Winnipeg Blue Bombers win 3rd straight with win over Hamilton Tiger-Cats

HAMILTON — Justin Medlock’s six field goals powered the Winnipeg Blue Bombers to a 39-12 win over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats at Tim Hortons Field on Saturday night.

Winnipeg pivot Matt Nichols threw for 267 yards and two touchdowns while running back Andrew Harris could not be contained, rushing for 107 yards in the victory.

Late heroics were not needed this game for the Bombers as the Blue and Gold were in control all evening.

Winnipeg got off to a fast start, pacing their way down the field on the first drive of the game. Nichols found an early chemistry with Clarence Denmark, connecting with the slotback on his first three passes of the night. Winnipeg capped off the drive with a 34-yard field goal by Medlock to take an early 3-0 lead.

The Hamilton defence shut the door again just outside of the red zone as the Bombers charged their way down the field but were unable to register a major. Winnipeg settled for another Medlock field goal to take a 6-0 lead.

A Ticats two and out gave the Bombers favourable field position after Kevin Fogg returned the ensuing punt 38 yards. Winnipeg managed to make their way to the Hamilton 32-yard line, but once again settled for a field goal to go up 9-0 heading into the second quarter.

Hamilton had only one first down in the first 15 minutes compared to Winnipeg’s nine.

Blue Bombers’ quarter back Matt Nichols warms up before first quarter CFL first quarter action in Hamilton on Saturday, August 12th, 2017. (CFL PHOTO – Dave Chidley)

The Black and Gold were finally able to find their offensive stride in the second quarter. The Bombers were called for a roughing call when Cory Johnson hit C.J. Gable after the pass, advancing the Ticats 15 yards further downfield. Gable was clearly fueled by the late hit, picking up 28 yards after his catch to put the Black and Gold in Winnipeg territory. Jeremiah Masoli finished off the drive with a one-yard quarterback sneak to cut the Bombers’ lead to 9-6. Hamilton’s two-point covert attempt was unsuccessful, keeping them within three points of the lead.

Nichols and the Bombers once again had trouble finishing their drive when they got the ball back, turning to Medlock for another field goal attempt. His kick was picked up by the wind and hit the right upright, keeping the score at 9-6.

Medlock would make up for the miss on the Bombers next drive, splitting the uprights from 43 yards out to extend Winnipeg’s lead to 12-6.

A lateral attempt deep in Ticats territory proved costly when Gable bobbled the pass only to be recovered by the Bombers. Winnipeg began their drive at Hamilton’s 36-yard line and did not take long to work their way down the short field. Nichols found Julian Feoli-Gudino alone in the flats, who ran untouched into the end zone to extend the Bombers lead to 19-6 heading into halftime.

Medlock opened the second half with his fifth field goal of the night, booting the ball through the uprights from an impressive 57 yards out.

The Ticats continued to claw back into the game as Collaros connected with Damarr Aultman for the receivers second major in as many games. Aultman powered through Winnipeg’s defenders to pick up 26 yards after the catch and surged across the plane to cut the lead to 22-12. The Ticats had two attempts at a two-point conversion after Winnipeg was called for roughing the passer, but to no avail.

Medlock’s night wasn’t over as he notched his sixth field goal of the game, this time from 34 yards out.

The Bombers weren’t done there.

Taylor Loffler recovered a Hamilton fumble forced by Maurice Leggett, setting the Bombers up in Hamilton territory. On a Bombers first down off of the turnover, Nichols threw a 50-50 ball into the end zone. Darvin Adams won the one-on-one battle, bringing down the catch for a major to put the nail in the coffin for the Bombers to go up 32-12.

A Collaros pass was picked off by Brian Walker with just over four minutes left in the match. The Bombers managed the clock by handing the ball off to Harris numerous times on the drive until they found themselves just outside of the end zone. Timothy Flanders made the short charge across the plane to increase the Bombers lead to 39-12.

Winnipeg has a short turn around this week as they travel back home to take on the Edmonton Eskimos on Thursday. The Ticats will still look for their first win of the season when they face off against the Ottawa REDBLACKS at home on Friday.

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