The Hamilton Tiger-Cats mauled the Ottawa REDBLACKS 42-25 in their preseason finale at Tim Hortons Field Friday night.
Running back C.J. Gable opened the scoring 4:01 into the game with an 11 yard touchdown run, scampering to the right sideline and going untouched into the endzone.
After the Cats gave up a sack for a nine yard loss on their first play from scrimmage, QB Jeremiah Masoli went 3-for-3 for 45 yards on his opening drive of the game.
Minutes later, Rico Murray intercepted a deflected Danny O’Brien pass at the Ottawa 40 yard line, but Hamilton turned the ball over on downs at the REDBLACKS 32.
Ottawa responded with a 25 yard field goal by Chris Milo, cutting Hamilton’s lead to 7-3, with 3:12 to play in the 1st period.
But Masoli engineered another solid drive, hitting Chad Owens for a 51 yard bomb and connecting with the former Argos slotback again on a 15 yard major to stretch the Cats’ lead to 14-3 with 1:22 to go.
With 15 seconds left in the opening frame, Murray gobbled up his second turnover when he scooped up a loose ball at midfield and ran the ball back into the endzone.
The Ticats’ drive stalled, but Hamilton executed a fake punt and Quinton Pointer ran the ball for a 52 yard touchdown, and a 20-3 Ticats lead after after kicker Cody Mandell missed the extra point.
However the officials blew the play dead and awarded the ball to the REDBLACKS, but Cats head coach Kent Austin tossed the challenge flag and the play was overturned and Hamilton was given the ball.
Mandell missed badly on a 49 yard field goal attempt, the ball rolled into the endzone for a single and a 21-3 Tiger-Cats advantage with 11:43 left to play in the second quarter.
The rookie Ticats kicker added a punt single to extend Hamilton’s lead to 22-3 with 5:48 left in the first half.
With 2:52 to go before the half, Hamilton cornerback Trey Wolfe recovered a muffed punt at the Ottawa 27 and ran it in for a touchdown then celebrated with a series of flips.
Mandell followed suit by missing his second extra point of the night.
Milo hit a 43 yard field goal just before the half.
Midway through the third quarter, Ottawa running back Travis Greene ran for a 1 yard score to trim Hamilton’s lead in half, before Cats kicker Brett Maher connected on a 46 yard field goal to put Hamilton up 31-14.
Ticats tailback Ross Scheuerman ran in for a 1 yard TD to extend Hamilton’s lead to 38-14.
The REDBLACKS responded with a score of their own, a 13 yard TD run, and converted on a two point conversion to make it 38-22.
But Maher added another field goal, a 44 yarder with just over 4 minutes remaining in regulation, to make it 41-22 for Hamilton.
Maher attempted a 62 yard field goal, but was short, and ended up as a single point and a 42-22 Ticats lead.
Milo closed out the scoring with his third field goal of the night, making it 42-25.
Ticats receiver Andy Fantuz, linebacker Simoni Lawrence and defensive tackle Ted Laurent did not dress against Ottawa, while the REDBLACKS left most of their starters back in Ottawa.
Hamilton opens the regular season next Thursday night in Toronto against the arch-rival Argonauts.