Feline fracas pits Hamilton against British Columbia
Vancouver, BC (SportsNetwork.com) - A pair of teams coming off close calls during Week 6 action get together at BC Place on Friday night, as the British Columbia Lions host the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
The Lions began the season with back-to-back defeats versus Edmonton and Montreal, but have managed to battle back and reach .500 after six games, although that still leaves the club alone in last place in the West Division. Last Friday, on the road at Calgary, BC found itself trailing by double figures at the break, but used a 12-point fourth quarter to complete the comeback bid and earn a 25-24 victory.
Quarterback Kevin Glenn, who tossed the game-winning touchdown to Ernest Jackson for 65 yards with time winding down in regulation, finished the matchup 22-of-32 for 277 yards and a couple of majors, although he also tossed an interception that was returned for a touchdown in the second quarter.
The other aerial score for the Lions went to Andrew Harris, a four-yard effort in the final frame. Harris not only caught five passes for 73 yards, he accounted for a team-best 70 yards on 15 rushing attempts as well. For his efforts, Harris was tabbed as the top Canadian of the week for the third time this season.
The Lions allowed Calgary to generate 359 yards of offense, but thanks to Ronnie Yell and his 34-yard interception return for a touchdown for the first points of the contest, BC remained on point. Yell, who also forced a late fumble to prevent the Stamps from fighting back in the waning moments, was named the CFL Defensive Player of the Week.
Hamilton, which went to the Grey Cup last season but lost to Saskatchewan (45-23), fell behind 20-3 in the third quarter against Winnipeg at home over the weekend, but managed to take a late lead (26-20), only to lose on the final play of the game.
Starting quarterback Dan LeFevour completed 19-of-33 for 189 yards and a score, but was also picked off once and sacked three times. The signal caller also carried the ball five times for 15 yards and another major, but it wasn't quite enough to keep the hosts out in front. Chris Gable accounted for four receptions for 47 yards and a score.
Giving the 'Cats a huge lift on special teams was Quincy McDuffie, who scrambled 67 yards for a score on a punt return in the fourth quarter. McDuffie's effort was a much-needed boost for a squad that managed to produce a mere 236 yards on offense and was penalized 19 times for 114 yards. McDuffie was selected as the CFL Special Teams Player of the Week.
With the setback, Hamilton is now tied with Ottawa and Montreal for second place in the East Division standings, with each team having won just once thus far.
Even though LeFevour has given the Hamilton fans something to cheer about, the fact remains that he and the rest of the Tiger-Cats playing the quarterback position have tossed almost twice as many interceptions (seven) as touchdowns (four). Hamilton signal callers have an efficiency rating of just 69.8 and while that's not the worst in the league (Montreal, 58.0), it is still a very concerning stat in a league where passing the ball is of utmost importance.
Not only has the troubling play from quarterbacks kept Hamilton out of the end zone this season, it has left the offense out of range even for field goals. Entering Week 7 action, the 'Cats were last in the league with just eight successful field goals, a small portion of the squad's 20.0 ppg
The immediate future for Hamilton would not look quite so bleak if the defense was playing better. However, at the moment the unit is allowing teams to complete 66.5 percent of their pass attempts, the highest rate in the league.
This could be the perfect time for the secondary to gain some confidence as it goes up against Glenn. Granted, Glenn is ranked third in the league in passing yards with 1,390, but leads the league in interceptions (nine).
Keeping the Lions from falling completely off track, when Glenn makes his mistakes with more and more regularity, is a defense led by Solomon Elimimian, who paces the CFL with 49 tackles.
Heading into this week's game, British Columbia owns a 49-33-3 advantage in the regular-season series between the two programs, stretching back to 1961. However, the Tiger-Cats managed to come out on top in the most recent battle last September by a score of 37-29 at home. The win snapped a three-game slide in the series for the 'Cats.
08/06 11:03:02 ET