HAMILTON — Orlondo Steinauer isn’t concerned with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats getting too full of themselves following their emphatic victory last week over the Toronto Argonauts.
Hamilton improved to 2-0 on Saturday with a lopsided 64-14 road win over Toronto in the Argos’ season opener. The Ticats scored TDs on six straight possessions and their 50-point margin of victory tied the club record.
Head stuff heading into a home-and-home series with the Montreal Alouettes (0-1), which begins Friday night at Tim Hortons Field. The two teams will square off at McGill Stadium on July 4.
They’ll meet a third time Oct. 26 in Montreal.
“When you have a win like that, I think you could run into difficulties if you don’t have the right personalities in your locker room,” Steinauer said. “But I feel good with where we’re at.
“If this was our fifth or sixth blowout and we were 9-1 and it was past Labour Day, you might worry about some complacency or things like that but two wins is two wins. Now we’ll see, we’ve got to go play this game and we’ll see how we respond after a big win like that. But I didn’t feel it, guys are hungry and chomping at the bit to get going.”
Hamilton’s offence accumulated over 600 yards versus Toronto. Quarterback Jeremiah Masoli finished 23-of-31 passing for 338 yards and three TDs while rushing for another.
Bralon Addison had six catches for 109 yards and three TDs while Brandon Banks registered seven receptions for 105 yards. Banks also returned a missed field goal 113 yards for a touchdown while Sean Thomas Erlington ran for 109 yards on 12 carries while adding three catches for 56 yards.
And that could spell bad news for a Montreal defence that allowed over 600 total yards in the Alouettes’ season-opening 32-25 road loss in Edmonton on June 14 and comes to Hamilton minus linebacker Bo Lokombo (ribs) and safety Taylor Loffler (knee), both starters.
Loffler, a three-time CFL all-star with Winnipeg, had 10 tackles in his Montreal debut.
And Vernon Adams Jr. is expected to start at quarterback for Montreal with incumbent Antonio Pipkin (ankle) out. Adams replaced Pipkin in the second half versus Edmonton and rallied the Alouettes from a 17-point deficit into a 25-25 tie.
Adams finished 7-of-10 passing for 134 yards with a TD and interception while rushing for 13 yards on three carries.
“Vernon Adams is a very unique guy,” said Hamilton defensive lineman Ja’Gared Davis. “He’s one of the most mobile guys up here, he also has one of the better arms (something) he doesn’t get a lot of credit for.
“He’s a guy who can extend plays and make something happen out of nothing. He’s going to make plays … he’s going to do what he does best. We just have to go out there and do what we do best. Hopefully at the end of the game we have one more point than they do.”
Hamilton had four sacks, two interceptions (one Rico Murrary returned 37 yards for a TD) and a fumble return against Toronto. The Ticats have six sacks overall, standing second only to Edmonton, and have forced a CFL-high 10 two-and-outs.
Hamilton linebacker Simoni Lawrence remains eligible to play following his appeal of a two-game suspension levied by the CFL last week. Lawrence’s arbitration hearing is slated for July 9, meaning he’d be able to play in both games versus Montreal.
The six-foot-one, 231-pound Lawrence has seven tackles, two interceptions and two sacks this season.
The two teams split their two-game series last year, with each winning on the road. Hamilton captured a 50-11 victory at McGill Stadium before Montreal earned a 30-28 decision in its regular-season finale with the Ticats resting a number of their starters having already cemented a playoff berth.
With a victory, Hamilton can improve to 3-0 for the first time since 2004.
Montreal finished last season at 5-13 and missed the playoffs for the fourth straight season.