LIVESTREAM PPV: CFL “Live Mic” Game – Winnipeg Blue Bombers @Hamilton Tiger-Cats, June 29, 7p (1a June 30 CEST)

HAMILTON — The Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Winnipeg Blue Bombers are two teams that have made early statements through the opening weeks of the 2018 CFL season.

Both teams head to Tim Hortons Field in search of back-to-back wins after a pair of impressive performances in Week 2.

After starting their season with two games out in Alberta, Hamilton can expect a warm welcome from Tiger Town in their 2018 home opener.

The Ticats road swing out west was considered a success, finishing with a 1-1 record against two of the top teams in the league. In their most recent matchup, the Black and Gold picked up an impressive 38-21 win over the Edmonton Eskimos.

After needing nine games to get heir first win last season, Hamilton accomplished the same feat in less than a quarter of the time in 2018.

It’s clear after just two games that the Tabbies are a new and improved version of their 2017 selves.

“You have to be able to win some games on the road if you want to be a championship team,” Head Coach June Jones told after the game. “Winning there had always been difficult. But we pulled it off.”

Jeremiah Masoli was named a CFL Top Performer of the Week after completing 19 of 29 attempts for 332 yards with three touchdowns and an interception. The 29-year-old currently sits second in passing yards in the league after a pair of impressive performances to open the season.

Masoli credited his entire cast on offence for his early success.

“We do have a lot of talented guys over here,” said Masoli. “We’re still trying to get better. Still trying to find our stride. Hit on all levels, which we haven’t yet. We’re still looking to take the next step forward.”

Receiver Brandon Banks was superb in the victory, picking up a game-high 117 receiving yards on six catches, including a touchdown in the third quarter that put more distance between the Ticats and Esks. Luke Tasker was equally as impressive with a pair of touchdown grabs to go along with 103 receiving yards.

The most pleasant surprise of the evening was third-year running back Mercer Timmis, who broke out for 133 rushing yards in the victory. The Burlington, Ont. native also found the end zone twice for the first two majors of his young career, displaying that the Ticats’ run game is still a threat despite the absence of Alex Green.

“It definitely gives you a little bit of confidence,” Timmis said of his breakout performance. “But at the same time, you have to kind of reload. Different week. Different opponent. You can’t look into it too much. We have to focus on Winnipeg. That’s the task at hand.”

While Timmis and Masoli’s performances were a highlight of Week 2, Winnipeg Blue Bombers Chris Streveler has also been turning heads early into the CFL season.

The rookie pivot was dominant in a 56-10 slaying of the Montreal Alouettes last week. The 23-year-old completed 22 of 28 passes for 246 yards with three touchdown passes to go along with one rushing major and 98 yards on the ground.

But rather than rest on his laurels, Streveler is focused at the task at hand this week against the Ticats.

“I’ve done a lot of preparation this week preparing for these guys [Hamilton],” Streveler told “You definitely see the speed and the intensity they play with on defence. It’s going to be a big challenge for us. They’ve got some really good players. It’s a test we’re looking forward to.”

While the Bombers offence racked up a boatload of points on the Als, the defence did not go unnoticed. Winnipeg held Montreal to just 129 passing yards through 60 minutes of play, while defensive end Tristan Okpalaugo picked up two quarterback sacks on the night.

Okpalaugo says that key to beating the Ticats will be slowing down Misoli.

“He’s a special quarterback,” said Okpalaugo. “He’s athletic. A dual threat…..We have to contain him. Get in his face. Make sure he doesn’t scramble as much as he would like to.”

Winnipeg ranks second in fewest points among teams who have played two games with 43, behind only Calgary.

However, the Bombers’ defence will take a hit this week with the absence of Anthony Gaitor, who has been placed on the six-game injured list. The halfback was tied for the fourth most tackles league wide with 12 after two games.

Returning to the defence as a starter is Maurice Leggett, who saw some action in the return game last week after a grueling but determined recovery from a season-ending Achilles injury suffered late last fall.

The Bombers encountered a bit of a scare last week when star running back Andrew Harris left that game near the end of the third quarter after taking a low hit from Alouettes linebacker Jermaine Robinson. Harris also missed the Bombers first two practices of the week. But the four-time CFL all-star made it clear that he is good to go against the Ticats.

“I was ready to go back into the game in Montreal,” said Harris. “We were up by 30 at that point in time. We had a pretty healthy lead….If the score was tighter and in different circumstances, I would have been playing.”

It’s the Blue and Gold against the Black and Gold. Game on.

Crunchin’ Numbers:

6 – Passing touchdowns by Bombers rookie quarterback Chris Streveler this season, tied for the most in the CFL.

7 – Consecutive 300-yard passing games for Jeremiah Masoli. He can tie Mike Reilly (2015-16) and Anthony Calvillo (2012) for the second most 300-plus yard performances in a row in CFL history.

18 – The number of times the Ticats and Bombers have met since 2011. They have split the games evenly at nine wins apiece.

32 – Number of first downs by the Ticats last week, their best total since July 6, 2010.

Masoli and Streveler have been two of the most exciting pivots to watch in the league this season.

However, both quarterbacks realize that two talented players are on their heels; motivating them to play even harder.

Johnny Manziel news has diminished over the past couple of weeks thanks to a pair of impressive games by Masoli. That being said, if the Ticats quarterback for the foreseeable future begins to underperform, there will be no hesitation by Hamilton to give Manziel a go.

Unlike Masoli, Streveler was not the predicted starter for the Bombers. The rookie quarterback was thrust into the job after Matt Nichols was injured in practice earlier this month. With Nichols expected to return in the coming weeks, Streveler is determined to make a statement that the veteran QB is not their only option at quarterback.

As if this matchup wasn’t intriguing enough, this will be the first live mic game of the 2018 season. Coaches and quarterbacks will be wearing mics for the entire game so fans can feel like they are in the huddle.

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: CFL – “Live Mic” Game – Winnipeg Blue Bombers @Hamilton Tiger-Cats, June 29, 7p (1a June 30 CEST)

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