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(Saturday, November 2nd)
Final Score: Hamilton 37, Winnipeg 7
Winnipeg, MB (SportsNetwork.com) - Henry Burris completed a pair of touchdown passes to Onrea Jones to propel the Hamilton Tiger-Cats to a 37-7 victory over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the final game of the regular season for both sides at Investors Group Field.
Burris completed 17-of-24 pass attempts for 135 yards for Hamilton (10-8), which will now prepare for its battle against Montreal at Alumni Stadium in Guelph in the playoff semifinals. Jones tallied eight catches for 77 yards while Chevon Walker paced the Tiger-Cats on the ground with 116 yards and a major on 11 attempts. Dan LeFevour saw action under center as well and finished 9-of-10 for 83 yards. LeFevour also contributed 47 rushing yards on seven carries.
Max Hall led the Blue Bombers (3-15) with 160 passing yards on 18-of-35 efficiency. Clarence Denmark reeled in four catches for 54 yards and Wallace Miles also had four receptions for 42 yards. Henoc Muamba registered a game- high total of nine tackles in the losing effort.
Winnipeg struck first as Sandro DeAngelis connected on a 33-yard field goal attempt with just under eight minutes remaining in the opening quarter. The Tiger-Cats had great field position to start their ensuing drive thanks to a 58-yard kick return by Tavoy Moore. Their offense was not able to take advantage and Luca Congi's 48-yard field goal try was blocked.
Late in the first quarter a muffed punt gave Hamilton possession at the Blue Bombers' 30-yard line, The offense was unable to capitalize on the special teams turnover, but Congi evened the score at three as he sent a 28-yard field goal attempt through the uprights.
Winnipeg's defense gave the hosts a spark early in the second quarter as Joel Figueroa forced Brandon Banks to fumble at the Hamilton 33-yard line. Jake Thomas recovered the loose ball to give the Blue Bombers' offense a short field. The drive stalled after Hall completed a 19-yard pass to Denmark, which set up DeAngelis for a 23-yard field goal that gave Winnipeg a 6-3 lead.
The Tiger-Cats took their first lead of the contest at the 6:08 mark of the second quarter as Burris completed an eight-yard pass to Jones for a major. Burris and Jones struck again with just over a minute left before halftime as they hooked up on a nine-yard passing play for another six points. Congi's successful extra point conversion gave the visitors a 17-6 advantage at the break.
Hamilton began to pull away in the third quarter as LeFevour took over at quarterback. The Tiger-Cats added three points as Congi chipped in an 18-yard field goal less than three minutes into the second half. Hamilton then extended its lead to 27-6 at the 10:02 mark of the third frame as Walker broke off a 70-yard run for a major.
Congi made a 23-yard field goal in the early stages of the fourth quarter before Winnipeg ended the run with a single by Mike Renaud. Hamilton's defense put an exclamation point on the victory as Carl-Olivier Prime returned a fumble 48 yards for the final touchdown of the contest.
Will Ford led Winnipeg with 23 rushing yards on seven attempts...Ryan Lacy registered seven tackles for Hamilton...The Blue Bombers still own a 59-50 advantage in regular season bouts against the Tiger-Cats dating back to 1961 despite losing the last four encounters...Burris finished the regular season with 4,925 passing yards...Winnipeg's loss marked its third in a row.
11/02 17:59:39 ET