HAMILTON – After seven years and 15 games the Hamilton Tiger-Cats finally erased their organizational demons when it comes to the Calgary Stampeders.
Saturday’s 30-23 win for the Tiger-Cats (4-1) was the first against the Stampeders since a 55-36 home win on Sept. 25, 2011.
Ti-Cats head coach Orlondo Steinauer said a lack of acknowledgement on the streak was the key in a deserved victory.
“We didn’t have that losing mindset tonight,” said Steinauer, in his post-game press conference from Tim Horton’s Field in Hamilton.
“It was a reality going into the game, but we didn’t think about that and now it doesn’t exist anymore and our football club deserved that.
Hamilton will enter the bye week on not only a victory but have now matched their best five-game opening to a season since 1998 where they also began 4-1, the start of their back-to-back Grey Cup appearances and culminated in their 1999 victory.
With the extended break, Steinauer cautioned what a loss would have meant to his team.
“That’s what’s unique about football,” said the 46-year-old. “You tend to be a loser for a week. If you lose two in a row and even into a bye it could be even more time, it’s that losing feeling that taxes on you.
“But we got the job done.”
As the three-minute warning approached in the fourth quarter, with the game tied at 23, Ti-Cats quarterback Jeremiah Masoli scrambled out of the pocket and found receiver Brandon Banks for a 20-yard TD reception and the lead.
It was Banks’s second touchdown of the night and third overall as earlier he ran back a 51-yard missed field goal, the fifth missed field goal — touchdown reception of his career, a new CFL record.
— CFL on TSN (@CFLonTSN) July 14, 2019
The 31-year-old’s coach offered high praise to the man they call Speedy B, who set the new Canadian Football League mark on a 115-yard return in front of 22,921 in attendance.
“He’ll be talked about as one of the best,” said the former 13-year CFL safety. “I don’t want to discredit anybody I played with or haven’t seen but Brandon is in the top-five of dynamic players of all-time.”
Even with a three touchdown performance that totalled 200-yards, Masoli thought Banks could’ve added more.
“He could’ve had a bigger game tonight and that’s on me,” said the 30-year-old quarterback out of the University of Mississippi.
“You want to get it to him but teams have done things to adjust. We’ll get all those fixed so he has even more success.”
Hamilton will look to continue their own progress after their break and it could be for top spot overall in the CFL.
“We’re going to enjoy this win but we need to be focused for our next game in two weeks,” said Steinauer. “Winnipeg can still be undefeated when we meet up.”
The Tiger-Cats will come back to face the Blue Bombers (4-0) on July 26 at home.