Ticat fans have seen that Ricky Ray show before. The Glenn one, too.

This will be hard for any diehard Hamilton Tiger-Cat fan to swallow but here it is anyway: the Toronto Argonauts are going to the Grey Cup.

The Argos punched their ticket to the championship courtesy of a 25-21 win over the Saskatchewan Roughriders in Sunday’s Eastern Final at BMO Field with Ricky Ray staging a last-minute drive to pull out an improbable win.

Remember that Sept. 30 game against the Ticats when Ray converted on third-and-15, then threw the game-tying touchdown, a two-point conversion and then won it in overtime? The loss that put a major dent in Hamilton’s ultimately futile Grey Cup hopes? It was like that, except with a much larger stack of chips on the table.

Ray drove the Argos down the field with the game on the line, completing seven-of-eight passes including a nervy third-down conversion and virtually impossible throw between four defenders to set up the game winning score, a one-yard run by short-yardage quarterback Cody Fajardo.

It was vintage Ricky Ray, tearing the heart out of an opponent with the coolness of a practiced assassin.

“There have been times where I’ve been guilty where you think you have to make this special play, ” said Ray.

“But we had plenty of time. We weren’t in a rush.”

The win ruined the Roughriders remarkable comeback, capped by Christion Jones’ 79-yard punt return touchdown with under three minutes remaining. The Riders overcame three first-half interceptions by quarterback Kevin Glenn and stormed back from a 15-point deficit but ultimately fell short.

Kevin Glenn as a playoff goat: Ticat fans have seen that one before, as well.

Glenn led Hamilton to three straight playoff appearances from 2009 to ’11 but with the exception of a sublime performance on the road against Montreal in his final season with the Ticats, underachieved in the post-season. This wasn’t an interception off the hands of Arland Bruce with the game on the line – that was 2010 – but it was close.

Glenn finished six-of-13 for 87 yards and a quarterback rating of zero in the latest in a series of playoff disappointments. The 17-year CFL veteran has never won a Grey Cup.

“We just didn’t have a good outing, myself included. That’s why this is a team sport. Our defence played very well, Brandon came in and put us in position to win the game, ” Glenn said. “If you play professional sports you understand that some days are just not your day. Today it wasn’t mine.”

The pick six was a mistake that was, unfortunately, vintage playoff Glenn. He locked onto receiver Bakari Grant – another former Ticat – in the middle of the field and didn’t see linebacker Terrance Plummer as he dropped back into coverage. Plummer stepped in front of the pass and returned it 39 yards the other way to pay dirt.

If Ticat fans can get over the awfulness of seeing their arch rival playing for yet another championship – if they win in Ottawa this week it will be Toronto’s third Grey Cup title since Hamilton last won in 1999 – Sunday was a good day for football in Southern Ontario and the CFL as whole.

The announced crowd was 24,929, the largest ever for a Toronto Argonauts game at BMO Field and the game had the appropriate level of high-tension electricity that playoff games should have. Without expressing too much optimism – it’s the Argos after all – maybe, just maybe this is the foothold the team needs on their long march back to relevance.

And Brandon Bridge might just be a cannon-armed football unicorn: a bona-fide Canadian quarterback who can start in this league. The 24-year-old Mississauga native finished with 141 yards on 11 of 21 passing with the one score and didn’t throw an interception. He was also Saskatchewan’s leading rusher with 43 yards.

His fourth quarter toss was the first playoff touchdown pass by a Canadian since Ottawa’s Russ Jackson in the 1969 Grey Cup game. Of course, Ticat fans know a little bit about Bridge too: he strafed them for 231 yards and three touchdowns in a Rider win on Sept. 15 (that didn’t help the playoff push, either.)

There will be storylines for Hamilton fans to follow this week. The Argos have several former Ticats, most of them doing well. But the main one – can Ricky Ray lead his team to one final win – is one they already know the very painful answer to.

Drew Edwards

Drew Edwards

Drew Edwards is into his eighth season covering the CFL and the Ticats for the Hamilton Spectator. He is the founder and editor of 3DownNation.
Drew Edwards
Drew Edwards
About Drew Edwards (1485 Articles)
Drew Edwards is into his eighth season covering the CFL and the Ticats for the Hamilton Spectator. He is the founder and editor of 3DownNation.

23 Comments on Ticat fans have seen that Ricky Ray show before. The Glenn one, too.

  1. If Glen is with the Green and White next year , I would be surprised

    I can see Franklin signing in Sask , he won’t further his career after Mass’s highly intelligent call in the 4th quarter signing in Edmonton , good-bye Mr.IQ , Hello Saskie bush

  2. Yeah at 38 KG won’t get any better. Time for Jones to commit to a starter going ahead. There could be a lot of names available depending on how pending free agents shake out. Harris, Collaros, Bridge and Franklin in no particular order. Should be interesting to see who gets the job.

    • Collaros ISN’T a free agent but Masoli is. Collaros is under contract to the Ticats until the end of 2018 so the only way that any team is going acquire him is through trade – unless he’s released – but I don’t see the Ticats giving away a valuable asset for nothing.

  3. Tiger Chick // November 20, 2017 at 8:24 am //

    Drew: What is the point of this article, lets see how many ways we can slam the Cats. You just wrote an article on Glenn being the good guy and now in this article point out his errors. Thanks for letting us know our stats on the grey cup as well. Leave the Cats out if it, we know that you have a hate on for them. Its not about us now, write about the teams that are left and not dig up skeletons of the past. Move on Drew.

  4. I would have been hard-pressed to come up with a Ticat spin on this. Interesting enough that I read it though. Okay now try the Vancouver Canucks!

  5. If Kevin Glenn is given a little more time to throw, he can pick you apart. But in playoff ball, and in other big games, the windows are there for a few nano seconds less, and Glenn tends to throw before he’s planted and ready in these situations. A great QB in the early part of the season, but not very good when he’s rushed in the important games.

    Ray, on the other hand, got great protectio, and is fearless in all situations. If Bridge had started the game, I think it would have been a different outcome…he handles pocket pressure much better than Glenn, in fact he can run for 1st downs as well as pass for them. I was very surprised that Jones let Glenn start the game, surely he knew of his record in the big, intense games, no? I’m pinning this one on Jones, not Glenn.

    • Glenn has the playoff experience and did get them through the Eastern Semi-final game although he didn’t face much QB pressure in that one. Jones obviously decided to start with experience but then chose to switch to Bridge when Glenn faced too much pressure and started making bad throws.

  6. BigRedMachine // November 20, 2017 at 9:47 am //

    I suspect the Riders start the season next year with the same QBs but with Bridge the number one and Glenn backing him up.

  7. That performance was vintage Kevin Glenn. Nice guy but he chokes in big games.

  8. In our heart of hearts, didn’t we know Trestman would do this the moment we read he was signed…alas. 🙁

  9. Prove me wrong // November 20, 2017 at 2:05 pm //

    Shows you what a great GM Jones is. Pick a 2nd rate (at best) QB that has a history of just not being good enough when needed the most. I hope Jones keeps him in 2018…

    • Tied for worst in the league last year, blew it up and within seconds of becoming the first cross over team in the Grey Cup in year 2? I hope Jones keeps doing what he’s doing!

  10. 6ft6ofgoodness // November 20, 2017 at 3:07 pm //

    The 2012 Argos Grey Cup Championship in Toronto and the move to BMO was both supposed to save the Argos. Both events failed miserably. I don’t see yesterday’s game all of a sudden making the Argos relevant in the T.O sports scene again. It will take much more than one playoff win.

  11. Frank Sabados // November 20, 2017 at 3:26 pm //

    we all know Glenn can t win the big game the Championship , he is what he is , and that s all he Glenn will ever be , Riders would have been smart to start Bridge against Argos

  12. A lot of short memories here forgetting how well Glenn played the previous week in Ottawa. Of course he should have started in TO put permanently pulled after the 2nd int. And for those critical of Drew, he is not a homer and I appreciate his unbiased analysis.

  13. Man, I love Glenn as a player and especially as a person. He should go to the Hall of Fame based on character alone. But his performance in big games…ouch. He can be an all-star one game and then become Drew Willy the next. Riders should keep him next year as backup/mentor and make Bridge the starter.

  14. After the Cats trade Zach to Argos in the off-season (big mistake!), and then waste their time on Johnny M (who will be come and gone by July 31 – big mistake #2), they’ll want an experienced QB to back-up Masoli……guess who will be available???…that’s right, our pal Kevin Glenn (big mistake #3).

    Another good reason not to renew my season tickets….even with the promise (today) of free tickets to the Vanier Cup!!

    • Billinburlington // November 21, 2017 at 8:06 am //

      This too is my biggest fears for the Ticats. Well said.

      Great article Drew… nice parallels between these two players and their experiences vs Hamilton. Was hoping for a Sask win so Glen could get a Grey Cup ring… oh well. Chris Jones outcoached himself by switching QBs too often…. agree with others he should have stayed with B.B.

    • Sea of Dead // November 21, 2017 at 8:27 am //

      No, the biggest mistake will be when the Cats let JJ sign elsewhere for more money and the Caretaker reappoints KA as Cat field marshal again (because he is the greatest coach in CFL history, nes pas? LOL). A horror sequel with a predictable outcome that only one with no life could truly enjoy watching.

      • I think the only one who thinks Austin is the “greatest” coach in CFL history, besides some misguided TC fans, is Austin himself. I’m sure he still looks at himself in the mirror every morning and tells himself what a great coup it was to sign an unproven, injury prone (and injured at the time) QB who has won squat, to a King’s Ransom (by CFL standards of course).

  15. Glenn has to go! Plain and simple..

  16. I remember when Cats first got KG and someone from Winnipeg wrote of KG and stated Kevin Glen just good enough to break your heart! SO TRUE

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