Fresh off their second bye week of the Canadian Football League season, during which they made a major change to their coaching staff, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats return to the field Thursday night when they will entertain the struggling Edmonton Elks.
It has been 10 days since the Ticats sent offensive coordinator Tommy Condell packing and replaced him with former CFL coach of the year Scott Milanovich.
Hamilton (3-5) is hoping the Milanovich-led offence will show improvement against a winless Elks team that has allowed opposing offences to score at least 26 points in six of their nine games this season, which have all happened to be losses.
You can listen to the game on CHML radio, starting with the pregame show at 6:30 p.m. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. Fans can catch The 5th Quarter postgame show 30 minutes after the final whistle.
Canadian Football Hall of Fame receiver Darren Flutie will be honoured at halftime when he will become the 26th individual to be inducted on to the Ticats Wall of Honour at Tim Hortons Field. Flutie joins the likes of Tiger-Cat legends Angelo Mosca, Bernie Faloney, Joe Montford, Earl Winfield, and Danny McManus.
“Anytime there’s a different voice in the room, it’s different,” said Ticats head coach Orlondo Steinauer when asked to reflect on the past week with Milanovich guiding the offence during practice. “Once everybody settled in, they came out to work.”
And there are some familiar faces on the Cats’ roster who are returning to the workplace. Defensive lineman Dylan Wynn will play his first game of the season after sitting out the team’s first eight games as will receiver Anthony Johnson.
“I’m excited to be able to help the team get this win any way we can,” said Wynn. “We’re going against a good team with an explosive quarterback. I’m just trying to do my one-twelfth and do whatever I can to help.”
Ticats quarterback Taylor Powell will make his third career start after losing his previous outings against the east division-leading Toronto Argonauts and second place Montreal Alouettes.
Thursday’s match will mark the fourth career start for Edmonton QB Tre Ford, who sports a 1-4 record. His lone win came during his career start against Hamilton on July 1, 2022 when the 25-year-old from Niagara Falls threw for 159 yards and rushed for 61 yards.
The Elks are only the eleventh team in CFL history to start a season with nine straight losses, and they are the first to do so since the Ticats did so in 2003. Hamilton finished 1-17 that year, compiling the league’s worst ever winning percentage.
The similarities for futility between Hamilton and Edmonton don’t end there. The Elks have lost their last 13 games dating back to last year. That equals a club record that was established in 1963-64. The Hamilton Wildcats hold the record for most consecutive losses with 16 from 1948 to 1949.