Ticats hammer Alouettes in Labour Day clash
Avon Cobourne and Kevin Glenn couldn't decide who was hotter in Hamilton's 44-21 Labour Day victory over the Montreal Alouettes.
Cobourne, who rushed for 102 yards and two touchdowns against his former teammates, said quarterback Kevin Glenn was "on fire".
But Glenn was having none of that, responding, "He [Cobourne] was on fire. I touched him one time and burnt my hand. That's what happened to my thumb."
Glenn was referring to the moment he left the game briefly to get some work done on his throwing hand, but it didn't slow down his offence, which produced 390 yards of net offence in a balanced attack on the ground and in the air.
"You tend to have a lot of success when you have a balanced attack," said the pivot who completed 14 of 18 passes to six receivers for 237 yards, one TD and no interceptions. "The offensive line did a good job and, like I've said, him [Cobourne] running the ball helps me out a lot."
It was all love in the Ticat dressing room after the huge win that was underlined by an even hotter defensive effort holding the Montreal offensive unit to just seven points — two field goals and a single. The rest came off of Montreal defensive plays. The Hamilton effort was highlighted by a goal line stand in the final minute of the first half.
Defensive back Stevie Baggs attributes the success against the best offence in the league to paying attention to the little things.
"We've been holding ourselves accountable to paying attention to detail and doing the small things right," he said. "Every game that we've let slip away this season, it's been due to the lack of detail."
Backup quarterback Quinton Porter added two TDs on the ground as Hamilton (5-4) moved into a tie for second spot in the East Division with Montreal (5-4).
The Ticats now hold a two-game advantage in the head-to-head tiebreaker should it be needed to determine playoff seedings. The clubs meet in Montreal again next week and in October.
Hamilton won the first meeting 34-26 at home on July 29.
Maurice Mann caught Glenn's touchdown for Hamilton, while receiver Chris Williams hauled in five passes for 108 yards.
De'Audra Dix scored Montreal's first touchdown on a fumble return on the game's first play from scrimmage and fellow defensive back Dwight Anderson returned a Porter interception 50 yards for a TD with 4:45 left in the game.
Montreal pivot Anthony Calvillo completed 17-of-30 attempts for 215 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions. Both quarterbacks left midway through the fourth with Hamilton in complete control.
"They came to play and we didn't," said Calvillo. "It was a very embarrassing loss today. I don't what's going on but our offence right now, we can't win by just scoring six points. It's just unacceptable and we've got to get our act together."
In a game where nothing seemed to go right for the Als, kicker Sean Whyte hit his first two field goal tries, both from 20 yards out, before Ivor Wynne Stadium's September breeze did him in. He missed a 33-yarder late in the third to end his streak at 24 straight field goals. Dave Ridgeway holds the CFL record with 28 back in 1993. Hamilton's Justin Medlock was 3-for-3 from 32, 48, and 37 yards.
"I pushed it," said Whyte. "The wind was with me and I pushed it."
Whyte said recent talk of the streak hadn't phased him. "It doesn't matter," he said. "It's part of my job. I'm a professional and I've got to deal with it."
Penalties also played a big role. Montreal had 14 penalties for 151 yards, including a couple roughing-the-passer and an objectionable conduct, while Hamilton had two for 10 yards.
The Ticat offence bounced back after spotting Montreal a touchdown on the game's first play from scrimmage by fumbling the ball. They took a 27-13 lead into halftime as well as the momentum after their goal line stance in the waning seconds.
Montreal faked a 34-yard field goal late in the second quarter but failed to get the first down. Cobourne then fumbled on the Ticats ensuing possession and Montreal got the ball back anyway on the Ticat 22.
The Als had first down on the two-yard line in the final minute of play, but Hamilton's defence stood firm on the goal-line and Montreal came away with nothing off of three straight running plays.
Glenn completed a 49-yard pass to Dave Stala who then flicked a lateral back to Mann who went out of bounds at the Montreal 41 midway through the third. But Glenn was injured on the play and he was replaced by Porter. Four plays later, Porter kept the ball and ran untouched up the middle for a 20-yard TD and the 34-13 lead.
Glenn returned on the next possession and led a 73-yard scoring drive, aided by three Montreal penalties, including two for roughing the passer and one objectionable conduct. Cobourne ran it in from the seven-yard line for the 41-13 lead.
Medlock's 37-yarder midway through the fourth made it 44-14, spelling the end for Calvillo as backup Adrian McPherson finished off the game. Porter came in for Glenn but was picked off by Anderson to round out the scoring.
Things started out poorly for Hamilton. Glenn hit Mann around the Ticat 18 on the first play from scrimmage but the receiver had the ball forced out of his hand by Billy Parker. Dix recovered around the 10 and ran it in to give Montreal a 7-0 lead just 24 seconds into the game.
Hamilton responded on its next possession with a 76-yard scoring drive set up by a 39-yard pass interference penalty against the Als that took the ball to the three-yard line. Cobourne drove it in on the very next play to tie it 7-7.
Perry Floyd's 40-yard punt return to the Hamilton 28-yard line then set up Whyte's 20-yard field goal for the 10-7 Montreal lead.
Shaken up by a sack on the previous possession, Glenn returned to the field to lead the Ticats 66 yards downfield, firing a 16-yard TD bullet to Mann on the goal-line with six seconds left in the first quarter to give Hamilton a 14-10 lead.
Field goals made the score 17-13 late in the half before Medlock hit from 48 yards out and Porter scored his first touchdown from the one-yard line with 2:11 left on the clock. The score was set up by a 51-yard pass from Glenn to Chris Williams at the one-yard line.