The B.C. Lions clawed the Tiger-Cats 28-3 in Hamilton’s home opener Friday night at Tim Hortons Field.
Jeremiah Masoli and the Cats’ opening drive stalled at the Lions 29 yard line and Brett Maher’s 37 yard field goal attempt was wide left and floated through the endzone for a single.
The Lions’ first offensive series also ended at their opponents 29, and Richie Leone missed (wide left) on a 37 yard field goal attempt, tying the game 1-1.
After Andy Fantuz fumbled, Leone converted a 44 yard field goal with 5:46 to play in the opening period, giving B.C. a 4-1 lead.
Maher crushed a wind aided punt that ended up being an 85 yard single which trimmed the Lions’ lead in half, 4-2.
Leone missed another field goal, his second of the game, when his effort from 35 yards out went wide of the left upright.
The ball rolled out of the endzone for the fourth single of the game and a 5-2 B.C. lead.
B.C. drove to the Hamilton 4 yard line, but quarterback Jonathon Jennings fumbled and John Chick recovered the loose ball.
It was originally ruled a fumble, but Cats head coach Kent Austin challenged the play and it was reversed by video replay.
But after a 6 yard run by C.J. Gable and a loss of 9 when Masoli was sacked, Maher conceded a safety to give the Lions a 7-2 lead with 4:10 left in the first half.
Maher also missed a 48 yarder at the end of the first half.
Leone added to B.C.’s lead early in the third quarter with a 31 yard field goal to make it 10-2.
On the next series, Masoli was intercepted by Ryan Phillips and the Lions finished the drive with a 1 yard TD by running back Shaw Murray-Lawrence, extending their lead to 17-2.
On the ensuing kickoff, Leone drilled the football into the endzone for a kickoff single and an 18-2 Lions lead.
John Chick recovered his second fumble of the game after Murray-Lawrence lost the handle, forcing Hamilton to go for a 41 yard field goal, which Maher pushed it left for another single.
Jennings threw a 16 yard touchdown to Emmanuel Arceneaux and Leone hit a 21 yard field goal to stretch the Leo’s lead to 28-3.
The Cats will host Winnipeg next Thursday night.