Realty One

Friday, June 29, 2018

HAMILTON - If Jeremiah Masoli cares about closing in on CFL history, he won't admit it.

Masoli passed for 369 yards and a touchdown to lead the Tiger-Cats past the Winnipeg Blue Bombers 31-17 on Friday in Hamilton's home opener. He's thrown more than 300 yards in eight consecutive games, tying Montreal's Anthony Calvillo (2012) and Edmonton's Mike Reilly (2015-16) for second most in CFL history.

"In all honesty, man, those lists don't mean anything for wins and losses,'' said Masoli. "If you have to throw for 500 yards just to lose, I don't want to do that. I'd rather throw for one yard and win every time. Right now that's what our focus is.''

Montreal's Sam Etcheverry (1956) and Saskatchewan's Kent Austin (1991) are tied for first with nine. Austin coached Masoli for five years until he resigned last year after Hamilton started the season 0-8. He still serves as a consultant with the team.

"Coach Kent, he was a great one, for sure,'' said Masoli. "It's just signs of the offence, right? It's not necessarily that we're trying to get (300 passing yards), it just shows that we're executing what we're supposed to do.''

Mercer Timmis ran in two touchdowns for the Tiger-Cats (2-1), while fellow Canadian Sean Thomas Erlington racked up 92 yards. Kicker Lirim Hajrullahu connected on four field goals and one conversion.

Running back Andrew Harris led Winnipeg's (1-2) offence with 66 yards and a touchdown. Justin Medlock had a field goal and two converts.

Rookie QB Chris Streveler rushed in a touchdown but managed only 146 passing yards a week after he was one of the CFL's top performers with 246 passing yards and three TDs in a 56-10 rout in Montreal.

Masoli aired out a 25-yard pass to Toliver with less than five minutes left in the third quarter to make it 28-10. That touchdown pass took Masoli to 308 yards in the game to move up in the record books.

Ticats head coach June Jones said after practice on Thursday that Masoli's been the best quarterback in the league for the past 12 games.

"Safe to say, 13 now,'' said Jones after the win. "I didn't even know until I was on the field that the number of 300-yard games that he's had.

Added Jones with a laugh: "We'll try to preserve Kent's record.''

Hajrullahu poured it on with eight seconds left in the third, making a 38-yard field goal for a 31-10 lead.

Streveler called his own number with 4:38 left in the game, rushing 15 yards for a TD. Medlock's conversion cut the lead to 31-17. The 58-yard, five-play drive ended six consecutive two-and-outs for the Blue Bombers.

That was Winnipeg's last gasp in the game as the Ticats would hold the Bombers scoreless the rest of the way.

"We got our butt kicked in the third quarter,'' said Winnipeg head coach Mike O'Shea. "During the game I'm not adding (the two-and-outs) up. We know the momentum has shifted and we're not putting a dent in them like we need to.''

Winnipeg opened the scoring, as Marcus Sayles intercepted Masoli at Hamilton's 15-yard line, taking it 38 yards to put the Blue Bombers into scoring range. Three plays later, Harris dove across the goal-line for a one-yard touchdown. After Medlock's conversion, Winnipeg led 7-0.

Masoli responded with an 88-yard drive that was capped by a one-yard TD plunge by Timmis, who's from nearby Burlington, Ont. Hajrullahu's kick after tied it with 1:33 to go in the quarter.

Medlock connected on a 38-yard field goal early in the second to re-establish Winnipeg's lead. A 50-yard Hajrullahu field goal - with the wind at his back - tied it up just over two minutes later.

Thomas Erlington, from Montreal, hurdled over Winnipeg defensive back Taylor Loffler's tackle in a 23-yard rush. It was a critical play in a 76-yard Ticats drive that led to a 17-yard Hajrullahu field goal and a 13-10 lead.

Hajrullahu added to that in the dying seconds of the half, booting the ball 42 yards for a field goal.

Timmis scored his second touchdown 5:20 into the third on a four-yard run. He was virtually untouched as he dodged Winnipeg's defence to make it 22-10. Hamilton's two-point conversion attempt was incomplete.

(Canadian Press)


Larry Schwentke said...

CFL’s Friday night double header started with the Mic’d up game – the loudest most uninformative bunch of gibberish that I recall for a CFL broadcast. They said two head coaches and the QB’s had microphones on but they mostly picked up crowd noise more than anything else. Neither coach said much, the QB’s called plays in non understandable code, announcers had to talk over those play calls and the several F-bombs added nothing to the process. Jock Climey said it added so much incite as to what the teams were doing. Sorry but I call BS. If the next mic’d up game is as loud and annoying I may just have to turn the sound off and just watch the video!
Larry Schwentke

3RD and 1 said...

Over the years my feelings towards the Bombers have changed. I use to despise them. I never hated them as some Bomber fans will say they hate SK. I have met really good Bomber fans but came across the Most despicable Bomber fans when I attended Grey Cup in Winnipeg a few years ago. They were relentless the whole game. Drunk and Loud, but not towards the game. Just towards fans with Rider Jerseys. No other fans. If that would have been reversed I would have asked Rider fans to back off and allow us all to enjoy the game.
Now I appreciate a game like I watched last night. I don’t have to hold onto an incredible dislike. I can just watch and allow their competitor smack them around a bit. Just like last night. Hamilton showed the young but very good Bombers rookie QB. That games are not going to be like the cake walk the Bombers had in Montreal. It was fun to see the frustration on the whole Bombers offensive back field.
As well... welcome back Hamilton. Wow if the Cats can keep protecting Masoli and allow him to set up his timing with his receivers. Look out. However someone will come up with the blueprints on how to disrupt the timing and then Masoli will have to improvise and start throwing darts. Dropping the ball into the laps of his receivers has made Hamilton successful.