Glenn, Tiger-Cats keep Roughriders winless
Kevin Glenn and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats finally have something to smile about.
Glenn threw two TD strikes as the Ticats rolled past the Saskatchewan Roughriders 33-3 on Saturday for their first win of the season.
"It's a big win just because you don't want to go 0-3," Glenn said. "But it was also a big win because we were in front of our home fans and we wanted to give them something to get excited about.
"We owed it to them to get this win against a great team that's been in back-to-back Grey Cups."
But Saskatchewan (0-3) isn't playing like a championship-calibre team. The West Division champion the last two years has surrendered 114 points this season and failed to deliver rookie head coach Greg Marshall his first CFL win.
Saskatchewan began the game miserably as Hamilton's Renaud Williams intercepted Darian Durant on the Riders' first play from scrimmage and returned it to the visitors' six-yard line.
The Riders' plight only worsened as Hamilton surged into a commanding 23-0 half-time lead and delighted the sun-drenched Ivor Wynne Stadium gathering of 22,245. Offensively, Saskatchewan managed just 16 offensive plays for 34 net yards and two first downs.
'Hats handed to us'
"We got our hats handed to us," Marshall said matter of factly. "I told the guys at halftime if they weren't embarrassed by their performance in the first half then we're in the wrong business.
"But it really doesn't matter what we're doing if they can't go out and play with some effort, play with some heart and execute. I've been in this league a long time and that's about as bad as it could be."
Durant's struggles mirrored those of his offence as he finished 9-of-23 passing for 95 yards and three interceptions. Ryan Dinwiddie came on in the second half, completing 5-of-11 tosses for 115 yards.
"It started from the first play for us offensively," Durant said. "We just couldn't get into a rhythm, we went two-and-out a lot.
"We just stunk up the place."
And Saskatchewan's situation doesn't get any easier. The Riders — 0-3 to start a season for the first time since 2000 — visit the defending Grey Cup-champion Montreal Alouettes (3-0) next weekend. Marshall said all his team can do is continue working to get better."What's the alternative? Give up?" he said. "We'll work on what needs to be fixed."
Hamilton's offence dominated
After scoring just 26 points in its opening two losses, Hamilton's offence dominated a Riders' defence that's allowed 13 touchdowns and came in ranked last overall in yards allowed (433) and passing yards (356.5).
And Hamilton (1-2) did so without injured star receivers Arland Bruce III (lower body) and Maurice Mann (foot). Youngster Chris Williams stepped in for Mann and had five catches for 38 yards and two second-quarter TDs.
Glenn finished 19-of-31 passing for just 203 yards but Hamilton registered 25 first downs and thoroughly controlled the play, holding the ball for nearly 35 minutes.
Linebacker Jamall Johnson had a game-high nine tackles to anchor a dominant Hamilton defence that gave up just 12 first downs and 238 total yards. The Ticats also recorded six turnovers (three interceptions, fumble, twice on downs).
"Guys bought into the process," said Hamilton coach Marcel Bellefeuille. "It's all about the process.
"It doesn't matter who we play, if we play the right way we'll have success."
Marcus Thigpen had Hamilton's other touchdown. Justin Medlock booted four field goals and three converts.
Eddie Johnson's 50-yard field goal thwarted Hamilton's bid for its first shutout since 1974.
Glenn's TD strikes of five and 13 yards to Williams in the second staked Hamilton to its 23-point half-time advantage, but the Ticats should've led by much more.
Hamilton settled for a field goal following Renaud's interception return to the Saskatchewan six-yard line early in the first. Later in the quarter, Marquay McDaniels couldn't hold on to a long toss from backup Quinton Porter, resulting in another field goal.
"This wasn't a perfect game, we still had opportunities out there that we could've made," Glenn said. "But I think we've gotten better week to week and that's what you want to do.
"You don't want to stay stagnant, you want to make sure you're climbing that ladder."
Bellefeuille made a great challenge late in the first half to keep Saskatchewan off the scoreboard. Durant lost a fumble on second-down run at the Hamilton 12 but was ruled down by contact.
Bellefeuille challenged the call, which was over-ruled giving Hamilton possession.
The fumble accentuated a miserable opening half for Durant, who completed just 2-of-11 passes for 21 yards and an interception.