Simoni Lawrence has a new nickname inside the Tiger-Cats locker room.
The original creator is unknown but all-star defensive end Ja’Gared Davis shared the moniker after Lawrence scored for a second straight game at Tim Hortons Field and recorded the third touchdown of his career.
“I’m about to change his name to House Call Simoni,” Davis said.
“It’s all love and fun doing it with the guys,” Lawrence said.
Midway through the third quarter on Friday night, Bo Levi Mitchell threw a pass across the middle to Luther Hakunavanhu. It bounced off his hands and Lawrence was right there to snatch the football and return it 15 yards for the game-changing major.
“The way he ran the ball you thought he was a running back, he looked pretty determined to get in the end zone. It’s bigger than Simoni — I was happy for our football team, we needed that lift,” head coach Orlondo Steinauer said.
“They were backed up and the timing of it was really impeccable for us. The fact that Simoni made that play for our football team, you will be not surprised to know I’m not shocked, he’s being doing that consistently since he’s been a Tiger-Cat.”
The 32-year-old veteran Hamilton linebacker made the most critical play of the Ticats Week 7 win against the Calgary Stampeders. Lawrence provided a quick answer after Calgary had score a go-ahead touchdown on the previous drive. His TD put the home side in front for keeps with a 23-17 win.
“It’s electric in Hamilton. The fans were screaming, it felt like it was all going through my body and your whole body goes numb,” Lawrence explained.
“It’s contagious any time you get in the end zone it’s one of those things that you think it’s going to happen every time you step on the field.”
Lawrence added a team-high eight tackles to go along with his interception touchdown. He’s continued to play at an all-star level with 37 tackles, tied for the most in the East Division, since coming back from the cancelled season and long layoff due to the COVID-19 pandemic. That single play changed the complexion of the Ticats 2021 season.
“Honestly, it boosts the moral of the whole team. It fires up the fans and gets us going,” Davis said.
“Great play in a crucial time. He saw the quarterback make a throw, the receiver didn’t catch it, Simoni was there with the great hands, secured it and took it to the house.”