Jesse Lumsden rushed for 211 yards and two long touchdowns on 12 carries to lead the Tiger-Cats to their first victory of the season, a 43-22 triumph over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers on Friday night in Hamilton.
Lumsden, who was celebrating his 25th birthday, scored his first TD with a 69-yard run on Hamilton's first play from scrimmage, and got his second on a 75-yard scamper with just over five minutes remaining in the fourth quarter to all but seal the win for the Ticats (1-5-0).
Ticats running back Jesse Lumsden battles for extra yards over Blue Bombers linebacker Cam Hall during the first half of Friday's game at Ivor Wynne Stadium in Hamilton.
(Frank Gunn/Canadian Press)
The 24,201 fans at Ivor Wynne celebrated the local boy's birthday — he's from neighbouring Burlington — by chanting "Jesse, Jesse" and then singing a round of "Happy Birthday" to him.
"This is the best thing I could have ever asked for," Lumsden said. "We didn't let negative things get us down.
"We climbed back. We finished everything. We did everything we needed to do to win."
The product of Hamilton's McMaster University now leads the CFL in rushing with 554 yards, which he has racked up on just 59 carries — good for a gaudy 9.4-yard average.
Tiger-Cats quarterback Jason Maas also had a strong night, completing 16 of 21 passes for 220 yards and three touchdowns while avoiding any interceptions.
Stegall adds to TD record
Brock Ralph, Nate Curry and Jo Jo Walker caught touchdown passes for Hamilton, and linebacker JoJuan Armour added a 62-yard fumble recovery for a major late in the fourth quarter, after Lumsden's second major.
Hamilton's six touchdowns were more than it had accumulated in all its previous games this season. Heading into the contest, the Ticats were last in the league with three touchdowns in five games.
"I'm just so proud of our football team," said Hamilton head coach Charlie Taaffe. "We finally came out and finished and closed the game out in the second half."
Winnipeg slotback Milt Stegall caught four passes for 91 yards and a 33-yard touchdown that raised his all-time CFL touchdown record — set in last week's home win over Hamilton — to 140.
Blue Bombers running back Charles Roberts rushed for 95 yards and added another 62 yards receiving, while quarterback Kevin Glenn went 26-for-33 passing for 297 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Derick Armstrong caught a 13-yard TD pass, and Troy Westwood went 2-for-5 on field goals for Winnipeg (3-2-1).With files from the Canadian Press