Hamilton Tiger-Cats' Lindsey Lamar

Eskimos bring the rain to Ticats

GUELPH, Ont. — It was the wettest game that Edmonton quarterback Mike Reilly has ever played in, and that’s saying something for a guy who played his college football in the rainy state of Washington. “I’ve never seen it come down like that, especially for the entire game,” said the 28-year-old who led the Eskimos to a 30-20 win over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Sunday night with two touchdown throws and a 12-yard TD rush in a torrential downpour.

GUELPH, Ont. — It was the wettest game that Edmonton quarterback Mike Reilly has ever played in, and that’s saying something for a guy who played his college football in the rainy state of Washington.

“I’ve never seen it come down like that, especially for the entire game,” said the 28-year-old who led the Eskimos to a 30-20 win over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Sunday night with two touchdown throws and a 12-yard TD rush in a torrential downpour.

“It’s tough. The ball gets heavy. It’s getting slippery,” he said, likening it to trying to catch a watermelon.

Edmonton had already jumped out to a 16-0 lead before the rains came and the Ticats were forced to play catch up in awful conditions. That early lead was a “huge” advantage, according to Reilly.

“When the weather hit, then it was just a chess match of back and forth and field position,” he said. “And at that point in time, if you got a ball in the end zone, then you feel pretty lucky.”

Reilly completed 14-of-22 pass attempts for 130 yards.

It was the Ticats home opener at Alumni Stadium, home to the University of Guelph Gryphons, which was temporarily expanded this season to seat a capacity 13,000 while a new stadium is built in Hamilton. Game attendance for the home opener was announced as 12,612, but most of those made a run for it when the rains came heavy in the second quarter.

Hugh Charles had two touchdowns and Fred Stamps added one for Edmonton while CJ Gable and Ed Gant scored for Hamilton.

Hamilton kicker Luca Congi made two of three field-goal attempts, from 39 and 26 yards and missed from 42.

Edmonton improved to 1-1 after a 39-18 loss to Saskatchewan last week. After putting up 34 points in last week’s 39-34 loss to Toronto, the Ticats (0-2) could only muster 20 points in the weather.

“They played with more energy than us,” said Hamilton QB Henry Burris, who completed 18-of-35 pass attempts for 229 yards, one TD and two interceptions. “We’ve got to do a better job of seizing momentum when we get some momentum. We killed ourselves with penalties. I had the turnover when we were backed up.

“Regardless of what conditions we play in, this is football and you’re going to have days like this when there’s going to be rain. But we’ve got to be able to respond better than that.”

Twice, early in the first quarter, Hamilton first downs were called back by offside penalties to receiver Simon Charbonneau-Campeau. Coach Kent Austin was quick to point out, however, that those two penalties weren’t specifically what cost the Ticats. But they were an example.

“That’s the perfect example of two mistakes where we (could) stay on the football field (but) where they get us off the football field,” he said.

Hamilton had five fumbles on the night — four of them by Lindsey Lamar on returns, of which he lost one — and two interceptions. Edmonton fumbled three times and lost it once.

Congi hit field goals from 39 and 26 yards as the Ticats picked away at the lead during a second quarter where the field was barely playable. Edmonton led 16-13 at the half.

Charles looked to be in the dog house when he fumbled the opening kickoff and the Ticats recovered at the Edmonton 40-yard line. But they couldn’t convert as Congi missed a 42-yard field-goal attempt and Edmonton ran it out. The Esks scored on the ensuing possession as Charles redeemed himself with a 70-yard TD run.

After scoring a safety followed by an 11-yard TD grab by Stamps to finish a 61-yard, five-play drive, Hamilton’s Gable drove the ball in from the two-yard line to cap a 38-yard drive. He was aided by two penalties against Edmonton including pass interference in the end zone to make it 16-7 before the downpour came to end the quarter.

Neither team got much going to start the second half as the rain continued to pour. But Edmonton’s TJ Hill intercepted Burris midway through the third quarter on the Hamilton 27 and the Esks needed three plays before Reilly found Charles for the 13-yard score. Edmonton led 23-13 heading into the fourth.

Five minutes into the fourth, Reilly capped an 83-yard drive with a 12-yard TD run giving Edmonton a 30-13 lead. The Ticats answered with Gant, who showed up in Hamilton from Edmonton just this week, catching a 40-yard TD pass from Burris to pull to 30-20 with 6:22 left.

Just Posted

Springbrook Skate Park gets financial boost

Province approves $125,000 grant for proposed skate park

ReThink Red Deer gets thumbs up from city on pollinator barn structure

Group is hoping to get a $40,000 building grant

Driver who backed into Red Deer pizzeria sentenced

David Andrew Amstutz sentenced for failing to remain at the crash scene

Team Alberta athletes arrive in Red Deer on Saturday for pre-games orientation

Excitement is building with less than a month to go, says Team Alberta spokesperson

UPDATED: STARS Lottery is back

Lacombe STARS patient tells his story

Trudeau says politicians shouldn’t prey on Canadians’ fears

The Prime Minister was speaking at a townhall in Ontario

Olympian snowboarder Max Parrot diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Each year in Canada, approximately 900 people are diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

‘Prince of Pot’ Marc Emery accused of sexual assault, harassment

Emery denied the allegations, but a Toronto woman says she is not the only one speaking out

Asteroids are smacking Earth twice as often as before

The team counted 29 craters that were no older than 290 million years

Canada’s arrest of Huawei exec an act of ‘backstabbing,’ Chinese ambassador says

China has called Canada’s arrest of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou ‘politically motivated’

In limbo: Leftover embryos challenge clinics, couples

Some are outright abandoned by people who quit paying storage fees and other couples struggle with tough decisions

Netflix rejects request to remove Lac-Megantic images from ‘Bird Box’

At least two shows on Netflix’s Canadian platform briefly use actual footage of the 2013 tragedy

Teen vaping is an epidemic: US government

E-cigarettes are now the top high-risk substance used by teenagers, outpacing cigarettes, alcohol, marijuana

‘I never said there was no collusion,’ Trump lawyer says

President Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani says he has ‘never said there was no collusion’

Most Read