Veteran quarterback Watford to make second straight start for Tiger-Cats

Hamilton Tiger-Cats quarterback David Watford (6) scrambles during first half CFL football game action against the Calgary Stampeders in Hamilton, Ont. on Friday, September 17, 2021. (Peter Power/CP)

HAMILTON — Veteran quarterback Dave Watford will make a second straight start Wednesday night when the Hamilton Tiger-Cats visit the Ottawa Redblacks.

Ticats head coach Orlondo Steinauer told reporters Monday that Watford would remain under centre for Hamilton.

The six-foot-two, 215-pound Watford made his first CFL start Friday night in Hamilton’s 23-17 home win over the Calgary Stampeders. Watford, 28, got the nod with both Dane Evans (lower-body) and Jeremiah Masoli (ribs) nursing ailments.

Watford finished 19-of-22 passing for 149 yards while rushing for 35 yards in 10 carries against Calgary. Masoli served as Watford’s backup Friday and will again in Ottawa, Steinauer said.

The Ticats’ head coach felt there was a lot about Watford’s play Friday night that he was pleased with.

“Just poise, toughness, able to overcome some adversity,” Steinauer said. “It’s not just about the plays called and the execution.

“There’s just so much that goes into playing the toughest position on the football field that I was impressed with outside of just the tangible numbers at the end of the game of three incompletions and how the game was called . . . David did a good job of managing all of that.”

Taylor Bertolet hit all five field goals he attempted against Calgary. Linebacker Simoni Lawrence returned an interception 15 yards for the Ticats’ lone TD.

Hamilton (3-3) enters action this week tied with Toronto (3-3) atop the East Division. Ottawa (1-4) is fourth and coming off the bye week following a 45-13 road loss to the B.C. Lions on Sept. 11.

Steinauer also said receiver Brandon Banks (ribs) will miss a third straight contest. Banks, the CFL’s outstanding player in 2019, was hurt in Hamilton’s 32-19 Labour Day win over Toronto on Sept. 6.

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