The 2019 CFL season opens Thursday night in Hamilton, when the hometown Tiger-Cats welcome the Saskatchewan Roughriders to Tim Hortons Field.

Following the game, catch The 5th Quarter on 900 CHML and on CHML’s Facebook page.

Hamilton launches its campaign with great expectations as many CFL pundits are predicting the Ticats will finish first in the East Division and play in the 107th Grey Cup in Calgary on Nov. 24.

The Cats have a roster that is loaded with familiar faces like quarterback Jeremiah Masoli, receivers Luke Tasker and Brandon Banks, defensive tackle Ted Laurent, linebacker Simoni Lawrence and cornerback Delvin Breaux.

The Ticats, however, have had their troubles against the Riders over the last few years, losing their last five meetings against Saskatchewan.

The Roughriders swept their season series against Hamilton last year, winning 18-13 in a Week 4 matchup at Mosaic Stadium in Regina and 31-20 in the rematch two weeks later at Tim Hortons Field.

Saskatchewan also went 2-for-2 against the Tiger-Cats in 2017 – winning 27-19 and 37-20. Hamilton last beat the Riders in Aug. 20, 2017, a 53-7 romp over the Riders in a game in which QB Zach Collaros threw five touchdowns for the Ticats. Collaros is now leading the Roughriders into Hamilton for the 2019 lid lifter.

The start time for Thursday’s game has been moved up 30 minutes to 7 p.m. EDT to accommodate fans who want to watch the Toronto Raptors play the Golden State Warriors in Game 6 of the NBA Finals.

Following the game, fans in attendance will be able to watch the Raptors-Warriors game on the video board at Tim Hortons Field. Tipoff is 9 p.m. EDT and Toronto has a 3-2 series lead.

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