The Hamilton Tiger-Cats are suddenly trending in the right direction with their second win in a row after beating the Winnipeg Blue Bombers 29-23 at Tim Hortons Field on Saturday evening.
QB Taylor Powell threw for 236 yards and a touchdown while Hamilton’s defence forced Winnipeg to turn the ball over four times in what was arguably the Ticats’ biggest victory of the season.
The win moved the Cats to 6-and-7 for the year. They are now tied with the Montreal Alouettes for second place in the Canadian Football League’s East Division.
Kicker Marc Liegghio opened the scoring 4:25 into the game on Hamilton’s opening drive, when he booted a 32-yard field goal to put the Cats up 3-0.
The Cats scored a first quarter touchdown for the first time since July 28 when QB Taylor Powell threw a six-yard scoring pass to receiver Terry Godwin for a 10-0 advantage.
Winnipeg (10-4) answered back with a five-yard touchdown when QB Zach Collaros found receiver Nic Demski in the endzone. But Sergio Castillo’s convert attempt sailed wide right and Tyreik McAllister returned it 126 yards to give Hamilton two more points and a 12-6 lead.
Collaros and receiver Kenny Lawler teamed up for a 25-yard TD on Winnipeg’s next drive to close the gap to 15-13 midway through the second quarter.
Tiger-Cats running back James Butler got it on the run with a two-yard touchdown run that punctuated a 10-play, 78-yard drive that soaked 5:51 off the clock and put Hamilton up 22-13.
The Cats stopped the Bombers in the red zone on Winnipeg’s next drive and the visitors had to settle for a 22-yard field goal by Castillo.
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Hamilton added to its lead in the third quarter when third-string quarterback Kai Locksley ran for a one-yard touchdown to put the Cats up 29-16.
Both teams traded interceptions on three successive drives as the game shifted from the third to the fourth quarter with Hamilton Malik Carney and Stavros Katsantonis picking off Collaros while Winnipeg defensive back Evan Holm intercepted Powell in the Bombers’ endzone.
The turnover parade continued with just under seven minutes to play in the game. Collaros was intercepted for the third time in the game, this time by Kenneth George Jr., but on the next snap Powell was sacked and fumbled the ball which was recovered by Winnipeg’s Brandon Alexander.
Winnipeg turned Alexander’s fumble recovery into seven points when Collaros scored on a one-yard touchdown run to make it 29-23 for the Ticats with 3:12 to play, but that is as close as the Blue Bombers would get.
Hamilton next plays on Sept. 23 when they visit the Toronto Argonauts (11-1) who have already clinched a playoff spot.
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