Quarterback Matthew Shiltz will make his first start in a Tiger-Cats uniform Friday night when Hamilton entertains the Toronto Argonauts in a pivotal game at Tim Hortons Field.
With starter Dane Evans landing on the one-game injured list with a bad throwing shoulder, Shiltz has been thrust onto the field for his first start in the Canadian Football League since Oct. 30, 2021.
Friday’s pregame show on 900 CHML radio begins at 6:30 p.m. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. A half-hour after the final whistle, catch The 5th Quarter postgame show on CHML, 900chml.com and CHML’s Facebook page.
Shiltz has gone 16-for-24 for 125 passing yards and an interception. He also has 22 carries for 110 yards and a TD.
Evans has completed 67 per cent of his passes and is second in the CFL with 2,229 passing yards. He has thrown 10 touchdowns along with 10 interceptions.
Hamilton (2-6) will also be without receiver Bralon Addison who suffered a season-ending torn Achilles in last week’s 34-20 loss in Toronto (4-3).
The injury bug has also bitten Hamilton receiver Mike Jones, defensive linemen Mason Bennett and Anthony Federico.
Friday’s game marks the return of former Ticats star receiver Brandon Banks to Tim Hortons Field after the 2019 CFL Most Outstanding Player joined the Argos in free agency.
The 34-year-old ‘Speedy B’ ranks second on Hamilton’s all-time list for touchdowns (62), punt return TDs (7) and most combined yards (13,686).
Banks holds the team record for receptions in a season (112) and is second on the single-season list for touchdowns (16), receiving yards (1,550), receiving majors (13) and punt return touchdowns (4).
In Shiltz’s last start, the 29-year-old QB was a member of the Saskatchewan Roughriders and beat the Montreal Alouettes 19-4.
Shiltz completed seven of 13 pass attempts for 106 yards and one interception and carried the ball four times for 11 yards before he was replaced by Trevor Harris at the end of the third quarter.
3 quick stats:
- Since 1996, the Ticats and Argos have played 10 back-to-back games. Hamilton and Toronto have each swept four of those back-to-back series and the two other meetings have been split. The Argos have not swept a back-to-back set against the Cats since 2012.
- The second half has given the Ticats fits this season. Hamilton has been outscored 145-58 after halftime. The team has held a 13-point lead in four games this year but is 1-3 in those games. Hamilton has outscored the opposition 103-64 in the first half this season.
- Last week marked the second game in a row in which Hamilton did not allow a quarterback sack. The Tiger-Cats’ offensive line has not allowed a sack in 40 consecutive drives. The team gave up 19 sacks in their first 80 drives of the 2022 season.