Ticats rally to beat Bombers
Hamilton quarterback Kevin Glenn insists he is not a vengeful man.
But he couldn't hide a huge grin as he spoke with reporters after coming off the bench in the second half to lead the Tiger-Cats past the Winnipeg Blue Bombers 25-13 in front of a loud crowd of 24,292 at Ivor Wynne Stadium on Saturday night.
"I'm not a vengeful person," said the former Bombers star. "You want to treat every team the same. You want to go out and you don't ever want to put one team above the other. But I'll be honest, it does feel nice that it happened to be Winnipeg tonight."
The veteran QB was released by Winnipeg in the off-season before being picked up by Hamilton. Glenn, 30, started the season as the back-up to up-and-comer Quinton Porter, 26, who started Saturday's game but was pulled after the teams went into halftime tied at 6-6.
Hamilton head coach Marcel Bellefeuille said he hadn't planned on keeping Glenn in for the rest of the game. Porter had been moving the ball well (16 of 23 pass attempts for 188 yards, no TDs and one interception), but hadn't been able to get it in the end zone.
"My thought process was, we'd give Kevin a few series and Quinton could watch," said Bellefeuille. "He would probably go back in the game. Kevin got on a bit of a roll and was moving the team so we just stayed with him."
Ticats bounce back after turnovers
Bellefeuille said he would decide on Monday who would get the start in Week 4 because "both guys can play," and referred to Porter as the "future" of the team.
Glenn made 11 of 19 pass attempts for 146 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.
The key to Hamilton's performance was the ability of the team to rebound and score after those two turnovers.
Glenn hit Chris Davis from 32 yards out and Dave Stala from 11 yards. Davis led receivers with six receptions for 122 yards and one touchdown. Stala, a Hamilton native, scored his first touchdown as a Ticat.
Hamilton improves to 2-1, having won its second game in a row. Winnipeg falls to 1-2.
Ticat kicker Nick Setta made three of four field goal attempts, missing from 44 yards to start the game, but hitting from 36, 32 and 42 yards. Bomber kicker Alexis Serna made both field goal attempts, from 49 and 44 yards.
Kelly takes the blame
Winnipeg quarterback Stefan LeFors completed seven of 19 pass attempts for 99 yards, no touchdowns and no interceptions. LeFors had been hurt on a play earlier in the game and Winnipeg head coach Mike Kelly felt LeFors was losing mobility in his upper body, so he replaced his young starter with Bryan Randall with about six minutes left in the game.
Kelly shouldered the blame for the loss, in which his offence gained only 260 yards, 50 of them on one run by Fred Reid.
"It's on me," Kelly said. "I didn't put good enough schemes together in order for our guys to be successful."
Winnipeg linebacker Siddeeq Shabazz scored the lone touchdown for the Blue Bombers with a 30-yard interception return off Glenn, who was throwing into the sun and aiming for Prechae Rodriguez.
His second interception, straight into the arms of Lenny Walls, came while scrambling out of the pocket and killed a promising drive deep in Winnipeg territory.
Glenn said that throw "may have been the dumbest thing I've ever done." But he credited watching former Ticat QB Danny McManus over the years for his ability to brush off the mistakes and come back to score.
"I learned a lot being in this league so long," he said. "[McManus] would go out and he would throw a pick and he would come out the next two drives and throw touchdowns. He never thought about that interception. That was the kind of thing that was going through my mind at the time."
The first touchdown of the game came midway through the third when Shabazz intercepted Glenn at the Hamilton 30-yard line and ran it in for the score. Glenn, throwing into the setting sun, was aiming for Rodriguez when the ball was deflected by Jovon Johnson and into the hands of Shabazz as Winnipeg went up 13-9.
After Shabazz intercepted Glenn at Hamilton's 30-yard line and scored in the third to put Winnipeg up 13-9, Glenn recovered on the Ticats' next possession.
Driving Hamilton 74 yards on seven plays, including his own 22-yard rush, Glenn hit Davis for a 32-yard touchdown to regain a 16-13 lead heading into the fourth quarter.