Now it’s Travis Lulay’s turn to try and accomplish something no other CFL quarterback has been able to: Go on the road and beat the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
Lulay and the B.C. Lions (3-3) face Hamilton (4-2) at Tim Hortons Field on Saturday night. The Ticats improved to 9-0 at the facility Sunday night with a convincing 38-8 decision over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
Hamilton’s defence has been stellar this year, standing tied for second overall in interceptions (seven) and third in fewest points allowed (21.2 per game). But the unit has been especially stingy at Tim Hortons Field.
Hamilton has allowed just 126 points since moving in last September, an average of 14 per game. The Ticats have also outscored their opponents 242-126 there, including 77-13 in the fourth quarter.
Hamilton’s defence was especially tenacious against Winnipeg, recording seven sacks. Defensive end Justin Hickman led the way with three sacks while defensive back Emanuel Davis celebrated his 26th birthday by returning two interceptions for touchdowns.
The Ticats would also appear to have recent history on their side as the home team has won eight straight games and 16 of the last 20 overall in the CFL. East Division squads are also 10-6 versus their West Division rivals.
B.C. does come in on a winning note, outscoring the Edmonton Eskimos 16-0 in the second half en route to a come-from-behind 26-23 home victory. Lulay was 16-of-31 passing for 196 yards and two TDs with two interceptions.
But it was Lions running back Andrew Harris who stole the show, rushing for 118 yards rushing on 20 carries with a TD while adding four catches for 57 yards and a touchdown.
The five-foot-11, 213-pound Harris, a native of Winnipeg, leads the CFL in rushing with 519 yards and four touchdowns and has cracked the 100-yard rushing barrier his last two games. Harris has also registered 26 catches for 288 yards and two TDs.
However, Hamilton has allowed 100 yards rushing once at Tim Hortons Field and surrendered just eight TDs overall there. There’s something about the stadium that brings out the best in the Ticats.
Pick — Hamilton.
Edmonton Eskimos at
The Eskimos (4-2) boast a dominant defence and are tied atop the West Division standings. But they were shut out in the second half last weekend in Vancouver and saw their road record drop to 1-2 so far this season. Quarterback Matt Nichols was 26-of-42 passing for 262 yards and two TDs but also threw two picks. Rookie Rakeem Cato threw for 303 yards and a TD for Montreal (2-4) in its 26-23 defeat in Ottawa but also had two interceptions.
Pick — Edmonton.
Toronto Argonauts at
Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Robert Marve makes his first CFL start for Winnipeg (3-4) with incumbent Drew Willy (knee) out six-to-eight weeks. Willy has completed 107-of-156 passes (68.6 per cent) with eight TDs against just three interceptions while Marve has tried seven passes this season. Trevor Harris threw for 316 yards and two TDs to rally Toronto (4-2) past Saskatchewan 30-26 on Saturday night. He leads the CFL in passing (1,819 yards) and TDs (14) and helped stake the Argos to a 3-2 record away from Rogers Centre.
Pick — Toronto.
Ottawa Redblacks at
Ottawa (4-2) can sweep the season series with a win after taking the opener 29-26 at TD Place on July 24. Quarterback Henry Burris had three TD passes in that contest and last weekend threw for 323 yards and two touchdowns in a 26-23 decision over Montreal. Calgary (4-2) comes off a 25-22 win over the Als on Aug. 1 as Bo Levi Mitchell threw for 329 yards and two TDs without star tailback Jon Cornish (thumb), who was injured in the loss to the Redblacks.
Pick — Calgary.
Last week 2-2.