Lions 41 - Ti-Cats 26, Post-Game Stats and Comments

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TheLionKing
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Sat Jul 15, 2017 11:04 pm


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Sir Purrcival
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Sun Jul 16, 2017 1:07 am

Wow, a bit of a deja vu game tonight. Nice to see some veterans who have maybe seen the heights of their career pass by all of a sudden remind us of why we thought they were great players. Especially happy for Travis Lulay. The guy has been nothing but a class act. So many find it hard to accept a fall from the primo position on a team but Travis has found other roles to fill and has done so without complaint and with a great deal of dignity. If he isn't the player of the week on O, I will be surprised. Sets a new CFL record and very much deserves the recognition. Good job by him to overcome the mistakes of early in the game. Kudos to Nick Moore as well. 200 plus yards in a game is pretty hard to achieve at any time. I'm glad to see that there is some good football left in Nick. As has been pointed out, the only real negative if you want to call it that is that the Ticats are clearly struggling right now. They are hurting in the receiver dept., Banks looks like a shell of his former self and their D is abysmal. We won big tonight but in truth the expectation was that we would win tonight. We mostly expected that to be under the direction of JJennings but we have been reminded that we have another pretty good QB in the stable. Congrats to the Lions for coming through a very difficult part of their schedule with 3 wins. After the home opener, I was thinking that we might be 2-2 if we were lucky at this point. They impressed me tonight overcoming a lot of self-inflicted wounds. A hearty well done.
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Blitz
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Sun Jul 16, 2017 5:58 am

Lots of storylines for this third win in a row on the road for our Leos to begin this 2017 season.

The Hamilton Tiger Cats look like a team that needs a new Head Coach and coaching staff. Kent Austin has shown that he is a good turnaround coach but sustaining success is much more difficult for him. Austin is arrogant, difficult, miserable, pouty, and hot tempered.

Austin's offence looks stale and predictable. His defense is almost non-existent so far this season, giving up around 500 yards a game, including well over 400 yards a game passing. The Tabbies were the purrfect opposition for our third road game in a row.

But winning three road games in a row is still not an easy task and our Leos offence took full advantage of a Hamilton secondary that is inexperienced and also lacks talent.

Here are some post-game thoughts.

OFFENCE

The two story lines of this game are the play of Travis Lulay and Nick Moore. A third story line should also be Khrai Jones,

The situation was purrfect for a backup quarterback thrust into action.

Just prior to this game, Jonathan Jennings asked Travis Lulay ‘Do you still get butterflies?’Lulay told him that it’s different only because I know I’m not playing on the first snap. Travis Lulay was usually a quarterback who was nervous and high strung when he started football games. Lulay, coming off the bench, did not feel those nerves and it showed.

Lulay was also facing a Hamilton secondary that has been lit all season so far. Lulay was also given some plays to run that we have not seen Jennings be able to utilize when he has been at the controls.

But while those themes provide context and background, still it was an impressive performance by Lulay. He threw for well over 400 yds, his passing percentage of over 80% was more than impressive, and he threw three touchdown passes. But it was how he played that made me stand up and applaud.

Earlier this season I wrote that our Leos would be wiser to go with a developmental quarterback in the backup role for the 2018 season. I viewed Travis Lulay, coming into 2017 as a very expensive backup quarterback with a history of injuries, including shoulder problems. Following his 2011 and 2012 seasons, Lulay had also had his struggles, from too mnay inaccurate throws and often a lack of poise in the pocket.

Lulay has always had a penchant for bailing too early and running to his right. He was not a good second and third read quarterback. More of a scrambler than a spread pocket style quarterback, Lulay was at his best when he could buy time to throw, when he ran the football, and when he was dumping off to his tailback. He was at his worst when he was confined to the pocket and that was how defenses began to play him. Never a very accurate quarterback, his shoulder problems made his play even worse.

In 2015, when Lulay started 10 games for us and was injured for the fourth season in a row, I believed our Leos needed to go in a new direction at quarterback. In 2015, Lulay has a lousy 83.3 quarterback efficiency average and threw 12 interceptions with only 10 touchdown passes. In 2016 we did go in a new direction.

But this was a very different Travis Lulay. His arm looked stronger than I have even seen it. He often threw tight spiral passes that didn't flutter. But it was more his poise in the pocket that impressed me in this game. Lulay didn't leave the pocket too early and start running to his right. He looked to throw while on the run. He stayed in the pocket and often went to his second and third reads. In days of old, Lulay was a very good first read quarterback who often froze on his second and third reads or bailed before getting to them. His running ability was so good that he got away with it in 2011 and 2012.

Lulay hit a lot of checkdowns in this game. It made playing our offence much more difficult. But Lulay also threw the deep and deep intermediate football very well, something he was not consistently good at. He attacked the blitz with poise and skill and let his receivers make plays against man, another thing he was more reluctant to do in the past. Nick Moore was the receiver in this game who benefited most from it.

Lulay looked like a much different quarterback than even the 2011 and 2012 version. He also looked like a much better quarterback. This was Travis Lulay, Version 2 or Travis Lulay, the Reincarnation, or Travis Lulay, the Resurrection.

Even with the knowledge that Hamilton has a porous secondary had a heck of a game. Always a character guy, Lulay not only showed character but a very high skill set in this game combined with experience, knowledge, and poise. I'm happy to be wrong about Lulay for 2017.

But this game was not only a story of Travis Lulay, Version 2 but also Nick Moore, Version 2. I have always been a Nick Moore fan from the start. He is a tall, rangy, silky smooth receiver who is an excellent route runner. He glides like Geroy Simon. He has long arms. He's a smart receiver who understands defenses. He's not an easy guy to cover. Last night, against Hamilton, we got to see his talent more readily as Lulay went to Moore often.

A third theme of this game was Khari Jones. He actually used some smart motion and some new plays that were well-designed. Using Shaq Johnson in motion early and then throwing to him in space, off play action, was smart. The play showed that Jones could adapt his offensive structure around his talent, rather than the usual plug and play stuff that Jones uses. Jones moves our receivers around more than usual. We ran a number of horizontal layered patterns against press man defence. Jones also continued to integrate Jeremiah Johnson into our passing offence and its making a difference by doing so.

Jeremiah Johnson averaged 7.7 yards per carry in this game on 9 touches and continued to run the football very well.

Usually the only focus that happens with an offensive line is when they give up sacks or fail to convert on second or third and short. But what has gone under the radar so far this season is the phenomenal play of Hunter Steward at left tackle. He has played very impressively so far.

DEFENCE

Our defense took advantage of a stale Hamilton offensive style and played well when they needed to. Our defense still gave up too many big plays, usually when our defensive line gave Collarus too much time.

Our defensive secondary is generally playing very well. Ronnie Yell is a heck of a corner and T.J. Lee, who had an interception in this game is enjoying a very successful 2017 campaign so far. We also look so much better on the wide side, with Anthony Gaitor looking like an all-star and Anthony Thompson showing that an athletic National corner can get it done.

Chandler Fenner continued his fine play at nickel back. Its obvious why Wally wanted to get him on the playing field. But I wish we had two nickel backs because Purifoy was also an excellent nick back. Right now Purifoy does not look confident at safety. You can see his hesitation whereas he played with abandon at nickel back.

We have a young, athletic, talented, fast defensive secondary. But we are putting them in too much of a bind, too often, due to an enemic pass rush. We got two

We got two quarterback sacks in this game, courtesy of Josh Shirley and Craig Roh. Our interior pass rush looks almost non-existent when Brooks and Turner are out there. We look better when Luke or Forde are playing tackle. Most opposing offences these days feature pocket passing quarterbacks. We need to get defensive linemen in their face on passing plays but way too often we lack pass rush penetration from our defensive tackles. Its something we gotta get fixed when we play the better teams in the West or its going to bite us.

SPECIAL TEAMS

Ty Long booted a 50 yard field goal in this game. More impressive was that Wally let him attempt it, with Banks as Hamilton's return man. Chris Rainey did not get untracked in this game - our punt return blocking definitely needs work.

Rolly Lumbala led our special teams coverage with two tackles. Fenner, Awe, Herdman, Burnett, Clarke, and Lee all made contributions. We have a number of new players on our special teams coverage units this season.

WRAP

Another win on the road with Travis Lulay and Nick Moore the suprising heroes. Jeremiah continues to run the football very well and Khari Jones dials up some new plays. Bryan Burnham makes a spectacular one handed touchdown reception.

Our defense holds down Hamilton's offence, after giving up too many runs and a couple of big plays early.

Ty Long gives us confidence in field goal kicking - something we badly needed these past two seasons.

It all adds up to one thing - another road victory as we battle for Western supremacy.
"When I went to Catholic high school in Philadelphia, we just had one coach for football and basketball. He took all of us who turned out and had us run through a forest. The ones who ran into the trees were on the football team". (George Raveling)

Rodu
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Sun Jul 16, 2017 9:42 am

It seemed as we clawed our way back into the game before half, Hamilton was like here we go again and their moral started to waver

B.C.FAN
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Sun Jul 16, 2017 9:55 am

Blitz wrote:
Sun Jul 16, 2017 5:58 am
We got two quarterback sacks in this game, courtesy of Josh Shirley and Craig Roh. Our interior pass rush looks almost non-existent when Brooks and Turner are out there. We look better when Luke or Forde are playing tackle. Most opposing offences these days feature pocket passing quarterbacks. We need to get defensive linemen in their face on passing plays but way too often we lack pass rush penetration from our defensive tackles. Its something we gotta get fixed when we play the better teams in the West or its going to bite us.
Good summary, Blitz. Regarding the defensive line, you hit a point that I've been making since training camp. Craig Roh and DeQuin Evans, whose presence was missed in Hamilton, are effective pass rushers. The Lions do not get much production from their international defensive tackles. The three nationals who rotate on the defensive line have looked effective in limited snaps. Maxx Forde, in particular, looks ready for a bigger role.

In Hamilton, Forde was credited with a QB pressure and pass knockdown. Mic'hael Brooks made one tackle for no gain. They were the only defensive tackles to make the stat sheet.

If Nick Moore, Bryan Burnham and Manny Arceneaux are all healthy when Chris Williams is ready to be activated, I'd love to keep them all in the starting lineup. The defensive line is the easiest place to make a ratio change.
"I think [Fred Fateri] was like a lot of people who watch football, hockey or any professional sport on television. They sit there and think they could coach better than the professional. Some people really think that." - Bob Ackles, The Water Boy

Blitz
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Sun Jul 16, 2017 12:04 pm

B.C.FAN wrote:
Sun Jul 16, 2017 9:55 am
Blitz wrote:
Sun Jul 16, 2017 5:58 am
We got two quarterback sacks in this game, courtesy of Josh Shirley and Craig Roh. Our interior pass rush looks almost non-existent when Brooks and Turner are out there. We look better when Luke or Forde are playing tackle. Most opposing offences these days feature pocket passing quarterbacks. We need to get defensive linemen in their face on passing plays but way too often we lack pass rush penetration from our defensive tackles. Its something we gotta get fixed when we play the better teams in the West or its going to bite us.
Good summary, Blitz. Regarding the defensive line, you hit a point that I've been making since training camp. Craig Roh and DeQuin Evans, whose presence was missed in Hamilton, are effective pass rushers. The Lions do not get much production from their international defensive tackles. The three nationals who rotate on the defensive line have looked effective in limited snaps. Maxx Forde, in particular, looks ready for a bigger role.

In Hamilton, Forde was credited with a QB pressure and pass knockdown. Mic'hael Brooks made one tackle for no gain. They were the only defensive tackles to make the stat sheet.

If Nick Moore, Bryan Burnham and Manny Arceneaux are all healthy when Chris Williams is ready to be activated, I'd love to keep them all in the starting lineup. The defensive line is the easiest place to make a ratio change.
Totally agree B.C. Fan with your assessment.

We'd be crazy to take Moore out of the receiver lineup while at the same time Chris Williams route running should be a big asset. Wally can go with four International recievers and rotate Iannuzzi and Shaq Johnson into the fifth receiver spot. He could also put either into a game to rotate in for an International receiver on certain plays.

Our defensive tackle position needs to improve. We certainly can go with Forde and Luke at one tackle spot, based upon what we are getting from Brooks and Turner. Brooks is all potential but he doesn't get consistent penetration. I keep hearing about the double teams but he doesn't get free on single team blocking either.

Personally, I would go with Turner over Brooks. I'd also like to see Luther Maddy given a look see before Chris Williams comes back. Maddy has quick twitch athleticism and a quick first step. It would be worth giving him at least a look for one game, based upon how Brooks is playing.

I have no idea how Hudson got the nod over Boatright on the depth chart. Hudson has had opportunities to shine and hasn't.
"When I went to Catholic high school in Philadelphia, we just had one coach for football and basketball. He took all of us who turned out and had us run through a forest. The ones who ran into the trees were on the football team". (George Raveling)

Figaro
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Sun Jul 16, 2017 2:32 pm

What is with the scheduling? Lions open with a home game and then disappear from home for a month? Perhaps this will help attendance getting more home games after the end of a sunny summer but the team kind of falls off the radar playing three games in a row three time zones from home.

Keeping Lulay sure looks like a good decision by Wally. I have always admired the character of Travis Lulay - a real team player who leaves everything on the field. No complaining when he lost his starting assignment - just rehabbed real hard and became a mentor to his replacement. And when called upon to step in it was clearly evident that he has himself ready to play at the top of his game every night.

I was disappointed that they did not use #24 more especially when they were in the red zone - Jeremiah has a nose for the end zone. They should also use him more in their passing offence.

Was there a mistake in placing the ball after a Ticat put? We advanced the ball to our 14 yard line and Hamilton was called for having an interior lineman leaving the line of scrimmage before the ball was kicked. The referee announced that it was a ten yard penalty against Hamilton and that it would be added to the return. We should have started on the 24 and yet we started on the 14? There was only the one penalty and it was not declined.

A player who I thought made the team over the last few years because he is a National, Marco Ianuzzi, has played exceptionally well this year and I believe is not getting the attention he deserves for his contributions - some great possession catches early in the game that helped Lulay find his groove.

Our defence is really playing well. Did you see what happened when we played more Awe? Wow - he reminds me of Elimimian when he first made the team on special teams. Also, I thought Fenner had his best game in a Lions' uniform. This secondary is developing into one of the best we have had in years.

On the line - what happened to Evans? Also, I think it is time to get more out of Shirley - this guy has a motor and needs to see more action.

Long has taken care of the kicking game rather well. One of my complaints about our kicking game has been the length of our kickoffs - consistently short. The opposition always seemed to catch the ball around the 25-30 and move up to about the 40-45 line. Long pushes that point back to the 5-10 yard line and we are stopping the opposition more around the 20-25 yard line. Keep this guy. That 50 yard field goal was right down the middle and good from 55+.

Can't wait till the Bomber game at home this Friday - hope the crowd shows up - this Lions team is really, really fun to watch.

B.C.FAN
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Sun Jul 16, 2017 10:01 pm

Figaro wrote:
Sun Jul 16, 2017 2:32 pm
Was there a mistake in placing the ball after a Ticat put? We advanced the ball to our 14 yard line and Hamilton was called for having an interior lineman leaving the line of scrimmage before the ball was kicked. The referee announced that it was a ten yard penalty against Hamilton and that it would be added to the return. We should have started on the 24 and yet we started on the 14? There was only the one penalty and it was not declined.
Good post, Figaro.

I wondered about the penalty on Hamilton for being illegally downfield on a punt. I thought the penalty would advance the ball 10 yards from the end of the play, but I looked it up. It seems the Lions had the option of enforcing the penalty from the previous line of scrimmage (the B.C. 52) and forcing the Ticats to punt again, or from the point where Iannuzzi gained possession, which was determined to be the 5-yard line. The penalty placed the ball at the 15, which is only 2 yards upfield from where Iannuzzi was tackled at the 13. Here's the wording in the rule book:
Article 8 – Illegally Downfield On Kick
On a play from scrimmage in which Team A punts the ball a player of the kicking
team who is one of the interior block of five ineligible Line Players may not
advance beyond the Scrimmage Zone (one yard in advance of the Line of
Scrimmage) until the ball is kicked.
PENALTY: L10 PLS or PPG
"I think [Fred Fateri] was like a lot of people who watch football, hockey or any professional sport on television. They sit there and think they could coach better than the professional. Some people really think that." - Bob Ackles, The Water Boy

green road kill
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Mon Jul 17, 2017 7:31 am

WOW what a game by Travis, best back up in the league and we are so lucky to have him.Can you even think of were we'd be right now if he was gone. I was one that thought the 225000 a year was to much for him and the money could have been used to upgrade talent on the team.
Boy was I wrong ,the best upgrade on any team is a qb and Travis is still one of the best. Thank you Wally for not hearing the calls calls to dump him.
The Leo's won three road games in a row and I don't care if it was against eastern teams or not .Both Toronto and Ottawa could have won those games , if they had spent less time shooting themselves in the feet.Us in the west a'nt that much better than our eastern brothers,except on paper .(and we all know what most paper is used for). This still doesn't take away from what the Lions did it was a very tough part of the season,and they came out of it a lot better than most people thought they would, and that is a sign of a pretty good football team.
I don't under stand why so many of you think Calgary, Edmonton and Winnipeg are so much better than we are , or so much better coached. Heck even the Stumps and Bee hive lost. All teams have there strong points and weaknesses .
The Leo's play Winnipeg on Friday, can they win? There is no reason to think they can't. If the Blue Bumpers are supposed to be world beaters , it hasn't showed by the way they've played
Heck even in the loss to Edmonton ,all they showed was they were one play better than us

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SammyGreene
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Mon Jul 17, 2017 9:34 am

Was that Foucault's block who put the hellacious hit on Jennings? Somewhat overshadowed with the big win and Lulay's performance but now we hold our breath and hope it's nothing more than a bruise.
Would hardly be surprised if it's sprained or even partially separated. That was a big hit with all the weight on his throwing shoulder.
I'm with you Biltz, Green Road Kill and others who thought Travis' best days were behind him. Even on that opening series it looked too fast for him but sure enough it was almost magical to see him back in 2011/12 form and making every possible throw with quick decisions.

I'm a huge Jennings fan and hope he is back quickly but if Lulay maintains this level of play for at least another week it must change Wally's thinking somewhat moving forward. Don't think we will see the offence stall for long stretches without seeing Lulay for a series or two to perhaps change the momentum. Jennings certainly noticed to.
“I expected nothing less, but for him to come in and throw for over 400 yards is phenomenal. We haven’t had that all season,” he said. “He stepped in. That’s the role of a backup but you don’t always expect him to come in and do that. He came in and played a crazy good game.”
If Jeff Reinebold's game plan was to take away Manny and Burnham and ignore Nick Moore it didn't work. My goodness was he wide open for much of the night.

Agree with BC FAN, Blitz and others too. Go with 4 international receivers when Williams returns and adjust the ratio on the defensive line. Not getting enough from Brooks and Turner right now to justify the all-international tackles. Still say Brooks hasn't been the same player since he was hurt in the week #4 Calgary game of last year after being so dominant.

Not sold on Purifoy at safety. Seems like a far more of impact player closer to the line of scrimmage.

Very much looking forward to a steady diet of Western teams over the next 5 weeks.

B.C.FAN
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Mon Jul 17, 2017 10:16 am

SammyGreene wrote:
Mon Jul 17, 2017 9:34 am
Was that Foucault's block who put the hellacious hit on Jennings? Somewhat overshadowed with the big win and Lulay's performance but now we hold our breath and hope it's nothing more than a bruise.
Would hardly be surprised if it's sprained or even partially separated. That was a big hit with all the weight on his throwing shoulder.
Yes, that appeared to be Foucault's block, Davon Coleman, who pressured and hit Jennings.


The Ticats had only 7 QB pressures and 2 sacks in the game, but that was a costly one. The Lions had 8 QB pressures and 2 sacks.
"I think [Fred Fateri] was like a lot of people who watch football, hockey or any professional sport on television. They sit there and think they could coach better than the professional. Some people really think that." - Bob Ackles, The Water Boy

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BC 1988
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Mon Jul 17, 2017 10:58 am

Rintoul on 1040 with Lalji/Sekeres said even if it is the best case scenario "bruised throwing shoulder" on JJ10, he will still be out for at least a game or two.

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Gridiron Ernie
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Mon Jul 17, 2017 6:58 pm

With the TL14 heroics of the Leo's last game still reverberating, the BC Lions website has with purrfect timing revisited a piece that Jamie Cartmell wrote about our veteran pivot last year. It's, by the author's own admission, a long piece. And deservedly so! There's a story worth re-telling. And, in Cartmell's hands, it really shines. Yes, he runs Communications, but I was not aware of his engaging writing skills. It's a feelgood story, but with its share of gravitas, and it certainly jerked a few empathetic tears as I read. I thought I pretty much knew the story -- but I learned (or was reminded of) a few deeply moving/painful details that serve to make the joy of Travis's pivotal part in the most recent game that much greater. Here's the link.
https://www.bclions.com/2016/04/29/that ... -hamilton/

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Mon Jul 17, 2017 8:41 pm

^^^Well said, G.E.
I read that article last year, and the focus on that rainy night in crumbling Ivor Wynne was the best way to sum up where everything turned for the worse.

After the game ended 2 nights ago, it dawned on me that we could easily have lost another star QB career (before it even really got going) in JJ10. Instead, we got TL14 returning (albeit to shiny new Tim Hortons Field) and exorcising those demons.

Instead of a disaster, we get a degree of redemption. Bottom line--Dan Dorazio sure as hell better be working overtime on fixing his o-line. We have some real hungry defenses facing us over the next few weeks.

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Mon Jul 17, 2017 11:22 pm

Gridiron Ernie wrote:
Mon Jul 17, 2017 6:58 pm
With the TL14 heroics of the Leo's last game still reverberating, the BC Lions website has with purrfect timing revisited a piece that Jamie Cartmell wrote about our veteran pivot last year. It's, by the author's own admission, a long piece. And deservedly so! There's a story worth re-telling. And, in Cartmell's hands, it really shines. Yes, he runs Communications, but I was not aware of his engaging writing skills. It's a feelgood story, but with its share of gravitas, and it certainly jerked a few empathetic tears as I read. I thought I pretty much knew the story -- but I learned (or was reminded of) a few deeply moving/painful details that serve to make the joy of Travis's pivotal part in the most recent game that much greater. Here's the link.
https://www.bclions.com/2016/04/29/that ... -hamilton/
I still remember the sounds of the play where Travis suffered that first shoulder separation as it happened right in front of our section. The crash of the bodies and Travis yelling/screaming in pain are imprinted on my memory; of course the sight of his arm hanging by side merely compounded the almost instant realization it was really bad.
To see Travis accomplish what he did in Hamilton was, can I be a softie, heart-warming. The stats speak volumes but seeing how he was throwing the ball had me believing his shoulder had finally come full circle and was healed.
IMO he needs to be retained by the club in some capacity (he seems a natural coach) once he does hang up the cleats. He is simply a class act and a boon to the club.

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