For the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, it was death by a thousand Medlocks (and miscues.)
The former Ticats kicker nailed six field goals sparking the Winnipeg Blue Bombers to a 39-12 win. The loss dropped Hamilton to 0-7.
The bad news started before the game. Defensive back Emanuel Davis, set to make his season debut after missing the first six games due to injury, was scratched due to food poisoning. Terrence Frederick made the start in his place.
There were signs of improvement from Hamilton under new assistant head coach June Jones and defensive coordinator Phillip Lolley. The offence had a couple of decent drives and the defence was able to limit the damage early, forcing some field goals.
But quarterback Zach Collaros was sacked five times and under pressure for much of the night while the Ticats turned the ball over three times. The defence surrendered more than 30 points for the seventh straight game this season.
The Bombers opened the game with two long drives only to come up short in Ticat territory, then couldn’t convert excellent field position after a long punt return. Still, three Justin Medlock field goals gave them an early 9-0 lead.
Then, the best drive of the Hamilton season got the Ticats back in it, Collaros orchestrating an eight-play, 84-yard beauty while completing four-of-his five passes. Jeremiah Masoli punched it in from the one for the major.
But Medlock buried three more field goals in the first half and the Bombers got a break when a fumbled pitch from Collaros to C.J. Gable was ruled a lateral and the Bombers recovered. Winnipeg converted with a major and took a 19-6 lead into halftime.
Medlock opened the scoring in the third with a 57-yard bomb of a field goal, mocking the Ticats “body bag” celebration after connecting. On the next Bomber possession, he looked set to connect on his sixth of the night but the kick was blocked by Hamilton’s Don Unamba and the Ticats took over.
Collaros marched Hamilton 67 yards, converting a third-and-two in the process – with a run play, no less – and Demarr Aultman finished it with a 29-yard catch-and-run for the touchdown. They went for two, didn’t get it, and trailed by 10.
Another Medlock field goal extended the lead and another Ticat turnover – on another questionable call – gave the Bombers a chance to put it away. After getting a dubious roughing the passer call to keep the drive alive, Nichols hit Darvin Adams in the end zone for the dagger.
Notes: TSN’s Matthew Scianitti is reporting that assistant head coach June Jones will take over play calling duties from offensive coordinator Stefan Ptaszek starting next week… defensive tackle Ted Laurent left the game after the first series with a hamstring injury.
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