Hamilton Tiger-Cats ruin Alouettes homecoming to earn 1st win of season

MONTREAL — An electrifying special teams performance by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats provided the boost they needed to earn their first win of the season, defeating the Montreal Alouettes 27-10.

After having the past week off to return to the drawing board and reflect on their recent outings, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats looked rejuvenated, revitalized and reinvented, highlighted by a stunning display of punt returning by Frankie Williams, who recorded 100 yards and an interception on the night.

Dane Evans got the start at quarterback, in for the injured Jeremiah Masoli and threw for 183 yards. In a losing effort, Vernon Adams Jr. would throw for 171 yards and an interception.

 Boxscore: Ticats at Als

Hamilton QB Dane Evans Photo: John Kenney/CFL.ca

After collecting 49 yards on the opening kickoff, Hamilton would not be done with the big plays in their opening drive. In fact, it would end with Dane Evans connecting with Steven Dunbar in the endzone to silence Als fans celebrating their return to Percival Molson Stadium.

After two Montreal possessions that garnered no result, another Frankie Williams punt return, this time for 67 yards, would give Hamilton pristine field position after being down on the Montreal 36-yard line. After being held out of the endzone, Hamilton would opt for a field goal, making it a 10-0, two-score game.

Looking to reverse the course of action and feed off their home crowd, Montreal’s offence went to work at the start of the second quarter. After the Als collected the ball, it would take them three plays before Vernon Adams would connect with Quan Bray in the endzone for six, electrifying the home crowd.

Hamilton would add another field goal on their ensuing possession after what looked to be a promising drive was ended by Adarius Pickett, forcing Michael Domagala to be good from 46-yards out.

After covering a little too well, Hamilton’s Cariel Brooks would be called for defensive pass interference, giving the Als a chance to score before the half-closed. Coming out of the three-minute warning, Adams would lean heavily on the talents of his arm but after back-to-back incompletions, David Cote would split the uprights bringing the Als within three, leaving it at a 13-10 Hamilton lead.

Following a barrage of offence in the opening half, both teams seemed to settle in defensively during the second half and neither allowed any points. Coincidently or not, it was also when both teams found roadblocks. For Montreal, it was multiple two-and-outs and a costly penalty on a Hamilton missed field goal returned by Mario Alford. For Hamilton, it was their ability to make those field goals in search of increasing their lead.

Frankie Williams would see his name be called again. This time, it was for his play on the defensive side of the ball after he picked off Vernon Adams, which would turn into points for the Tiger-Cats as the outstretched arms of Nikola Kalinic crossed the goal line, putting Hamilton out in front 20-10.

Ahead of the three-minute warning and down by two scores, the Alouette offence transitioned to the ground. Feeding William Stanback and keeping it himself, Vernon Adams led the Als downfield looking to erase the deficit they faced. After a facemask penalty forced them back 15 yards, their offence would be forced to punt again.

Hamilton would make the best of their Montreal product, Sean Thomas-Erlington in the final few minutes who would be leaned on to close out the clock. After he surpassed the first down marker, winding down the clock would be not satisfactory for him as the former Carabin added an additional touchdown, sealing the win for Hamilton.

Montreal will get the chance to rebound as they make the short trip to TD Place Stadium to take on the Ottawa REDBLACKS next Friday at 7:30 p.m. ET. For Hamilton, they will have their own homecoming, welcoming in their QEW rival, the Toronto Argonauts to Tim Hortons Field next Monday at 1:00 p.m. ET.

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