HAMILTON – The underdogs made a statement as they hosted the West Division leaders on their home turf.
The Hamilton Tiger-Cats defeated the Winnipeg Blue Bombers 29-23, their third win in four games.
Taylor Powell threw for 236 yards, one touchdown and one interception in the win as James Butler added 82 yards and a touchdown on the ground while Terry Godwin led all Hamilton receivers with 61 yards and a touchdown.
Hamilton had their home crowd hyped early as they recovered from a Celestin Haba sack on Powell and still got on the board with a 32-yard field goal from Marc Liegghio.
The Ticats continued with that momentum as on their next drive at Powell moved out of the pocket finding Sean Thomas Erlington for short strike and a first down in the red zone.
Godwin found space on his slant route for a six-yard touchdown to put the Ticats up by 10.
On their next drive Winnipeg would get hot early, with Collaros finding Demski for 50 yards to get to the Hamilton 23-yard line, before Dalton Schoen added another first down on a 16-yard catch.
Demski would grab a five-yard throw for a score, but Hamilton’s Tyreik McAllister returned a missed extra point attempt 126 yards to give the Ticats two points.
Hamilton’s first drive of the second quarter ended with a 35-yard field goal from Liegghio to extend their lead, but Winnipeg would find huge momentum on their next drive as Schoen made a big grab for 34 yards and a first down at the Hamilton 25-yard line.
After a Kenny Lawler catch was called back, Collaros made a deep throw to the back of end zone for Lawler’s revenge and a 25-yard touchdown.
Powell and the Ticats answered right back, as they used almost six minute of clock on to get downfield before Butler ran in the touchdown for two yards.
The Collaros-Demski connection was apparent in the second quarter, with Collaros finding his receiver for 56 yards to the Hamilton nine-yard line, but after Collaros was sacked by Stavros Katsantonis, the Bombers settled for a 22-yard field goal for the final scoring play of the half.
To start the third quarter, the Ticats moved downfield 67-yards, largely in part due to a pass interference penalty that moved them 40 yards to the Winnipeg three-yard line, as Kai Locksley found a gap to his right to power into the end zone to extend the Ticats lead back to double-digits.
Drew Wolitarsky and the Bombers looked to answer back as he grabbed a 21-yard catch from Collaros before Oliveira exploded for 17 yards and another first down.
After Butler moved the chains for a first down, Powell found Kiondre Smith for 14 yards to get down to the Winnipeg 30-yard line before Thomas Erlington added another 12, but Evan Holm spoiled the fun grabbing an interception for the Bombers’ defence.
Starting the final quarter, Katsantonis grabbed another interception less than 15 seconds in, before a few drives later Kenneth George came up with the third pick on Collaros with less than seven minutes to play.
But the next drive Jamieson Sheahan forced a fumble on Taylor Powell that allowed Winnipeg to get the ball back and march downfield for eight plays and 53 yards to cut the lead to six points thanks to Collaros taking the ball into the end zone himself to cap off the drive.
With Hamilton unable to get anything done on their final offensive drive, their defence came up big forcing second-and-long after Tre’ Crawford sacked Collaros, and a final attempt on third-and-15 was incomplete as the Ticats forced the turnover on downs.
The Blue Bombers will get to rest during Week 16 while the Hamilton Tiger-Cats will head to BMO Field to take on the Toronto Argonauts at 7:00 p.m. EDT on Sept. 23.