LIVESTREAM PPV: CFL – Hamilton Tiger-Cats @BC Lions, Sept. 22 7p (10p ET, 4a Sept. 23 CET)

VANCOUVER — The Hamilton Tiger-Cats are on the West Coast to take on the BC Lions in the final match of a CFL Saturday triple header.

The Lions hold the crossover spot in a tight West division and are looking to keep pace with the middle of the pack. Meanwhile, the Tabbies sit just two points back of first place in the East and are chasing the Ottawa REDBLACKS for top spot.

The Ticats have been bit by the injury bug on offence once again. The latest victim is star running back Alex Green, who has been ruled out to play on Saturday. Green injured his shoulder in Hamilton’s Week 14 loss and appears to be out long term. The 30-year-old has been placed on the six-game injured list.

Veteran John White will start at running back for the Black and Gold in Green’s place.

“I’m pretty excited,” White told Ticats.ca. “I can’t say anything more about it. I’m just excited….I’m ready to go.”

Receiver Brandon Banks will miss a second straight game with a groin injury. The Ticats also lost all-star receiver Chris Williams, who they acquired in the blockbuster Johnny Manziel trade, back in Week 11. He is likely out for the rest of the season with a torn Achilles.

Fellow receiver Jalen Saunders went down the following week with a torn ACL and will also miss the remained of the year. The 25-year-old had a team high 1,170 receiving yards last season in his rookie campaign and was on pace to eclipse the 1,000-yard mark again this year.

Head coach June Jones says that the team is trying to push through the injuries.

“Everybody healthy, I’d feel pretty good, if we hadn’t lost all our players,” said Jones. “I feel very good that the guys have hung in and have played together. They’ve been doing the thing we’ve been asking them.”

The Ticats’ three-game win streak was snapped last week when they fell 43-28 to the league-leading Calgary Stampeders. Defence and special teams shone for the Ticats in the loss. Linebacker Larry Deanscored the Tabbies first pick six of the season, while defensive back Delvin Breaux scooped up a fumbled ball and ran for a 31-yard major. The highlight of the game belonged to rookie Shakeir Ryan, who returned a kickoff for a 104-yard touchdown in his CFL debut.

However, the Ticats offence failed to record a major. Quarterback Jeremiah Masoli threw for 210 yards with two interceptions.

“We have the right guys in the room,” Masoli said after the game. “We’ve got the right type of character guys in the room to not let this loss beat us twice. We’re going to have a hard road test. BC plays very well at home. We’re going to get back to work, see what we did wrong and fix those mistakes.”

The BC Lions have also run into injury trouble. The Leos will be without starting quarterback Travis Lulayafter the veteran dislocated his shoulder in last week.

“It’s football. These things happen,” Lulay told BCLions.com. “I can say I’m feeling relatively good for the first few days out. I’m optimistic. I’ve dealt with it before. I can shoulder rehab in my sleep. That’s how I’m approaching it. It’s disappointing. It’s a bummer. All those things. But now I’m just focusing on healing as quick as I can and keeping the offence tight.”

Jonathon Jennings will take over the reins on offence for the foreseeable future. The 26-year-old replaced an injured Lulay at pivot in the first quarter of the team’s 32-14 victory over the Montreal Alouettes. Jennings finished the night with 180 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Bryan Burnham had a game-high 104 yards and one touchdown on eight catches.

 

However, it was the Lions defence that stole the show at Molson Percival Stadium. Defensive backs T.J. Lee and Anthony Orange both scored pick sixes in the final quarter. The Als offensive line was no match for the Lions, as Montreal quarterback Antonio Pipkin was sacked a whopping seven times.

Orange was named a Shaw CFL Top Performer of the Week. He says the defence is looking to build off the momentum from their dominant win over the Als.

“I want to get more picks,” said Orange. “I know they [defence] want to get more picks. We’re all competing with each other. Everybody wants to catch everybody. The more opportunities we get, the more picks we’ll get…. I can’t think of a better group of defensive backs in the league than what we have here.”

The Lions defence has stepped up in the absence of all-star linebacker Solomon Elimimian, who underwent wrist surgery back in July. Head Coach Wally Buono says that Elimimian’s wrist was re-evaluated and that he is expected to miss another 4-5 weeks.

Saturday night will also be the first time that Lions special teams coordinator Jeff Reinebold will face his former squad. Reinebold spent five seasons with the Ticats as the team’s special teams and defensive coordinator before being let go in last season following the team’s struggling start to the season.

By The Numbers:

13 – Number of sacks that the BC Lions have recorded in their last two contests.

59 – Team-leading tackles for Ticats linebacker Larry Dean, ranking seventh in the league.

113 – First-quarter points by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats this season, the most by any CFL team. In contrast, BC has scored just 55 points in the opening quarter this year.

232 – Average yards allowed by the Lions defence in the last three games, the fewest by any CFL team during that span.

Masoli has a chance to make history on Saturday night.

The Ticats quarterback is currently tied with CFL legend Henry Burris with nine 300-plus yard games this season, the most in franchise history. Masoli can take over sole possession of the record with a big game against the Lions.

Saturday is the first game in a home-and-home series between Hamilton and BC. The Leos have been nearly unstoppable on their home turf this season and are 4-1 at BC Place.

The Lions have won four of their last five meetings against the Tabbies, but lost the most recent matchup between the team teams back on Sept. 17, 2017. Hamilton kicked a 50-yard field goal with just 10 seconds left on the clock to edge the Lions 24-23.

Will Masoli make it into the record books, or will the surging BC defence foil his plans?

Kickoff is at 10:00 p.m. ET and can be seen on TSN and ESPN+.

– With files from Ticats.ca/BCLions.com

AFI, Yare Media and the CFL

American Football International is collaborating with Yare Media and the Canadian Football League to present 2018 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, Sept. 22 7p (10p ET, 4a Sept. 23 CET)

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