The Hamilton Tiger-Cats have a plan in place for their meeting against Chad Simpson. It is nothing new, just making sure each one knows their assignments.
Despite giving up 233 rushing yards last week, the Ticats are taking solace in the fact that they have enough time to work on improving their run defence which was one of the primary focuses this week in practice.
“It’s a good thing we’re seeing these things now rather than week 15 or week 16. It’s unfortunate that we pretty much lost the game because we couldn’t stop the run, but I would rather see it now instead of later in the season,” middle linebacker Rey Williams said.
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"The first thing that the coaches preach – Coach Creehan and Coach Cortez - is alignment, assignment. Alignment is the first thing - you cannot do your job unless you get aligned properly.”
The Ticats run defence was on the other end of a bounce-back performance from Jon Cornish last week versus Calgary and what concerned the Hamilton run stoppers was less Cornish’s production and more so the timing.
So let’s take a closer look at what exactly happened in the fourth, and ultimately deciding, quarter.
On the opening play of the fourth a kickoff by Luca Congi, after Chevon Walker put the Black and Gold ahead with a 47-yard scoring run to end the third, is returned by Larry Taylor for 35 yards to the Stamps own 52-yard line, giving the Calgary offence some great field position to start their drive.
The Stampeders opened their march to the end zone with a counter run to the weak side, a perfect call against Hamilton’s defensive line that was slanting the exact opposite way. Guard Dimitri Tsoumpas and fullback Rob Cote led the counter tray to the weak side, kicking out Ticat linebackers Jamall Johnson and Rey Williams to provide a nice crease for running back Jon Cornish. Strong side backer Carlos Thomas was late scrapping across and Calgary’s Canadian back went untouched until he was brought down 28 yards later – a gashing run that set the tone for the Stampeders ground game for the rest of the final quarter.
A pass interference penalty, strong Cornish run up the middle for seven and a misdirection Romby Bryant sweep for a touchdown put the Stamps back on top 24-20.
Hamilton got the ball back after the Stampeders’ major, but quickly went 2-and-out and punted the ball back to Calgary.
Kevin Glenn and the Stamps offence started their second drive of the fourth from their own 48-yard line, once again favourable field position for the offence.
First play of the drive was a completed pass to Nik Lewis. Defensive back Carlos Thomas made the tackle for Hamilton, fell awkwardly, suffered an injury and was on the sidelines for the rest of the game.
Armando Murillo came in to play the boundary half and Dee Webb moved from the secondary down to the strong side linebacker position.
“We threw in a rookie (Murillo) at boundary half – that’s a tough position to throw him in to at that period of the game,” Williams said. “It’s really unfortunate that one person went down and it really hurt us that bad.”
After a reception by Chris Bauman for 16 yards, three straight Calgary rushing plays for 27 yards put the Stamps in the red zone.
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