Ticats post big win over Alouettes to cap disappointing 2017

A swan songs go, this one was just about right.

The game between the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Montreal Alouettes didn’t mean much but allowed Ticat fans to both celebrate better days while also offering a sliver of hope for next season. And there was plenty of history to be made.

The Ticats won 33-0 in front of, charitably, a half-full Tim Hortons Field. But game featured some vintage performances from players with uncertain futures, guys who have starred for this team, in some cases, for half-a-decade.

Receiver Luke Tasker caught seven balls to break the team record for receptions in the season (he finished with 104) while also hauling in a touchdown. Brandon Banks caught seven balls for 76 yards receiving to give Hamilton three players with at least 1,000 yards the first time in team history.

It was the first Ticat shutout since 1974 and the first time the Alouettes have posted a doughnut since 1997.

Quarterback Jeremiah Masoli threw for 318 yards and one touchdown without an interception, his fourth straight game over 300 yards. He put an exclamation point on his 2017 with a 58-yard run for a score in the fourth.

Tasker, Banks and Masoli are all are set to be free agents in February along with other stalwarts like defensive tackle Ted Laurent and safety Courtney Stephen (who had an interception.) The future of former starting quarterback Zach Collaros is also very much in doubt.

Those players – along with linebacker Simoni Lawrence and offensive lineman Mike Filer –formed the nucleus that led the Ticats to four straight playoff appearances and two Grey Cup games before this year’s backslide. Friday night was, in some respects, an echo of those better days.

The Ticats off-season will feature plenty of questions, from the front office on down, but there are some pieces some place. Defensive back Richard Leonard had two interceptions against Montreal to further his case for CFL Most Outstanding Rookie – he’s now second in the league with seven – while receiver Jalen Saunders registered 97 yards. Defensive end Adrian Tracy had two sacks and he’s under contract in 2018, too.

Montreal, meanwhile, looked very much like a team thinking about heading home for the winter. Rookie quarterback Matt Shiltz, making his first career start, threw for just 96 yards and three picks. He was replaced late in the fourth by Antonio Pipkin.

Video replay – which has been an issue in Hamilton for all the wrong reasons the last few seasons – was also a storyline. The league ran a “test pilot” on Friday that displayed the replay official’s screen in Toronto on the video board at Tim Hortons Field during reviews. That means fans saw, in real time, what the command centre is reviewing.

Not that it helped: after a review in the first quarter went against the home side, fans booed lustily. Of course they did.

This Hamilton Tiger-Cats season has been one of the most unusual in recent history – so disappointing and yet with moments of genuine excitement and hope. In that regard, Friday night was perfect: everything it could have been, and wasn’t, everything it might be but – at least for now – isn’t.

Drew Edwards

Drew Edwards

Drew Edwards is into his eighth season covering the CFL and the Ticats for the Hamilton Spectator. He is the founder and editor of 3DownNation.
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Drew Edwards
About Drew Edwards (1161 Articles)
Drew Edwards is into his eighth season covering the CFL and the Ticats for the Hamilton Spectator. He is the founder and editor of 3DownNation.

33 Comments on Ticats post big win over Alouettes to cap disappointing 2017

  1. Sign jj jm bb and tasker tomorrow …send Zack packing you can use that $500000 to make the signings happen and tweak the d and we are off and rolling for 2018 …its a shame this team isn’t in the playoffs

  2. Anthony Kaduck // November 3, 2017 at 10:30 pm //

    Before we get in a panic about all the key players that are free agents, it’s worth remembering that every other team will be in the same boat. Veteran players can now sign one year contracts and many do. If you look at last year there were a few big free agents changing teams but many ended up staying in place.

  3. Randy do not agree. It takes quarterbacks some time to learn the cfl game. Manziel is going to sign for less than people think. Keep Collaros and let Collaros show him the way. Season ended with lots of positives. Phillip Lolley and June Jones have done incredible jobs and need to be brought back. Collaros needs to start working right now and hopefully June Jones will hang around with him. Mazoli is not an elite level quarterback like either Collaros or Manziel will be. I am betting that Collaros restructures his contract and extends the term. I don’t like the way we treated Collaros but he took it like a true sport. I want to hear Austin talk about Collaros future here as the fans and Collaros are owned this sooner rather than later.

  4. Hey ari collaros is as good as gone they were up 26 to zip and they put in golson . Collaros is bye bye Hamilton

    • pure speculation but i think Trust fund johnny will sign for the minimum salary. Why? Wants to show he just loves Football. Eventually wants to Coach or own. I can see he and his Dad starting a Franchise in London and calling it Erie Shore. Ticats can than afford Zach for one year as Bridge-mentor.

    • Collaros is paid big if injured, that’s why he didn’t play. Will be great under the right coach, could be Jones definitely Condell. JM will cost mid pack starter money, count on it. They won’t release ZC, they will creatively trade him if they decide he is not their guy, not for a bag of balls and a roll of tape either.

  5. longtimetcfan // November 3, 2017 at 10:58 pm //

    One reason Golson went in is because from what I witnessed, Collaros disappeared from the TiCat bench sometime in the first half. I couldn’t find him in the second half either. If true, it speaks volumes about his future with the team.

    • I sit right behind the bench and Zach was there all game, in full equipment,wearing a grey touque and a grey, hooded sideline jacket

  6. Packie McBurgers // November 3, 2017 at 11:27 pm //

    Zach’s for sale.

    Don’t break the merchandise.

  7. Hey longtimecfan1 he was in the dressing room asking his girlfriend if Toronto is the best option lol

  8. The Cats defeated one winning team – Winnipeg – minus their quarterback for the second half.Even Montreal won three games and defeated Calgary.The Cats would be foolish to sell their sportscar just because the four-door sedan worked well at times.

  9. June Jones has (somewhat successfully) made Masoli his own personal development project – his mark on this team – and we need both of them back (plus Banks and Tasker).

    After what we fans have had to endure since 1999, I’m happy to roll the dice with Masoli and use the extra salary (assuming no Zach) to re-sign the other key players who made this 2nd half team a top contender.

    Drew referred to the crowd size tonight, and my guess would be that 1/3 of the seats were filled. The east stands were perhaps 1/4 (being generous), for what was a nothing game, but a pretty nice November night to watch a football game (unlike the weather in Calgary tonight).

    This team needs to make decisions and signings NOW, if they hope to retain their strong season ticket base. I hope Caretaker Bob is reading.

    Finally, listening to the post-game show on TSN1150, I continue to be truly impressed with Marshall Ferguson’s insightful analysis of the game and players. I only wish we could synch their audio with TSN’s video for those away games, so we could all benefit from knowledgeable broadcasters (MF and Coach Sal), instead of you-know-who on TSN.

    Finally #2: Drew, now that you have extra time (with Ticats out), how about an analysis of the prospects for 2018’s roster, based on salaries paid, the cap and who we are likely to keep or lose. I’m sure all fans would appreciate this.

    Thanks for the work you do on this site.

    • JJ Murphy // November 4, 2017 at 1:26 am //

      I echo this statement regarding Drew and also the radio coverage, that’s really all I listen to and Ferguson is very, very good.

    • He may have some insight but lacks humility and maturity. I’ll take Duane Ford all day over Ferguson for insightful analysis. A former TiCat RB- not Ford- wanted to play concrete football with him after some of his on air comments. He comes across like an entitled pompous [email protected]&.

  10. i like coach Sal also. I listen on the internet audio feed. June knew Masoli from Hawaii. Jeremiah went to St. Louis HS in Honolulu where June unsuccessfully recruited him to go to SMU. Jerry landed at Oregon got arrested twice and ended up at ole miss. Meanwhile after resigning from SMU for health reasons ended up at St. Louis HS. Thus the personal reclamation project.

  11. Will June stay or go? My take on it is at 64 his motivations are altruism and his legacy. He wanted to restart Masolis career because he liked the kid he knew back in Honolulu AND Jerry was a perfect fit for his co-invention now variously known as the spread, Air Raid, Quack Attack. So June stays if they get Manziel. Why? Same as Masoli. June knew Mr. Football from his Dallas days and genuinely likes him. AND Johnny Du Football is an even more perfect for his love Child the run and shoot. Johnny played a variant of the R&S in college.

  12. Markus, thanks very much for the added insight into Coach Jones’ mindset – makes perfect sense.

  13. Masoli/Faloney.

  14. Lindsay Wilcox // November 4, 2017 at 8:45 am //

    Agree with Breeze. Masoli so reminds me of Faloney (and Zuger) – not spectacular, not perfect passes. Just win by managing the games.

    No coincidence that all 3 masters of QB option, and of the quick-kick.

  15. Secondary is finally fixed as is the oline tackles. The rest will take care of itself. They were only 2 stinking wins from a playoff spot.( the last TO game was the backbreaker) Gotta learn to put teams away, especially at home.

  16. Beth Dalley // November 4, 2017 at 10:25 am //

    Guys we all will have to wait for the off season and see what happens. Zack has another year on his contract. We gotta watch B.B. Tasker and Masoli if they sign too

  17. The other guy of whom Masoli reminds me is Doug Flutie. I absolutely disagree with the notion that he is not a number one QB. Plus, he’s getting better and better with each game. Training Camp should be fun next year. Please, no Manziel. I don’t think we’ve yet seen the full extent of Jeremiah Masoli’s talent and quality.

  18. Of what I saw of the video the command centre is looking at, no wonder they can’t get calls correct at times.

  19. frank emil sabados // November 4, 2017 at 12:48 pm //

    Like what Zamperin said on the 5 th Quarter Zach Collaros is done with the Tiger Cats and like what Zamperin , he ll be traded to the Argos , and I don t believe Masoli is a 1# QB

  20. Like I said on a previous post…watch Masoli lead TC’s to a GC next year and some fans will still be insinuating that he’s not a #1 QB and whining that they wish they had Collaros back (because he’s good as gone folks). Unbelievable.

  21. I agree that Masoli is like Faloney and Zuger; not flashy but a winner. Keep him!

  22. Zack was there in the first half and then he wasn’t ? If that is true then anyone who believes he will be back is truly drinking their own bathwater…. Ticats will try and get something for him but considering his contract for next year it is not likely anyone will trade for him… if Manziel wants to get back into football the Ticats are his best chance because the NFL is done with him unless he proves himself in the CFL…Masoli’s very good showing should have the Ticats signing him and making it a M & M competition for the starting job next year..

  23. TEDDER 123 // November 6, 2017 at 10:03 am //

    Wow- great insight. Masoli like Faloney, how true!
    Yes, we will probably lose Zak but not to Toronto for crap’s sake!
    Yes a certain VP must go. Like most leaders they spin down with time and lose the edge, mostly to EGO problems which cause other really strong assets (read Condell etc) get frustrated with egotistical malfunction-you can quote me on that.
    2018 ? Let us hope for common sense to prevail and we get on the winning track from day one.
    Ted

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