HAMILTON—Simoni Lawrence hasn't forgot about the last time the Hamilton Tiger-Cats faced the Calgary Stampeders.
Hamilton's colourful linebacker had a front-row seat to Calgary's lopsided 60-1 victory at McMahon Stadium back on July 29.
Lawrence, the Ticats' defensive catalyst, only could watch because of a leg injury.
“It was super tough," Lawrence recalled. ”You never not want to be with your team and watch them lose a game like that . . . and how it was [as] Calgary kept putting it on them.
“I didn't get the opportunity to play against these guys and they're considered one of the best teams,” he added.
“Being a player, you want to play against the best.”
Lawrence will get that chance tonight when Hamilton (4-10) hosts Calgary (12-1-1) at Tim Hortons Field.
The Ticats trail the Ottawa Redblacks (6-9-1) for second place in the East Division while the Stampeders can cement first in the West with a win and Winnipeg loss to B.C. on Saturday.
A loss to Calgary, and an Ottawa win over Saskatchewan later tonight, would eliminate the Ticats from playoff contention.
Despite the 59-point margin of victory, Lawrence didn't feel the Stampeders ran up the score against Hamilton.
“No, it's professional football," he said. "If you can beat a team by 100 points, why not?”
Hamilton, which is 4-2 under interim coach June Jones, is coming off a 30-13 road win over Winnipeg last weekend.
Quarterback Jeremiah Masoli threw for 338 yards and two TDs, and hasn't surrendered an interception in three games (110 pass attempts).
Masoli was the backup to veteran Zach Collaros when Hamilton last met Calgary.
But he said the Ticats haven't spoken much about that visit to McMahon.
“That was a long time ago," Masoli noted. "I think we've proven we're a different kind of team than earlier in the year.”
Jones said the win over Winnipeg (10-4) gave the Ticats a confidence boost.
“Winning on the road against a good football team is not easy to do,” he noted.
“We pulled it off and that builds confidence, definitely.”
Calgary beat Montreal 59-11 at home on Sept. 29, scoring a TD or field goal on 10-of-12 possessions (a CFL record 83 percent).
The Stampeders are 15-0 coming off the bye since '05, have won 11-straight regular-season games versus the Ticats, and are 7-3 in their last 10 visits to Hamilton.
“We're going to get their best,” Jones warned.
“But if we want to be the best, we've got to be able to compete with the best.”