The Ticats led from start to finish in their first trip to Investors Group Field en route to a 37-18 win over Winnipeg Friday night.
The Ticats wasted no time putting points on the board on their first drive that culminated with a 41-yard Luca Congi field goal, putting them up 3-0 early in the first quarter.
After the Cats defense forced a three and out, the offense went right back to work, putting together a great drive, capped off with Dan LeFevour hooking up with John Delahunt for a 1-yard TD to put the Ticats up 10-0.
The Blue Bombers finally got on the board part way through the second quarter when Max Hall found Rory Kohlert for a 5-yard touchdown, making it 10-7 Ticats.
On the first play after the three minute warning, Hamilton extended its lead to 17-7 when Henry Burris threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Onrea Jones.
Burris was productive all night long, going 22-of-36 for 333 yards and a touchdown.
It wouldn’t be until late in the third quarter before there was any more scoring, and it was LeFevour with a 1-yard rushing touchdown this time that extended the Ticats’ lead to 24-7.
The Central Michigan QB completed 2 of his 3 pass attempts for 9 yards, and also added 40 rushing yards on 4 carries, including a career high 30 yard scamper.
After receiving a single point on a Mike Renaud punt, the Bombers cut into Hamilton’s lead when ex-Cat kicker Sandro DeAngelis booted an 18-yard field goal.
Luca Congi tacked on another field goal with just under eight minutes left, extending Hamilton’s edge to 27-11.
After a Rico Murray interception, C.J. Gable rumbled into the endzone from 15 yards out to extend the Ticats’ lead to 34-11.
Gable provided to be an invaluable dual threat, running 10 times for 75 yards and making 3 catches for 72 yards.
Max Hall made his first CFL start and went 18-of-30 for 241 yards, 1 touchdown and 2 interceptions, one by Raymond Brown and the other by Rico Murray.
Murray also added 4 defensive tackles, a sack and a forced fumble.
Hall’s main target was Terence Edwards, who hauled in 8 passes for 172 yards.
Hamilton’s defense also limited Bombers running back Chad Simpson to 65 yards on 15 carries.
Blue Bombers rookie linebacker Ian Wild then returned a Bakari Grant fumble for a major, making it 34-18 for the Ticats.
On the final play of game, Luca Congi connected on a 27-yard field to cap off a 37-18 Ticats win.
With the win, Hamilton improved to 3-and-4, good for second place in the CFL’s East Division.
Winnipeg suffered its fifth loss in a row, fell to a league worst 1-and-6, and are 0-and-4 in their sparkling new stadium.
Hamilton’s next game is Saturday August 24th when they host the Bombers in the back end of their home-and-home series against Winnipeg.