Tiger-Cats locked in on defense, take down Saskatchewan Roughriders on road

SASKATCHEWAN – The Hamilton Tiger-Cats may have already clinched their playoff spot, but they still wanted to show what they have to prove.

Going into enemy territory at Mosaic Stadium, the Ticats handled the Saskatchewan Roughriders and came out victorious in a 38-13 win.

Bo Levi Mitchell threw for 129 yards and a touchdown, while Matthew Shiltz stepped in and added 271 yards, two touchdowns and an interception when under centre. Tim White recorded 129 yards through the air and James Butler added 105 rushing yards and 77 receiving yards in the win.

Jake Dolegala threw for 154 yards in the loss, while Jamal Morrow rushed for 120 yards and a touchdown.

Both teams took turns fumbling and recovering the ball to start, but once on his feet Mitchell, in his first game since his injury against Ottawa back on July 28, nailed Tim White for 88 yards to set up Omar Bayless‘ first CFL touchdown to put the Ticats on the board first.

With the Riders getting the ball back, the Ticats defence wanted to stop any momentum, and Simoni Lawrence did just that with his fourth sack of the season taking down Dolegala for a loss.

The Riders defence would answer and get to Mitchell for a safety, their first points of the game, but after their next drive was shut down when Jameer Thurman forced a turnover on downs, the Ticats would be looking to extend the lead.

Butler, who marked the second of back-to-back 1,000 yard campaigns with his efforts against the Riders, stayed up through contact for 13 yards and a first down, before Shiltz, in for Mitchell, found Bayless for 31 yards to get to the Saskatchewan 16-yard line.

In the red zone, Shiltz moved left out of the pocket and found Bayless in the end zone for his second on the night and the second of his career.

Shiltz kept his momentum up as he found Terry Godwin for a big 41-yard catch on the next drive, then Kiondre Smith took his turn grabbing a 24-yard reception, before Sean Thomas-Erlington would get the eight-yard touchdown, his first of the season.

Keeping their defensive integrity on the forefront of their game, the Ticats got the ball back immediately on the next drive after a fumble on the kickoff return, but Shiltz would attempt to throw while being taken down and was intercepted by Larry Dean for the Riders to show their defensive talents as well.

After forcing the Riders to punt, a 23-yard field goal from Marc Liegghio would cap off 25 first-half points for the Ticats, but the Riders weren’t done with the action yet as Morrow found the gap for a 32-yard touchdown to end the half.

Neither team was able to score a touchdown in the third quarter, but Hamilton kept the momentum on their side to start the fourth as Liegghio hit a 37-yard field goal attempt to extend the lead to 18, and Jamal Davis II sacked Dolegala on the next drive – the third Hamilton sack of the game – to keep the Ticats in control.

Defence would continue to thwart any Riders attempts as Chris Edwards would force Dolegala to fumble the ball which was recovered by Hamilton. Mason Fine made an appearance in the fourth quarter for the Riders to give them a new perspective, but Stavros Katsantonis grabbed his fifth interception of the season off Fine with less than five minutes to play.

With one minute left to play in the fourth quarter, a 10-play, 73-yard drive ended in Kai Locksley getting a touchdown of his own with a one-yard run to give the Ticats one last score to make a statement in their victory.

Hamilton heads home to host the BC Lions on Friday, Oct. 13 at 7:00 p.m. EDT at Tim Hortons Field in Week 19 action, while Saskatchewan will head to McMahon Stadium to play the Calgary Stampeders at 9:30 p.m. EDT on the 13th.

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