STREAMING CFL PPV: Saskatchewan Roughriders @ Hamilton Tiger-Cats, Oct. 8, 01:30 CET (1:30 am, 7:30 pm ET Oct. 7)

HAMILTON — The Saskatchewan Roughriders and Hamilton Tiger-Cats will square off on Friday night from Tim Hortons Field in a game that could prove to be pivotal in the playoff race.

Saskatchewan is currently fourth in the West Division with 12 points, while the Tiger-Cats are the third placed team in the East with eight points.

The Tabbies are currently on the outside looking in at the CFL playoff picture as the Riders have their sights set on earning the final playoff spot in the East Division through the crossover, making this a must-win affair for both teams.

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Ahead of Friday’s contest Saskatchewan is attempting to rebound from a 31-13 loss to Winnipeg in Week 17, while Hamilton has had an extra week to prepare coming off a bye week.

Despite the loss, the Roughriders are hoping last week’s performance from Cody Fajardo is one that the quarterback can repeat. Fajardo completed nearly 70 per cent of his 26 passing attempts as he threw for 307 yards and carried the ball 9 times for 36 yards and a touchdown.

Finding the end zone for the Riders has been a challenge this season, they have managed just 19 touchdowns on 41 score zone opportunities. The Hamilton defence has surrendered the third most passing touchdowns this season, meaning that there will be opportunities for Saskatchewan to attack the end zone through the air.

Saskatchewan receiver Kian Schaffer-Baker leads the Riders with 781 receiving yards and four touchdowns. The young Canadian was a bright spot for the Green and White passing attack in their Week 17 loss as he reeled in three receptions for 101 yards.

Watch the game live here PPV. Saskatchewan Roughriders @ Hamilton Tiger-Cats, Oct. 8, 01:30 CET (1:30 am, 7:30 pm ET, Oct. 7)

With a backfield that was already seemingly short-handed after losing Jamal Morrow and Frankie Hickson to injury. Saskatchewan will be without another running back as Kienan LaFrance has been ruled out for Friday’s contest in Hamilton after suffering an injury in Week 17.

Running back Shaquille Cooper has returned for his third stint with the Riders and has been listed as the team’s starting running back ahead of Friday. Cooper has seen action in 15 games over four CFL seasons, rushing for 638 yards and three touchdowns on 123 carries.

It won’t be easy task for Cooper as he enters a matchup against one of the better run defences in the league. The Ticats rank statistically as the best run defence in the league, having allowed the fewest rushing yards and scores, surrendering an average of 80.9 yards per game and just eight rushing touchdowns to opposing running attacks.

An opportunistic Saskatchewan secondary led by Nick MarshallMike Edem and Rolan Milligan will try to take advantage of the Hamilton passing attack. Tabbies pivot, Dane Evans has thrown 13 interceptions this season, the second most of any quarterback.

However, forcing interceptions from Evans will become a tougher challenge as the quarterback has thrown 61 passes without an interception over his last two games, including a five-touchdown, no-interception outing against Winnipeg in Week 15.

Head coach Craig Dickenson didn’t mince words when addressing the media and speaking about the importance of the game Friday night.

“We feel like we have to win this game to get in,” Dickenson told “Our players know that and we’ve expressed that to them. We’ve worked really hard this week explaining to the guys we have to take care of our own business and that means winning this game.”

In Hamilton, receiver Tim White will be relied upon as a source of offensive production. The second-year playmaker leads all Ticats receivers with 983 yards and seven touchdown receptions and has an opportunity to break 1,000 yards receiving Friday night.

Rookie receiver Kiondre Smith has been listed as the team’s No.1 field-side receiver ahead of the matchup with the Riders, and will be relied upon to help move the ball through the air as Steven Dunbar Jr. has been listed out with an injury.

Aside from White, Smith leads all receivers on the Hamilton depth-chart ahead of the Week 18 matchup with 16 receptions for 238 and a touchdown this season.

On the ground for Hamilton, running back Wes Hills has afforded the Ticats the luxury of running the ball with success as of late. In three games with the Tabbies, Hills has carried the ball 28 times for 159 yards and a touchdown. Most recently the back averaged 6.1 yards per carry in his team’s Week 16 meeting with Montreal.

The Hamilton defence is second in net offence allowed, but has struggled to keep teams out of the end zone when they are tasked with defending their goal line.

The Ticats have had to defend their end zone 38 times this season and have allowed 23 scores, allowing opposing offence to score on 60.5 per cent of their trips to the Hamilton red zone.

In order to limit scoring opportunities Hamilton will need to find ways to disrupt the flow of the Rider offence, The Saskatchewan offensive line has allowed 59 sacks this season, the most of any team in the league, giving Hamilton defensive linemen Julian HowsareMicah Johnson and Mason Bennett opportunities to find sacks.

Johnson told team media he still believes in his team despite their 4-10 record and knows how critical Friday night’s contest is in regards to their season.

“We are a 4-10 team, I don’t think you can run from that reality,” Johnson told “We still believe we are a good football team, a capable football team. The amount of work you put in, the blood, sweat and tears doesn’t guarantee wins on Friday’s and Saturday’s, but we understand how much we work. Guys are focused. For us, it’s impossible not to look at it like a playoff game. At the end of the day we’re still alive.”

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Watch the game live here PPV. Saskatchewan Roughriders @ Hamilton Tiger-Cats, Oct. 8, 01:30 CET (1:30 am, 7:30 pm ET, Oct. 7)

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