’s unquestionable that Fajardo was within the purpose space when he threw the ball, nevertheless, when head referee Andre Proulx made his name he gave the ball to the Riders at their very own one-yard line as a result of the ball was exterior the purpose space when it was thrown.

This looks like a mistake by the refs. In each different occasion, the location of the thrower, not the ball, dictates the result. Consider an unlawful move when the quarterback is past the road of scrimmage. It’s the quarterback’s positioning not the place the ball is that decides if an unlawful ahead move has been made. It appears as if that very same precept ought to apply right here as properly.

Primarily based on how the rule is written, it definitely appears as if the Tiger-Cats ought to have been awarded a security on the play. Nowhere within the rule does it say something about the place the ball is, simply the place the move is thrown. That move was clearly and clearly thrown from the tip zone and accomplished so to keep away from a sack. Appears fairly reduce and dry to me.

Zebra petting

With one hand we scold, with the opposite we reward and regardless of a whole lot of confusion, the refs did get one extremely ridiculous factor proper and that was the decision on the finish of the half on Saskatchewan punter Kaare Vedvik’s wild downfield journey.

Vedvik badly shanked a second-quarter punt after which managed to kick the ball as he was making an attempt to get well it, had that second kick bounce off a Tiger-Cats participant and the free ball was finally recovered by the Riders.

Flags flew in every single place and chaos reigned supreme. Nobody knew what had simply occurred and the way it must be referred to as, besides the officers. The lads in stripes took their time and appropriately dominated the play to end in a Saskatchewan first down.

The rule itself is likely to be a little bit silly — the kicking crew benefitting from a shanked punt that will get recovered wanting the road of acquire feels a little bit unfair — however the software of it was completely accomplished by the referees.

Adventures in particular teaming

Vedvik’s punt was not the one particular groups journey we went on on Friday night time. The Ticats had a punt blocked that arrange the Riders’ second landing drive, the usually dependable Seth Small missed an additional level and the Riders, for possibly the primary time this season, tried an onside punt.

The onside punt is one in all my favorite, only-in-the-CFL guidelines and it’s not utilized practically sufficient for my liking. The Riders’ try was unsuccessful however they get an A-plus in my ebook for even trying it.

Three quarters of nope

Friday night time was one in all Hamilton’s finest defensive performances of the season, because the 14 factors they surrendered was the fewest they’d allowed in a recreation this 12 months.

Hamilton’s defence was swarming, sacking Fajardo seven instances and holding the Riders to a minuscule 29 yards dashing on the night time. They pressured 4 turnovers — two interceptions and two stops on third down — permitting the Riders to cross the midfield stripe simply twice after Saskatchewan’s second landing of the night time. The entire Riders’ drives following them taking a 14-6 lead led to both a turnover or a punt.

It was a masterful efficiency from the defensive unit and one the crew desperately wanted in such a low-scoring contest.

Dane’s down day

For many of this season, the crew has gone as quarterback Dane Evans has gone, and Evans was fairly dangerous towards the Riders on Friday. He accomplished simply 45.8 % of his passes, throwing two interceptions and 0 touchdowns.

His second interception was an inexcusable catastrophe as he threw the ball proper into the palms of defensive lineman Pete Robertson on a display screen move supposed for receiver Tim White. It was the kind of decide you wouldn’t anticipate a participant in his first 12 months taking part in to throw.

However regardless of Evans taking part in about as poorly as he has all 12 months, the Ticats nonetheless managed to discover a strategy to intestine out the win. Evans is unlikely to look this dangerous once more — though with how this season has gone, “unlikely” is doing a whole lot of heavy lifting in that sentence — however we now know that even when he does play poorly the Tabbies can nonetheless do sufficient to emerge victorious.

Small does all of it

Missed additional level apart, Tiger-Cats’ kicker Seth Small has been Mr. Computerized for the crew since being introduced again in June.

The Texas A&M College product is second within the league in area purpose proportion, hitting on 90 % of his kicks within the 10 video games he has performed and trailing solely B.C. Lions’ kicker Sean Whyte in that class.

Small additionally has the third-most makes from 50-plus yards and Friday’s missed additional level was his first missed convert of the season.

Hamilton’s kicking recreation has been a wild journey the previous few seasons however it lastly appears to be like to be settled with Small.

Timmy 1K

Congratulations are to ensure that Ticats’ receiver Tim White who eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark for the primary time in his skilled profession.

Quite a bit was anticipated of White getting into 2022 because the alternative for fan favorite Brandon Banks and the second-year move catcher’s season has been a bit up and down. White has turned it on down the stretch, going over 100 in three of his final six video games and he has turn into a a lot bigger a part of the offence in current weeks.

Devastating Wynn-jury

Previous to the sport on Friday, Ticats’ all-star defensive sort out Dylan Wynn took to Twitter to announce that his 2022 season has come to an finish on account of an harm he suffered within the crew’s Week 15 win over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

The Tiger-Cats didn’t miss Wynn towards the Riders however his loss is a large blow to the crew, as Wynn is likely one of the premier inside linemen within the league.

With Wynn now on the shelf for the rest of the season, the crew can be relying extra on Micah Johnson and Ted Laurent to fill the huge gap this creates.

Danny Mac, when are you coming again?

Friday night time was a particular night time for longtime Tiger-Cats followers, as franchise legend Danny McManus lastly took his rightful place amongst Ticats greats by being inducted into the crew’s Wall of Honour.

McManus’ accolades are identified to virtually everybody. He’s the franchise chief in quite a few classes and he’s the final quarterback to steer the Ticats to a Gray Cup victory.

His arrival in Metal City in 1998 ushered in a profitable period of Tiger-Cats soccer and reworked a crew that went 2-16 the 12 months earlier than he arrived right into a champion simply two years later.

McManus is the twenty fifth participant inducted into the Tiger-Cats Wall of Honour, the primary since Rob Hitchcock was inducted in 2019.

The 17-year veteran at present serves within the function of assistant common supervisor for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, a job he has held since 2014. Previous to that, McManus was a scout for the Tiger-Cats from 2009-2013.

The Tiger-Cats at present would not have anybody who fills the overall supervisor function for the crew — with Drew Allemang, Spencer Zimmerman and Ed Hervey all serving as assistant common managers to president of soccer operations and head coach Orlondo Steinauer — and it’s broadly identified that McManus yearns to be a GM.

McManus coming east 24 years in the past took a downtrodden crew and made them winners. Maybe he might do the identical now, simply off the sphere this time as an alternative of on.

Mark your calendars

It was a blink-and-you-will-miss-it second however at Tim Hortons Subject final night time, an commercial was proven that lastly set a premiere date for the extremely anticipated Rivalries: The QEW Sequence documentary that chronicles the extreme rivalry between the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Toronto Argonauts.

The doc will air on November 4 at 7 p.m. on TSN., which is the Friday main as much as the divisional semi-finals and the primary Friday and not using a CFL recreation being performed since June.

Up subsequent

Friday’s recreation was the largest Tiger-Cats recreation of the season… till the following one.

With their playoff lives firmly in their very own management,  the Ticats now flip their focus to doing one thing they haven’t accomplished for the reason that Tobey Maguire-led Spider-Man 2 was the No. 1 film on the earth: win a recreation at McMahon Stadium in Calgary.

Not since 2004 have the Tiger-Cats left Calgary with a victory. The iPhone was three years away from current at that time. It’s been a very long time.

However fret not Tiger-Cats supporters, as a result of even when the Tabbies had been to drop their upcoming recreation at McMahon to the Stamps, all is not going to be misplaced.

Hamilton’s last two video games are a back-to-back collection with the moribund Ottawa Redblacks whereas the Riders may have their very own back-to-back towards the Stamps.

For the Ticats to make the playoffs, they merely want to complete with an equal file to the Riders, who they at present sit one recreation again of at 5-10 to the Riders’ 6-10. With the inexperienced and white’s pair of dates with the pink and white, the Riders could finish the season at 6-12 (which is unimaginable contemplating they started the season 4-1).

That signifies that the Ticats could solely have to win one in all their remaining three video games to make the postseason.

Whether or not you might be prepared for it or not, a 6-12 or 7-11 Hamilton Tiger-Cats crew could have a possibility to win a championship.

Solely within the Canadian Soccer League.

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