HAMILTON, Ont. — Henry Burris threw four touchdown passes to lead the Hamilton Tiger-Cats to a 39-24 win over the Montreal Alouettes at Ivor Wynne Stadium in CFL action Saturday night.
After a second straight victory, Hamilton improves to 2-2 and is tied atop the East Division with Montreal (2-2) and Toronto (2-2), who beat Winnipeg 25-22 on Wednesday night. The Ticats hold an early edge in the tiebreaker race against both teams.
Montreal quarterback Anthony Calvillo threw three touchdown passes, but his one interception early in the game led to an eventual Hamilton touchdown as his Alouettes fell behind early and couldn’t catch up.
Chevon Walker scored two touchdowns for Hamilton, while Bakari Grant, Daryl Stephenson and Andy Fantuz also added TDs. Brandon Whitaker, Brandon London and Patrick Lavoie scored for Montreal.
Hamilton kicker Luca Congi made one of two field-goal attempts, missing his first from 32 yards and making a 22-yarder. Montreal kicker Sean Whyte missed a 49-yarder and made one from 45.
Walker can thank an embarrassing miscue by Hamilton receiver Chris Williams for his second TD. Williams could have had his fourth kick-return TD in three games when he appeared to run back a missed field goal 118 yards in the second quarter. But without a Montreal defender anywhere near him, Williams turned around and began trotting backwards to the endzone. He was hauled down at the one-yard line by Brian Ridgeway. Walker ran it in on the next play.
With the Ticats up 32-10 at halftime, Calvillo and the Als began to pick away at the lead. In the third, Calvillo struck midway through the quarter, needing just two plays on a drive to score a TD — a 32-yard strike to London — to pull to 32-17. He ended the quarter with a 92-yard drive in eight plays, hitting Lavoie for a 12-yard TD strike and the lead was cut to 32-24.
But the Hamilton offence finally answered to start the fourth, with Burris leading a 64-yard drive in three plays, finding Fantuz in the endzone for a 26-yard score and a little more breathing room at 39-24.
Looking for a second late comeback win in a row, Montreal twice converted third-down plays on a drive with less than five minutes left in the game, getting to the Hamilton 20 with two minutes left. But the Ticat defence held.
Hamilton scored on its first two possessions of the game to take a 14-0 lead midway through the first quarter. Rey Williams intercepted Calvillo at the Hamilton 50 on Montreal’s first possession and returned it 53 yards to the eight. Burris hit Grant on the very next play for the score.
On their next possession, the Ticat offence drove 65 yards on 12 plays, aided by illegal contact and forward pass interference penalties against Montreal. Burris faked to running back Walker and then lobbed the ball to Stephenson for a one-yard score.