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Week 1 Preview: Ticats vs. Riders

It’s finally here. The logos are painted, the lines are on the field and black and gold dominates Tim Hortons Field.

All of the two-a-days, all the hard work put in a McMaster and all of the late nights in the film room have led up to this.

Finally, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats home opener is here.

The Ticats will be hosting the West Division’s Saskatchewan Roughriders in Thursday’s clash, in what is sure to be an entertaining matchup.

In 2018, the Ticats had an impressive year. They finished 8-10 and made it all the way to the East Final, but lost to the Redblacks. Hamilton will look to get over the hump this year and take home the 107th Grey Cup.

The Riders finished 12-6 last year, and lost to Winnipeg in the West Semi-Final.

Head to head, Saskatchewan took both matchups between the two teams; however there were a few highlights for the Ticats. In the first game, Brandon Banks had seven receptions for 113 yards in Saskatchewan. In the home game, Frankie Williams brought the Tim Hortons Field crowd to their feet with a 98 yard punt return touchdown.

As if the hype of the home opener wasn’t enough, the Ticats are welcoming a familiar foe back into the building. Zach Collaros is making his first appearance in Hamilton, since being traded to Riderville back in 2018.

Collaros was relatively effective, when healthy, as a Ticat. Playing in 44 games, Collaros led the Ticats to the 102nd Grey Cup. Hamilton will hope to spoil his return and get into the win column right of the bat in 2019.

When it comes to former Riders, there is only one playing in the game for Hamilton. Wide receiver Brian Jones played in 10 games for Saskatchewan last year and caught two passes for 20 yards. Running back Cameron Marshall played 13 games between 2017 and 2018, however he is going to start the season on the 6-game injured list.

In addition to the action on the field, there are a few other attractions happening at Tim Hortons Field on Thursday. The Trews are going to be performing at halftime and after the football, game six of the NBA Finals will be shown on the video board. Kick off in the football game is scheduled for 7 p.m.

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