With nothing left to play for – Winnipeg beat Montreal to secure a home playoff game – the Ti-Cats came out and ended BC's eight-game winning streak with a good, old-fashioned butt kicking. It was a nice farewell for the fans, as that was the last home game for the Tiger-Cats in 2011. This was a full team effort, and showed what this Tiger-Cat team can do when they are clicking.
The entire Defense played out of their mind. Pick a player and he played great. Rey Williams was all over the field; Ray Mariuz, who was filling in for the injured Jamall Johnson, played as well as I have ever seen him play; the entire Secondary, but especially Bo Smith and Woodny Turenne, had blanket coverage on the Lions' Receivers. It was a dominating defensive performance.
It truly looks like the game has slowed down for Quinton Porter. He still makes a few mistakes, but for the most part, he looks to have learned from his two years on the bench. The mental side of the game was always the issue – Porter has all the physical tools to dominate, and that was never the concern – but it looks like Porter may have taken that step. It's a very positive development that can only help the team.
Lavishing praise on Justin Medlock is almost a given, but his virtuoso seven-field-goal performance was the stuff of legend. Medlock accounted for 24 of Hamilton's 42 points, and just when it seems like he's done it all, he does something else spectacular. I don't think I'm alone when I say I am really glad that Medlock is on the team.
Not much to complain about when the margin of victory is 32 points, but one thing stuck out like a sore thumb: Avon Cobourne. Cobourne had one of his worst games as a Tiger-Cat, dropping three very catchable passes and fumbling one play after Auggie Barrenechea made his first career catch to set the Cats up in BC territory. Knowing the type of player that Cobourne is, he'll be harder on himself than anyone. There will be no repeat performance coming from Cobourne any time soon, but he still deserves to be called out for the game he played.
No more Ivor Wynne in 2011, but now the Cats can spend their next two games getting polished for the playoffs. Perhaps the back-to-back road games will be a positive heading into the playoffs because they'll have to win consecutive games on the road if they want to get to the Grey Cup.
This was one of those statement-type wins. BC came into the game having not lost since August 13th and Hamilton took them to the proverbial woodshed and beat them senseless. It's the type of win that can catapult a team to great things. It's a win that can build confidence as the playoffs near.
Next up, a trip to Regina to play the struggling Roughriders. It'll be interesting to see which Tiger-Cat team shows up. If it's the one that played tonight, the game will never be in doubt.