HAMILTON — Hamilton Tiger-Cat quarterback Quinton Porter admits he’s still looking over his shoulder every time he makes a mistake.
But a funny thing happened in last week’s 30-18 Ticat win over the B.C. Lions.
Porter threw an interception to begin the third quarter of a one-point game and it looked like the Lions had the momentum.
But the Ticat defence forced a fumble on the goal-line in the ensuing series of plays. And Porter wasn’t pulled for veteran pivot Kevin Glenn. Instead, he went on to lead his team to their third victory of the season.
“There were times . . . when after an interception (like that one), I would think just like all the 30,000 fans were thinking ‘Oh, God, is Kevin going to come in?”’ Porter said. “But I was able to put that behind me (against B.C.) and say: ‘Here we go.”’
Porter, a 26-year-old out of Boston College, has started all five games this season for the Ticats and been pulled in two of them as head coach Marcel Bellefeuille went to Glenn in order to get some scoring on the board. Glenn engineered the win against Winnipeg.
But Bellefeuille has maintained throughout that Porter is his No. 1 guy and the future of the club.
And this week, as Hamilton prepares to host the Edmonton Eskimos today (TSN, 4:30 p.m.), there are no more questions about pivot status, for now.
“It felt good to have the win and it feels good to have the team where it needs to be,” said Porter. “I think that’s most important. For me, I’m not really approaching (Edmonton) any differently. . . If we lose this next game it’s going to be right back on me.”
It was a week in which the news in Hamilton was that there was no news coming out of Hamilton — no “Spygate”, no all-star wide receiver suddenly joining the ranks, as well as no quarterback questions.
Instead, the game will feature two teams which are both carrying identical records (3-2) and some momentum. Hamilton won last week and Edmonton is looking to extend a two-game win streak, having rebounded from a 22-point deficit against Saskatchewan to win a couple weeks ago, and having just handed the Montreal Alouettes their first loss of the season, 33-19.
Porter is currently the sixth-ranked passer in the league with 965 yards, four touchdowns and five interceptions. But he’s a major threat on the ground, ranked No. 7 in rushing in the league with 214 yards on 29 carries, leading all quarterbacks.
He will face off against the league’s second-ranked pivot, Ricky Ray, with 1,374 yards, six TDs and five interceptions. Ray’s scrambles from the pocket have been minimal, gaining 47 yards on 13 carries.