Riders 37 – Ti-Cats 0
I’m well aware that it’s not morning but given my track record did you really expect a morning post after a Sunday evening game? I sometimes struggle when it’s a Friday evening game.
In a league that awards a point for missing a FG and punting too far, the Ti-Cats somehow managed to put up a goose egg on Sunday night. I know lots of people will downplay this pummeling by saying that it was against a weak opponent but so what? That’s what’s supposed to happen when really good teams play bad teams. We are a really good team. Hamilton is a bad team with a bad defense, no run game and missing pretty much anything resembling a top flight receiver. We were supposed to beat them and we did… quite handily… the system works.
Before I get to the game… by far the highlight of the game was Andre Proulx. In his finest moment he screwed up the penalty call (mixing up offense and defense), paused to shake his head and collect his thoughts… and then top it off by pointing the wrong way while trying to correct himself. Worth the price of admission right there. Bonus points for calling a benalty on number turty tree (even though the actual penalty was on 24).
By now you may be sick of borderline crush on George Cortez but you’ll just have to deal with it. I love him and I love our offense! It is firing on all cylinders. Durant seems so comfortable and in tune with it and it is designed to remorselessly pick on any weakness the opposing team is show us. It was clear that Hamilton was dead set on stuffing Sheets so what do we do? Start heaving it up to Rob Bagg (who is back as an impact player) and Dressler, and keep doing it until the defense backs off enough to let Sheets do his thing. We also made really good use of that McHenry leak out. For once our offense is dictating the play to the defense rather than the other way around. I really noticed this game just how in tune Durant and the receivers are with the timing and execution of this offense. One play in particular I saw Durant throw a short pass to what looked like an empty space only to have Bagg swoop in at the perfect time and make the reception. If they keep playing like this we will be formidable to even the best defense… and as Sunday proved, deadly to the one who are defenses in name only.
Of course no talk of the offense would be complete without mentioning the Dan Clark TD. For the record, last Monday I wrote the following in my sentimonies… “At this rate I’m convinced that our Banjo Bowl offense will revolve primarily around Dan Clark somehow. . The only appropriate thing to say in a situation like a Clark TD is what John Madden said in the Replacements “I love to see a fat guy score, Because first you get a fat guy spike, then you get the fat guy dance”. Memo to Clark: if you plan on scoring again, work on the spike and dance.
Defensively I think it would have been a slightly different story if Hamilton had had Fantuz in… but not much. Defense came to play. Its hard to imagine them doing much better than they did on Sunday but I’m trying to imagine what would have happened if Harris, Maze and Thomas (i.e. the majority of our starting secondary) had played. Ti-Cats may have found a way to get negative points. When the defense held them without a point with the wind I just knew the Ti-Cats would not be scoring about as much as a math major in college. We brought big time pressure (5 sacks) and limited the big plays. I'm pretty sure we would have help them in check even if we allowed them to field 2 extra offensive players.
Another solid effort in all 3 phases in what is becoming a pleasant trend. Not used to being in the position of being the team to beat but I could certainly get used to this… and the way we are playing, likely will.
Other random thoughts:
- Willy not starting really hurt “I Heart Willy” T-Shirt sales… only ones I sold were to a guy who asked if it also came in pink with glittered print… and I don’t think he even watched football. It did give me a great idea for a new slogan for the shirts “I Heart Willy shirts: Show your pride, Rider or otherwise.”
- When was the last time that 130 yard performance by an RB seemed like no big deal?
- Not sure if you noticed but when Sanders subbed in for Sheets at the very end of the game, after only 1 play (a first down), Sheets tried to sub himself back in by walking onto the field only to have the coaches quickly direct him back to the sidelines.
- I see Geroy Simon has taken over the “Mandatory Standing Ovation No Matter How Insignificant The Play Was” role… should have at least saved the cheers for his second reception that was actually worth cheering.
- I really hope McHenry and Fulton are OK after the game. Obviously McHenry was shook up and I noticed near the end of the game Fulton was very, very slowly getting up after plays and clearly in some pain. Both guys are big parts of our O. (Honestly who ever expected that to be written about McHenry?)
- I was hoping that one Bartel punt would float backwards through the endzone… I wonder what the rule is on that?