Mike Kerrigan - Quarterback - 1986-96 - Northwestern
Mike Kerrigan a native of Chicago Illinois was an un-drafted rookie out of Northwestern when he cracked the roster of the 1983 New England Patriots as a 3rd string quarterback. Kerrigan would see limited action with New England from 1983 to ‘85 backing up starters Steve Grogan and Tony Eason.
The strong-armed Kerrigan joined the Hamilton Tiger Cats in 1986 and in that first season he led Hamilton to the Grey Cup and a decisive win over the Edmonton Eskimos 39-15. Coming in as 12 point underdogs, Hamilton dominated the Eskimos for the franchises first victory over Edmonton since 1977. Kerrigan was named the games most valuable player in bringing ‘Steeltown’ its first championship since 1972. Kerrigan threw for 304 yards and 2 touchdowns to lead the upset.
Kerrigan continued to post strong passing totals with Hamilton in 1988 he threw for 2,764 yads on a 55% completions percentage and 16 touchdowns in 13 games.
The Kerrigan led Ti-Cats would return to the Grey Cup in 1989 to face Saskatchewan. In what is regarded as the greatest game in CFL history Kerrigan matched his counterpart Kent Austin point for point until the final seconds as the Roughriders would squeak out a 43-40 victory. Kerrigan would throw for 303 yards and 3 touchdowns in the losing effort.
After two more seasons in Hamilton, Kerrigan would move down the QEW and join the rival Toronto Argonauts in 1992 to back-up starter Ricky Foggie. Kerrigan would again serve as back-up in 1993 to Tracy Ham. In 1994, Kerrigan was named the Argonauts starting quarterback. The pivot had the team performing well before injuries sidelined his season and newcomer Marvin Graves replaced him.
Kerrigan would not start the 1995 season with a club and it seemed as though his career would be over, however injuries in Hamilton
first to Matt Dunigan and then Anthony Calvillo led to a call to Kerrigan for a veteran presence. Kerrigan would take over from Canadian Larry Jusdanis and lead Hamilton to a playoff spot. Hamilton would be defeated by Montreal in the Eastern Semi-final at Olympic Stadium.
1996 would be Kerrigan’s final season in the CFL. he retired as the leading passer in Tiger-Cats history since surpassed by Danny McManus. A great leader in 2 significant Grey Cups for Hamilton, Mike Kerrigan had a succesful career as a Ti-cat.
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