The Redblacks have the upper hand here, with a lot of CFL experience. Kicker Lewis Ward and punter Richie Leone are veterans and elite. Ward is 12 of 14 shooting from the field so far this season. Leone is averaging 47.2 yards per punt, backed by a good group of special teams tacklers. Former Carleton kicker Michael Domagala punts for Hamilton and is averaging 42.6 yards per punt. American Taylor Bertolet is 5 of 7 in shooting from the field.
DEMONSTRATE THAT YOU ARE VACCINATED
When you arrive at the gate to enter the stadium, you will be asked for proof that you are fully vaccinated. And you will also be asked for an ID. So there will be robberies, don’t be nervous. Yes, this is new. If you’re not vaccinated, don’t bother to show up, you won’t get in. And just because you’re vaccinated doesn’t mean you need to keep your masks in your back pocket or purse for the night. Be sure, huh?
Yes, it is supposed to rain on another football game day in Ottawa. Fit and fit is important for both sides. Maybe Ottawa is a better snow team.
Simoni Lawrence continues to function. Already this season, the Ticats’ all-star linebacker has scored two touchdowns, both on interceptions. The 32-year-old is tied with running back Sean Thomas Erlington for the team’s lead in TD.
It seems likely the Ticats won’t ask QB David Watford (Dane Evans is injured and Jeremiah Masoli is hit) to do too much. Just try to grind it up and consume time on the clock. Count on a heavy dose of running game, hitting the Redblacks from every angle, with a few passes thrown to keep them off guard. Redblacks quarterback Dominique Davis has won the job from Matt Nichols and has to avoid making big mistakes. Like Watford, he has the ability to use his feet to rack up yardage.
The Redblacks will start eight Canadians, one more than the seven required. Four of them, Mark Korte, Jakub Szott, Andrew Pickett and Nolan MacMillan, are on the offensive line. Two Canadians, Anthony Coombs and Nate Behar, are listed as starting catchers. Then there’s Cleyon Laing (defensive line) and Antoine Pruneau (safety) … It’s worth noting that former Laval offensive lineman Ketel Asse (an eighth-round pick in the 2020 CFL Draft) is listed as a reserve. Ottawa has allowed 18 sacks, only Hamilton is worse (22)… It makes sense: if you have less ball than your opponent, your chances of winning decrease. Ottawa has the worst possession time average in the CFL, at 28:07. Hamilton is the next worst at 28:53… Ottawa is the best in a couple of things. The Redblacks have the fewest penalties (39) and the fewest penalty yards (347) …
OUR TAKE: Ticats 22, Redblacks 13
Hard to pick Redblacks until they show they can be with anyone. They are coming off a week off, but that was preceded by two blowout losses. Hamilton is as beaten up as possible – missing three elite receivers and his No. 1 and No. 2 quarterbacks. But his defense is relentless and caused Calgary all sorts of problems last week. Can Ottawa’s offensive be stepped up?
STATISTICS PACKAGE: t
Points per 16.0
Points Against 31.0
Pass yards 226
Running yards 71
Net Attack 275
Net Offense Against 409
Points per 18.7
Points Against 18.7
Pass 208 Yards
Running yards 84
Net Offense 268
Net Offense Against 315