That’s the only way to describe the Hamilton Tiger-Cats’ performance against the B.C. Lions on Saturday as they scored on offence, defence and special teams on their way to a 52-22 win. For the second straight week, the Ticats stormed out to an early lead, then used their defence to batter their opposition into submission.
Brandon Banks scored two touchdowns, one on a tough catch-and-run that saw the diminutive receiver bully his way through would-be tacklers and a second in his usual manner: by outrunning the cover team on an electrifying 98-yard punt return. Luke Tasker had two touchdown catches as well.
Quarterback Zach Collaros threw for 290 yards and four touchdowns, completing 19 of his 23 pass attempts. He looked in complete command of the offence, hitting Tiquan Underwood for a 58-yard touchdown while also taking advantage of his improvisational opportunities. With the game well in hand, Collaros gave way to Jeff Mathews in the fourth quarter.
Meanwhile, defence pummelled the Lions, forcing running back Andrew Harris – who lost one fumble all of last season – to cough the ball up twice in the first quarter alone. Defensive end Eric Norwood returned the first one for a touchdown and linebacker Erik Harris returned an interception for a score late in third quarter to give Hamilton seven defensive scores on the season.
The Ticats defence is on a record-setting scoring pace. They now have six pick-sixes, tying the club record set in 1965 and puts them one behind the CFL record of seven, set by the 2006 Toronto Argonauts. The league record for defensive touchdowns is 11, held by the 1987 B.C. Lions.
B.C. quarterback Travis Lulay finished with 139 yards on 13 of 20 passing, one touchdown and two interceptions. He was sacked four times and was pulled in the fourth quarter, likely for his own personal safety. Harris, who came into the game as the CFL’s leading rusher, finished with 36 yards on eight carries.
The victory ran the Ticats home winning streak to 10 games – all sellouts – while improving their 2015 record to 5-2. They travel to Edmonton next Friday for a match up of two of the league’s top teams in the early going.