You couldn’t have scripted it any better. Zach Collaros returning to face the team which he last took to the Grey Cup five years ago, two good friends at the helm in Orlondo Steinauer and Mike O’Shea, and individual award finalists galore.
This game is chock full of storylines, oh and the games probably going to be pretty good too.
These two teams met twice this season, with Hamilton taking both matchups. The first meeting came in week 7 at Tim Hortons Field. Interestingly, both teams lost their starting quarterbacks to injury after this game. Jeremiah Masoli tore his ACL during this game, while Matt Nichols was placed on the six-game injured list in August, before being shut down for the season in October.
The Ticats took that week 7 meeting 23-15. This was Dane Evans first taste of being the guy in 2019 and he started to settle in. He threw for 94 yards on 52% passing. On the defensive end, the Ticats made life difficult for Nichols, picking him off three times in the game. Jumal Rolle had two interceptions, while Tunde Adeleke got his first career interception. The win was nice, but the concern and uncertainty over Masoli was palpable. Hamilton was rolling and looking like one of the best teams in recent memory but now they were without their starting quarterback for the rest of the season. It’s crazy to think how far things have come since that moment.
In the second meeting between the Ticats and the Bombers came on the back end of the Ticats 3 game western road trip. This one wasn’t as close. Dane Evans had fully settled in as the Ticats starter and showed it in this game. He threw for 359 yards on 78.1% passing with three touchdowns and an interception. Brandon Banks had an MOP level night, catching all eight of his targets for 113 yards and a touchdown. The defensive line made things tough for Bomber’s starting quarterback Chris Streveler, sacking him five times. Julian Howsare had two, with Ja’Gared Davis, Cariel Brooks and Brett Wade all adding one for themselves. The pressure wasn’t the only thing that Streveler had to worry about either, Justin Tuggle and Jumal Rolle each picked off the Bombers quarterback en route to the victory.
This will be the ninth Grey Cup meeting between these two teams, with the Bombers having won five of the head-to-head contests. The last meeting came back in 1984 in Edmonton where the Bombers took home the 47-17 win.
Hamilton has had one of the most successful seasons in their franchise’s 150 year history. They set records in wins, home wins, all-star selections and they took home a total of four individual awards. There truly is only one thing missing.
Kick-off gets underway from McMahon Stadium at 6 p.m. EST in Calgary and can be seen on the TSN network.