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Suddenly hot Hamilton Tiger-Cats aim for third straight win – Hamilton

It seemed somewhat inconceivable several weeks ago to think that the Hamilton Tiger-Cats would pile up enough wins to qualify for the Canadian Football League playoffs.

Heading into the penultimate game of the regular season, the Ticats (6-10) would move one step closer to securing a post-season berth with a victory Friday night against the visiting Ottawa Redblacks.

CHML’s coverage of the game begins with the pregame show at 6:00 p.m. Kickoff is set for 7:00 p.m. A half-hour after the final whistle, catch The 5th Quarter postgame show on CHML radio, CHML’s Facebook page and online at

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The Ticats gave their once bleak playoff hopes a major boost by beating the Calgary Stampeders 35-32 last week, Hamilton’s first win at McMahon Stadium since 2004.

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That victory put the Cats in the driver’s seat to acquire the sixth and last ticket to the CFL’s post-season party with a couple of games against Ottawa left on the calendar.

A third straight win for the Tiger-Cats on Friday night, coupled with a loss by the Saskatchewan Roughriders who host Calgary Saturday night, will mean Hamilton clinches third place in the East Division.

That would also eliminate both the Roughriders and Redblacks from playoff contention.

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Ottawa (4-12) can still make the playoffs, but the Redblacks must beat Hamilton this week and next, and have Saskatchewan lose both of their games against Calgary.

Both the Ticats and Redblacks are dealing with some injury concerns heading into the game.

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Hamilton will be without running back Wes Hills (quadriceps injury) and so tailback Don Jackson will draw back into the lineup. Hills carried the load in Hamilton’s last four games, rushing 56 times for 303 yards and a touchdown. In nine games this year, Jackson has 272 rushing yards and a TD on 73 carries.

Defensive tackle Micah Johnson also makes his return to Hamilton’s lineup after missing last week’s game for the birth of his daughter.

The Redblacks won’t have star receiver Jaelon Acklin for a second consecutive week after he suffered a head and shoulder injury in a game against Montreal on Oct. 10. Acklin has 75 catches this season for 1,169 yards and two touchdowns.

Ottawa will also be without running back William Powell (shoulder), kick returner DeVonte Dedmon (quad) and defensive back Patrick Levels (ankle).

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3 Quick Stats

  • Hamilton’s offensive line has allowed only three quarterback sacks in their last four games. In their last 11 contests, the Ticats have allowed just 13 sacks, the second fewest in the CFL during that stretch. It is a far cry from the team’s first five games of the season when they gave up 18 sacks.
  • Tiger-Cats head coach Orlondo Steinauer is 5-0 in the regular season against Ottawa. QB Dane Evans sports a 3-0 record against the Redblacks, the only CFL team Evans has not lost to. Friday marks the first game against Hamilton as head coach for Bob Dyce, who supplanted the fired Paul LaPolice on Oct. 1.
  • Since 2017, Hamilton has proven to be a much better team in the second half of the season compared to the first nine games. In games one to nine, the Ticats are a combined 19-26 (.422 winning percentage) over the past four-plus seasons. In games 10 to 18, Hamilton is 24-15 (.615).

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