Well, within minutes of Medlock getting the biggest FG at THF so far (probably the third-biggest at that location, behind Sunter in '72 and Ozzie in '98) about all I can think now is this: Masoli was good enough to get the job done. Now excuse me while I gladly eat my hat.
Seriously though, the QB who was the 4th stringer for most if the year leads the team to a playoff win? That's a story I'd expect from Hollywood, not Hamilton. Wow.
Maybe we can be the team with the fairy tale ending this season instead of the OTTRBs who have not had a fraction of the adversity of their next opponent! Great for Masoli who showed determination to get the job done.
I think the game plan was to keep it simple early, and not let nerves give it away, and not let the game get out of reach. Then, late in the 3rd with the game within reach, Kent gave Masoli the green light to go win a football game.
I really thought we were doomed but that was the textbook-definition of "positive response to adversity" by Hamilton. Great, gutsy win by the Cats who played their hearts out today.
Hats off to The Toronto Argos who left it all on the field. A penalty like that is a terrible way to lose a game, but it was definitely a penalty on the low hit.
Ray wasn't spectacular and home field was certainly an advantage with the wind affecting Waters and a very well placed Time Count Violation/Loss Of Down that can be credited to the crowd noise.
I felt both the Cats and the Argos caught a few breaks per side (Two self-recovered fumbles by Toronto and the almost-punt recovery deep in Hamilton territory that the Cats got lucky on). I didn't hate the officiating (other than the over turned call on the field for a Toronto reception). Ultimately, the players, coaches and environment all decided this one and that's how football should be.
Steve Milton, in a 3DownNation pre-game video, said "If they win this game, it will be part of the Tiger-Cats' lore." And so, it is.
Anyone who was there will always remember this game and the experience of being there. Some very good, and observant, comments have been posted in this thread. My guess is that Norwood is done for the final, and likely beyond. Likely Sinkfield as well. And, although they got back into the game and contributed, it wouldn't be shocking if Lawrence and/or Reed aren't ready to rock next weekend. That's the way it is, and the way it's been most of this year, and yet we'll still be on the field a week before the Grey Cup. I'm thrilled with was the team accomplished today.
I think that Condell made adjustments in the 2nd half that made the difference. Getting Gable more involved was key. Good enough game by Masoli to win, but if he can go next week, I think we have to go with Mathews.
Not sure if I’d use the word “rugged”, but kinda looks like actor Jake Gyllenhaal. In any case, nice to see him get the win, especially after some of the crap that’s been flung his way by some of the fans.
I agree with this, even though I thought Masoli should have started against Toronto regardless of Mathews' status. While part of Masoli's modest numbers today were due to a conservative gameplan, I think Mathews' ability to throw into small windows would give us the better chance next week if he's ready.
It did look like the game plan on offence was to keep it conservative at first with mostly shot passes and handoffs to Gable. And it looked like the Toronto defence was taking advantage of that conservative game plan, loading the box, preventing Gable from getting very far.
The turning point seemed to be when Harris replaced Masoli. Or when Masoli replaced Harris shortly after that. Apparently, the whole point of having Harris in there was not so much because Austin thought Harris could do a better job, but so that Masoli could just sit back and watch and focus on what the Toronto defence was doing. Sometimes benching a player and letting them watch what's going on can help. It worked for both Norwood and Sinkfield, and it's too bad those two left the game with injuries. But when Masoli and Gable started to really gain yardage for us, that's when this team started coming from behind to win.
Masoli was not consistent and did sometimes show his lack of experience. But he was as good as he needed to be as the defence and special teams did quite well. And what made the defence look even more impressive was how they were missing Lawrence and Norwood for parts of the game. It was great to see Laurent get those two sacks, especially that second one in the fourth quarter that led the decision to concede a safety.
On special teams, Banks did a great job on returns. There was a flag thrown on one of them, and I was relieved to see that it was because his facemask was grabbed. And Medlock was perfect on FGs, including one from midfield to put the first points on the board, and the one at the end of the game for the biggest FG for this team since Ozzie's in '98.
An interesting fact just tweeted by Drew:
This season, #Ticats were 0-7 when losing turnover battle, 0-4 in games decided by 3 pts or less & 1-6 when trailing after Q3. Until today.
I have wanted to see this team win for Zach, but I didn't think they'd get that far without him. This team's chances of winning in Ottawa may not look good. But if this team goes down, it won't be without a fight. And this team was not going to let this season end in its house. What a great way for the last Ticat game at THF this year to go.
Regarding Lawrence, Drew tweeted this:
Talked to #Ticats LB @Simoni_Lawrence after the game. He said the odds of him playing next week vs. #Redblacks are "100 per cent."
And Milton did tweet this:
Medlock wins it. The legend of Jeremiah Masoli is born. New story in #Ticats lore. #CFL
I'm sure this one will be talked about for sometime. That game when a QB who was the fourth stringer was good enough to lead the team to a playoff victory.
That was classy and good to see. I'm sure it'll also be good to see that Toronto team at BMO Field, which I'm sure will lead to increased attendances as it must be a better place for CFL games than the Dome.
According to this tweet from Drew, the decision to go with Masoli has already been made:
#Ticats coach Kent Austin says Jeremiah Masoli will start next Sunday vs #Redblacks in the #CFL East Final.
If Mathews can play, then I can see him being put in at some point in the game.
But yes, it does look the right adjustments were made at the half by Condell. The playcalling looked less conservative and Masoli looked more confident. And that was how the offence starting getting into this one, leading to the win.
Being that I had the lowest expectations of anybody here, I'm probably the happiest one here right now...
But one thing I was certain was that our best lay not in Masoli, but in Ricky Ray. Ray is not even close to being the QB he once was. If we had gotten a big lead on Toronto, I think they would not hesitate to have put Trevor Harris in, and then we would have been doomed. If it was a close game, I knew they would feel compelled to keep Ray in, and his lack of mobility and reduced arm strength would give us plenty of opportunities to win the game. Luckily that's exactly how it went down...