Woeful Ticats take giant step back

MIKE KOREEN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:36 AM ET

HAMILTON -- Jason Maas did not mince words.

"This is the worst feeling I've ever had after a ball game and it's not sitting well with me," the Hamilton Tiger-Cats quarterback said after his team delivered its second stinker in a row at home, losing 20-2 against the Argos last night at Ivor Wynne Stadium.

"I'm not going to quit because I'm one of those guys who is going to work extremely hard so that this does not ever happen to me or this offence again. The only way I know how to get out of a hole is to keep working hard and keep trying."

The Ticats (2-7) seemed to be heading in the right direction after a 26-11 road win over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers last week, erasing memories of an embarrassing 29-0 loss against the same Winnipeg team a week earlier at Ivor Wynne.

But last night, the Ticats took a large step back and now find themselves alone in the CFL basement. The Ticats offence could not manage one big play. Maas threw for just 152 yards and was intercepted twice.

"Anytime I felt like I could see a guy open, I couldn't make the throw for some reason," Maas said. "It's extremely frustrating to me and I'm sick to my stomach about it and I'm sure a lot of people are and I don't blame them. I have big shoulders, I can take this and it's all on me."

In reality, many other Ticats are underperforming. Offensive co-ordinator Joe Paopao's unit isn't scaring anybody.

"If we're not going to open this game up and play it, then we're going to get beat," Ticats coach Ron Lancaster said. "At no time offensively did we show we could move the football and that's just not good enough."

The Ticats play back-to-back games against the Saskatchewan Roughriders before a home-and-home against the Argos that starts with the annual Labour Day matchup. It really is now or never for Hamilton.

"We're digging holes for ourselves and the holes are going to be so big we're not going to be able to get out of them shortly," Lancaster said.


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