LIVESTREAM PPV: CFL – Hamilton Tiger-Cats @BC Lions, Sat. Aug. 24, 7p (10p EDT, 4a Aug. 25, CEDT)

VANCOUVER – If the first round a few weeks ago was any indication, the BC Lions and Hamilton Tiger-Cats should have a good one in store when they clash on Saturday night at BC Place.

The teams duked it out to the bitter end just two weeks ago, with Hamilton emerging victorious thanks to some late-game heroics from Dane Evans and Brandon Banks. The two connected in the end zone, capping a breathtaking fourth quarter comeback.

Evans has performed well since being thrust into the starting roll due to the season-ending injury to Jeremiah Masoli. Although he has yet to beat a team with a winning record (and won’t have the opportunity to do so again until Week 14 at the earliest), the second-year pivot has taken care of business.

» Depth Charts: HAM | BC

Evans passed for 300 yards for the first time in his professional career last week against the Ottawa REDBLACKS, although he did throw two interceptions in the opposing end zone.

“It’s never easy, but I feel like I am getting into a routine,” Evans told Ticats.ca. “We have a good swing of things right now; it’s been about a month. We’re rolling.”

History is not on Evans’ or the Ticats’ side. Hamilton has won just one of its last seven trips to BC Place dating back to 2012. Both of the team’s losses in 2019 have come away from Tim Hortons Field, and the Lions will be relying on their home crowd to be difference makers.

“It’s always fun to play at home in front of your home crowd and for another team to come out here from out east or wherever, that’s a trek and it’s a trip,” Lions head coach DeVone Claybrooks told BCLions.com. “We want to take advantage of that and take advantage of the situation that we’re blessed to be in and it’s great weather in Vancouver.”

The Ticats’ offence will look to keep rolling against a BC defence that hasn’t quite hit stride under Claybrooks. The Lions have conceded at least 30 points in all but one of their games this season (when they gave up less than 30, they beat the Toronto Argonauts in early July).

One of the reasons for the Lions’ disappointing start to the season is their inability to protect Mike Reilly. The quarterback has been sacked 36 times through nine games – by far the most in the CFL.

Reilly is on pace to absorb 72 sacks this season, which would be the most any CFL quarterback has absorbed since sacks became a consistent statistic in the early 1990s. However, Reilly remains optimistic that the Lions can compete with the best teams in the league.

“Regardless of how things have gone for the first however many minutes of the game, you have to play with great focus until the game’s over,” Reilly told BCLions.com. “None of the first 57 minutes matter if you can’t finish it in the last three. We know that we can play good football against this team, we did it two weeks ago.”

That Week 9 matchup against Hamilton was statistically one of the Lions’ best showings of the season. They had their best offensive output, which included 34 points, over 300 passing yards from Reilly and two rushing touchdowns from John White.

White has arguably been the Lions’ best player this year. The running back has two 100-yard games to his credit and three rushing scores in the last two games. He is also averaging 5.2 yards per carry and his 19 runs for 10 yards or more ranks third in the league.

“I think John’s experienced,” Ticats head coach Orlondo Steinauer told Ticats.ca when asked about White. “He’s had tough luck getting bitten by the injuries, but when healthy, he’s what you want in a football player. He’s competitive, he’s stronger than you think, a fearless blocker – you have to be accountable and know where he’s at.”

Hamilton’s run game is a story all its own. The Ticats have rotated backs since starter Sean Thomas Erlington went down early in the year, but Cameron Marshall appears to the be answer at tailback for the moment. The five-year CFL vet notched 92 yards on 12 touches last week against Ottawa.

Marshall’s addition to the lineup gives Hamilton’s offence a new wrinkle. Before suffering his knee injury, Masoli attempted 30 or more passes in all but one game. Marshall gives the Tiger-Cats a viable option on the ground and also removes some of the workload heaped on Evans’ shoulders.

BY THE NUMBERS

1-6 – The Ticats’ record at BC Place since 2012.

2 – Number of touchdown drives given up by the BC Lions last week.

34:52 – The time of possession for Hamilton last week, their highest of the season.

6-6 – Mike Reilly’s career record against the Tiger-Cats.

– With files from Ticats.ca and BCLions.com.

AFI, Yare Media and the CFL

American Football International is collaborating with Yare Media and the Canadian Football League to present 2019 CFL games live. This is more than a livestream. This is a stream of the top flight TSN network television broadcast.

LIVE STREAM PPV: CFL – Hamilton Tiger-Cats @BC Lions, Sat. Aug. 24, 7p (10p EDT, 4a Aug. 25, CEDT)

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