GUELPH, Ont. — Brandon Banks says all he had to do was run — 107 yards to the end zone — to secure his Hamilton Tiger-Cats second spot in the CFL East and a home playoff berth.
“All I had to do was catch the ball and run down the sideline,” said Banks, who only signed with the team Sept. 30 after three seasons with the Washington Redskins. “It was the other 11 guys working their butts off getting me great blocks.”
When Montreal kicker Sean Whyte missed his 42-yard field goal short with little more than four minutes left in the game, Banks caught the ball and took it up the left sideline for the score and a 27-23 lead, the Ticats’ first of the game.
That was Banks second of two fourth-quarter touchdowns as the Tiger-Cats came from behind to defeat the Montreal Alouettes 27-24 in front of 13,012 at the University of Guelph’s Alumni Stadium on Saturday. The Ticats were down by as much as 16-0 in the second quarter before clawing their way back.
Hamilton (9-8) has wrapped up second spot in the CFL East Division and will host the semifinal, against the Alouettes, on Nov. 10. Montreal falls to 7-10.
S.J. Green, Geoff Tisdale and Duron Carter scored touchdowns for the Alouettes. C.J. Gable also scored for the Ticats.
Hamilton kicker Luca Congi hit field goals from 22 and 25 yards. Montreal kicker Sean Whyte missed his two field-goal attempts, from 42 and 41 yards.
“We got fortunate that they missed the field goal, right?” said Hamilton head coach Kent Austin. “Because they could have easily made the field goal. But you watch our guys’ effort in blocking downfield on that . . . Just great effort. Guys just playing to the whistle and playing hard.”
With his first completion of the game, Burris moved into fourth spot for CFL all-time career pass completions, ahead of Danny McManus (3,640). But that was the only bright spot in his numbers for the day, with zero touchdown passes and one interception that was returned 64-yards by Tisdale for the score.
Rookie back-up Jeremiah Masoli threw one TD pass for Hamilton.