Stampeders outlast Ticats in defensive battle

CFL.ca Staff
#FNF | #HAMvsCGY

CALGARY — Defences continued to be the story of the week as the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Calgary Stampeders could only manage 17 points, however the Stampeders were on the winning end, 10-7 at McMahon Stadium Friday night.

Heading into Week 4 of the CFL season the Ticats were looking at a daunting task of going into Calgary with a young quarterback making his first start of the season.

Jeremiah Masoli was taking over for an injured Zach Collaros and for the Stampedes defence that was a perfect opportunity to have a big game against a team that has allowed a total of 14 sacks through the first two games of the season.

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Not to be outdone the Ticats defence was hoping for their own big game as the league leaders in numerous defensive categories heading into Week 4.

After a single on the opening kickoff by the Ticats, the defences went to work in the first quarter, limiting both offences to almost nothing in the opening frame.

The Ticats were the first team to create a significant drive in the first quarter but could not finish it off in the end zone settling for a 42-yard field goal from Justin Medlock to increase their lead to 4-0.

In their first drive of the second quarter the Stampeders would put together their best drive of the game at that point, by marching down to the Hamilton 26.

The Stamps would channel a play from Week 3 beginning a flea flicker that broke down forcing Brad Sinopoli to run instead, which he would turn into a 26-yard touchdown to break the shutout and go ahead 7-4.

That was it for the offensive showing in the first half though as the Stamps and Ticats followed the theme of the league for Week 4 with defence dominating heading into the locker room at halftime. 

The defensive battle continued as the teams came out for the second half with both offences sputtering as they came out.

The Ticats were the first to see some life in the third quarter as a 38-yard return by Brandon Banks put them within striking distance of getting their first touchdown in the game.

Following the kick return, Masoli was given great position to break through the stingy Stampeders defence but he could not get it done as the Ticats settled for a 29-yard field goal to tie the game at sevens.

The Ticats would get another chance to earn their first touchdown of the game when a fumbled ball by Mitchell  was recovered by Frederic Plesius at the Hamilton 54.

Looking to get something going on offence Hamilton head coach Kent Austin would end Masoli’s night replacing him with Dan LeFevour as time ticked down in the third quarter.

At the start of the fourth quarter, LeFevour looked to prove it was the right decision leading a drive to the 24-yard line but that is where the drive would end as the Ticats would come out with no points after Justin Medlock missed a 31-yard field goal. 

With the ball back the Stampeders looked to get ahead beginning a long drive moving the ball to the Hamilton 32-yard line and finishing with a 39-yard field goal to go ahead 10-7.

Down by three the Ticats were looking to LeFevour and a returning Andy Fantuz to lead the team down the field.

LeFevour and Andy Fantuz began connecting on the drive pushing the Ticats to the 22-yard line but in a familiar story the Stampeders defence shut them down on the doorstep.

Medlock was given the chance to tie the game on a 29-yard field goal but a botched hold by Luke Tasker ended the play and gave the Stampeders the ball back ending any chance for a Hamilton comeback.

The Ticats remain winless on the season and will travel back to Hamilton to play against the Ottawa REDBLACKS at McMaster’s Ron Joyce Stadium, while the Stampeders meet provincial rival, and the only other undefeated team in the CFL, the Edmonton Eskimos.