A strong combined first half performance by Zach Collaros and Ray Holley helped lead the Hamilton Tiger-Cats to a 26-15 win over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in pre-season action on Friday at Investors Group Field.
Collaros threw for 183 yards on 14 of 17 passing with one touchdown before being taken out at the end of the second quarter. It was the first time that he played this pre-season.
Rookie running back Holley had an equally impressive showing with 37 rushing yards on eight carries and scored one touchdown. Ticats kicker Justin Medlock was perfect on four field goal atempts and two extra points to contribute the majority of the Ticats' scoring.
Drew Willy went 11-for-17 for 142 yards in a losing effort while Paris Cotton scored the team's only touchdown.
The Tiger-Cats opened the scoring early on their first drive of the game with a 15-yard play from Collaros to Bakari Grant at 1:24 for a touchdown. The match marks the end of the pre-season for both teams.
But the Bombers were quick to respond. A 45-yard play from Drew Willy to Clarence Denmark would place the bombers at the Tiger-Cats 23 yard line. The Bombers progressed down the field, which led to a handoff to Cameron Marshall for a 1-yard touchdown with 8:32 left in the quarter to tie the game.
Tiger-Cats kicker Medlock notched a 49-yard field goal near the end of the quarter to put the Tiger-Cats up 10-7 at the end of the first.
The second quarter was dominated by the Black and Gold. A first down from Holley led to Medlock’s second field goal of the game from 19 yards out. Holley continued his impressive first half with an 8-yard touchdown to end the second quarter 20-7.
Jeremiah Masoli went into the third quarter for Hamilton and struggled throughout the half, completing only 6 of 15 passes. Medlock’s 21-yard field goal in the third was the only the scoring in the quarter and extended Hamilton’s lead 23-7.
But the Bombers did not go down without a fight.
Cotton’s two-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter cut the deficit to 23-13 after the conversion failed. Medlock then added his final field goal of the night while the Bombers added a late safety.
But that was as close at the Bombers would get.
Bombers running back Carlos Anderson left with an injury early in the first quarter and did not return. Bombers rookie receiver Addison Richards also left the game and did not return.
The Tiger-Cats open their season on on June 26 with a Grey Cup rematch against the Calgary Stampeders. The Bombers meanwhile kick off their campaign on June 27 in a rivalry match against the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
Justin Medlock provided most of the Ticats' offense by connecting on all four field goal tries and two converts.