Isaac Owusu | Ticats.ca
HAMILTON -- This week, Hamilton Tiger-Cats quarterback Dan LeFevour said he wanted to be the catalyst of a strong offensive output. On Saturday night, he made sure of it, leading the Ticats to a 33-23 win over the Ottawa REDBLACKS.
LeFevour consistently sparked the team with a flurry of big plays. His second and third effort to dive into the endzone on a goal-line plunge gave Hamilton the lead for good with 5:04 left in the fourth quarter.
“I feel a sense of relief to be honest. I think from a team perspective, 1-3 sounds a lot better than 0-4. I know everyone is relieved, a little bit of weight off everyone’s back and hopefully we can relax and just go play now,” he said.
LeFevour accountedfor 361 passing yards on 21 completions in 30 attempts and 109 rushing yards on 13 carries, he also contributed a touchdown through the air and ground. The team finished the game with a season high 551 yards, outgaining their opponents by 174 yards.
The four-play, 96-yard deciding touchdown drive was highlighted by C.J. Gable’s 83-yard catch, putting the Ticats in scoring position.
Gable put together his biggest performance of the season with 167 yard from scrimmage, including a 47-yard rushing score in the first quarter.
His efforts when he didn’t have the ball are what mostly stood out for head coach Kent Austin.
“He’s the best blocker in the league as a tailback,” Austin said.
"He just understands fronts, he understands coverage, he knows who to get. A lot of times he makes our linemen right when they're wrong and he’s just a real solid guy to have in the backfield as a quarterback because you know he’s going to protect you,” he added.
Gable took pride in his non-quantified efforts.
“I block first. That’s the first thing I like to do is block and get that going. Everything I do is 100% focused on the blocking stuff, everything else is natural,” he said.
The defence stood tall at the close of the final quarter by ending a patient Henry Burris drive near midfield on third down with 2:24 in the fourth quarter. A handful of plays later, Justin Medlock put the game away with his fourth field goal of the game from 32 yards out.
It was a busy fourth quarter from the start. Ottawa kicker Brett Maher’s third field goal, a 24 yarder tied the game at 23. This was immediately following a controversial incomplete pass ruling, which originally appeared as if the Ticats forced a turnover. The call was upheld even after a Kent Austin challenge.
Though Austin didn’t get his way on that challenge things seemingly went all his way on Saturday night, he gave credit to his players following the game.
“We have a bunch of guys that really care. We’ve got a good locker room, we’ve always had that. They played hard, they played to win and we just made the plays that give you the opportunity to win the football game,” Austin said.