Saturday, June 30, 2012
Saskatchewan 43, Hamilton 16
I didn't know until I walked into the stadium that Avon Cobourne was a healthy scratch, but Chevon Walker made fans forget about "Deuces" rather quickly. Walker finished with 132 yards on seven carries and a touchdown, with most of them coming on a 89-yard run in the second quarter, and an additional 36 yards on three catches. I was one of the most impressive debut performances I have ever seen.
Sticking with the offense, Chris Williams put together a nice game with nine catches fro 109 yards. Those numbers would be higher if not for a penalty that whipped out a 97-yard touchdown catch. It seems like every week it is going to be a different receiver that will get open and this week it was Williams.
Staying with players named Williams, Rey Williams had an excellent game manning the middle. He finished with nine tackles and one sack, and was all over the field the entire game. Williams continued his solid play from last season when he led the team in tackles and was named an East Division All-Star. If he keeps putting up numbers like this, he'll be a two-time All-Star at the end of the season.
I praised Rey Williams, but the rest of the defense was just terrible. When a defense gives up 43 points and 511 total yards, it was not a good day at the office. The Riders seemed to be able to do what they wanted when they wanted, especially when it involved Weston Dressler. Dressler tore up the Ti-Cat defense to the tune of 180 yards on 13 catches and three touchdowns. He did most of his damage on short screens that the Cats just did not know how to defend. It was a bad day all around for the defense.
The penalty on Peter Dyakowski that negated a Chris Williams touchdown that would have put the Cats up was arguably the turning point of the game. But that was just one of many mistakes on the night. The Cats racked up nine penalties for 65 yards and had at least a half dozen dropped passes. There were way too many mistakes by the Black & Gold.
Brutal is really the only way to sum up this game. Or maybe what sums up the game best is "same old, same old." Despite all the changes the team made, they once again start the season with a loss. For all the hype the team came into the season with, the results remained the same at least for the first week (where the Ti-Cats have not notched a win since 2004).
It doesn't get any easier as the Cats will travel to BC to take on the defending Grey Cup champions. Hamilton has won their last three in BC, so maybe they can right the ship out in Vancouver. If not, and the team starts 0-2 for the third consecutive season, the fan base is going to start to wonder if the Ti-Cats are headed for another .500 or worse season in 2012.