Friday, October 01, 2004

From Goat to Hero with two seconds to spare!

For Jamie Boreham Friday night’s Ti Cat/Eskimo game was dangerously close to being one to forget about, but with the sound of the final gun it was quickly turned into one to remember. The Hamilton place kicker sent 27,884 Ti Cat fans home happy, with a winning field goal with two seconds remaining on the clock. When the cheering had stopped the Ticats were 30-27 victors over the Esksimos.

He would have heard a completely different reaction if the trend of the night had continued for a few more seconds. Boreham almost had one of the most disappointing nights of his CFL career, as he missed three key field goal attempts from a range well within his abilities. Boreham bore the brunt of the crowds’ frustrations with misses twice from the fifteen yard line and once from the 30. Things were so bad for the kicker that his third attempt elicited nothing but catcalls as it sailed wide, depriving his team mates of their ninth point of the night.

With the many miscues in the field goal game it was a brave coach Greg Marshall that sent his kicker out to make the attempt from forty seven yards out. But with the snap of the ball Boreham was all determination as he successfully sent the ball through the uprights and the fans home happy.

It was a game that should have been a walk over for the Ti Cats, such were their chances the first half, too many of which slipped by the Black and Gold. Interceptions, fumbles and the missing nine points would give the Eskimos a second chance and Jason Maas made the best of his opportunities. Keeping the Eskies close and almost sending the game into overtime.

Danny McManus was forced from the game in the fourth quarter, when he was crushed by the Eskimo line, as a precautionary measure he sat out the rest of the game and watched Marcus Brady lead his team down field towards the Eskimo goal line. As time wound down, Brady got the ball down to the forty yard line, setting up Borehams 47 yard winner.

Special teams and both defences played a major part of this game as they put the pressure on, frequently keeping the QB’s on their toes and occasionally on the field.

With the win Hamilton picks up two valuable points in their pursuit of second place Toronto and more importantly, keeps any crossover opportunity from the West at bay for at least a couple of more weeks now.

It was a huge win for the Ti Cat franchise which has struggled at times during the season, this win over the defending Grey Cup champions could go a great way in the dressing room, purging the Cats of their struggling label of the last few games. It also could spell the end of any hopes that the Ottawa Renegades had of making it into the playoffs this year, putting five points between the Cats and the Rens.

The Cats move on to play the Bombers next Friday night in the Peg, Edmonton regroups and prepares to take on the Alouettes on Thanksgiving Monday. With the season heading towards the playoffs each win and loss is huge. The Bombers, who play BC on Saturday night, are now only two points behind the Eskies for second place and chance to host a semi final game.

It’s going to be a great finish for five of the seven teams stuck in the pack, the difference between second place and out of the playoffs literally only a field goal. Don’t think Jamie Boreham doesn’t realize that tonight!

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