Tiger-Cats 29 Blue Bombers 22
HAMILTON, Ont. — Hamilton Tiger-Cats kicker Sandro DeAngelis has struggled this season to adjust to the swirling winds of his new home stadium.
But DeAngelis hit all three of his attempts at Ivor Wynne Stadium on Saturday, including kicks from 43 and 45 yards, as the Ticats defeated the Winnipeg Bombers 29-22.
The prolific kicker, who signed with Hamilton in the off-season, only had a 58.3 field goal percentage heading into Saturday’s game. He’s hoping this game is a turning point — one that DeAngelis credits to a phone call from Paul Osbaldiston, the Tiger-Cats kicker for 18 years.
“There’s some tricks he taught me that I definitely feel helped,” said DeAngelis, who had made 83.8 per cent of his field-goal attempts in his previous five seasons with Calgary.
As much of his career had been played in the West, DeAngelis acknowledged after Saturday’s win that he hadn’t had much experience playing at Ivor Wynne, and thinks the winds move differently in Hamilton.
“I never thought I’d say this in a million years, but absolutely it does,” he said. “What’s tough about Ivor Wynne is that it swirls like you wouldn’t believe. The flags on the scoreboard and on each side of the stadium are blowing in different directions.”
Bomber kicker Alexis Serna, who made only one of three field-goal attempts in the game, missed from 32 and 28 yards while kicking into the west-end posts. That’s the end of the field that has been giving DeAngelis the most trouble.
Hamilton head coach Marcel Bellefeuille called DeAngelis’ kicks a huge contribution to the win, especially because he knew the kicker was struggling. He also credited the play of Arland Bruce III with leading the team over the past couple games. The receiver caught 11 passes for 197 yards and one TD against Winnipeg.
“When you’re struggling, you need your big time players to make big time plays,” Bellefeuille said. “He’s not only a good player, he’s a good leader.”
Hamilton quarterback Kevin Glenn completed 24 of 41 pass attempts for 371 yards, three TDs and one interception to lead the Tiger-Cats to their second win of the season.
Hamilton improved to 2-4 to share the East Division basement with the Bombers (2-4). The teams meet again on Friday in Winnipeg for their fourth meeting of the season.
Winnipeg QB Steven Jyles completed 24 of 35 for 349 yards, two TDs and zero interceptions. But he did have a pivotal fumble.
Hamilton took the lead for good when Jyles was sacked and fumbled at his own 27-yard line midway through the fourth quarter. The ball was recovered by Hamilton linebacker Otis Floyd, setting up Glenn’s 15-yard TD strike to Dave Stala with 6:58 left in the game. A two-point conversion failed, but the Ticats took a 26-22 lead.
After a 41-yard drive stalled at the 17-yard line when Glenn was sacked, DeAngelis hit a 24-yard field goal to put the Ticats up 29-22 with just 1:59 left in the game.
But Jyles began a 50-yard march down field, aided by a facemask call, and the crowd became nervous. On third-and-four at the Hamilton 30, the ball sailed through the hands of Adarius Bowman.
Hamilton went two-and-out on its next possession, handing the ball back to Winnipeg with 32 seconds left.
Jyles hit Brock Ralph with a 49-yard pass to the Hamilton three-yard line with nine seconds left in the game. With the crowd noise deafening, Hamilton defensive end Garrett McIntyre came up with the game-saving tackle on a scrambling Jyles to end the game in front of 23,653 fans.
“They came with intensity,” said Jyles. “We hurt ourselves (throughout the game) because we didn’t execute.”
Stala, Matt Carter and Bruce scored touchdowns for the Tiger-Cats, while Terrence Edwards and Bowman each scored for Winnipeg.
Jyles threw two TD passes before being removed from the game with 13:09 left. He was replaced by third-stringer Alex Brink for one series before returning.
Winnipeg scored two touchdowns in the final minutes of the third quarter to take a 22-20 lead into the fourth. Fred Reid scampered 43 yards to the Ticat six-yard line and a facemask penalty took it to the three. Jyles hit Edwards on the next play streaking into the back left corner for the score with 4:22 on the clock. That cut the Ticat lead to 17-15.
DeAngelis hit a 43-yard field goal to give Hamilton a 20-15 lead with just one minute left to play. But the Ticats had little time to celebrate as Winnipeg needed just two plays to take the lead. Jyles hit Bowman with a 54-yard pass on the very next play, which set up the 21-yard TD strike to Bowman.
The opposition has now outscored the Ticats 51-14 in the third quarter so far this season.
Hamilton had scored two touchdowns in the final minutes of the first half to take a 17-7 lead into the locker room.
Winnipeg went up 6-3 in the first quarter on a punt single, a conceded safety and Serna’s 19-yard field goal. DeAngelis kicked a 45-yard field goal, his longest of the season, with six seconds on the clock to give the Ticats their first points.
But Serna missed two field goals early in the second quarter, one of which was run out.
That bought some time for Ticats pivot Glenn to get things going. He hit Bruce for a 50-yard gain to the Bomber nine-yard line midway through the quarter, setting up a nine-yard TD pass to Carter on the next play to give Hamilton a 10-7 lead with 6:05 on the clock.
The Ticat defence held Winnipeg on the next series and Glenn came back on the field to lead another 75-yard touchdown march, highlighted by a third-and-one conversion and a 34-yard strike to Adam Nicolson on the Bomber 10-yard line. Glenn went straight to Bruce as he was crossing the goal line for the lead.