HAMILTON – The Winnipeg Blue Bombers obtained a style of their very own medication from the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, who served up the form of dominating efficiency that the Blue and Gold have grow to be accustomed to giving – not getting – over the previous few years.
The Tiger-Cats have been the higher workforce in all three phases, placing forth a prolific effort on offense, a suffocating show on protection and a stable outing on particular groups, leading to a 48-31 victory in entrance of twenty-two,288 at Tim Hortons discipline Saturday afternoon.
To name it a shocker can be placing it evenly. Few, if any, had the Bombers, who entered the day with only one loss in 13 video games, struggling in opposition to a Tiger-Cats workforce that had simply three victories in 12 tries this yr, and their playoff hopes in peril of being placed on life help.
“I am unable to put my finger on it. I’d simply say, general, it was only a workforce loss,” stated Bombers defensive again Winston Rose after the sport. “Hamilton got here out with extra vitality than us within the first half and simply punched us within the mouth. Easy as that.”
The Bombers drop to 12-2 with the loss, sustaining a agency maintain on high spot within the West Division. The Tiger-Cats improved to 4-9 and are simply two factors shy of the 5-7 Montreal Alouettes, with the golf equipment scheduled to play subsequent Friday.
Whereas it was simply the Bombers second defeat of the 2022 marketing campaign, it was additionally the second loss on the eve of a bye week. The Bombers suffered their first loss to the Alouettes in Week 10, earlier than getting the subsequent week off.
Whether or not it is coincidence or an absence of focus, it was a sample too apparent to disregard for some within the locker room.
“I used to be simply asking myself the identical factor. I wish to say it is a coincidence for no matter purpose. I do not know,” Bombers linebacker Adam Bighill stated. “We obtained good vets. We obtained good guys that work. We perceive the scenario. We simply did not execute on the highest stage we would have liked tonight and it is unlucky. However I do know we have much more in us and we’ll get again to it and get again to work.”
The Tiger-Cats roared out of the gate, accumulating factors on their first 5 drives, with three touchdowns and a pair of discipline targets, whereas including a defensive rating to take a 34-14 lead at halftime. The Bombers improved within the second half, clawing their method again into the sport by the early phases of the fourth quarter, solely to be stymied down the stretch.
Tiger-Cats quarterback Dane Evans has been underneath fireplace for his inconsistent play since taking on the No. 1 position this season and had simply returned after being sidelined final week with a shoulder damage. Previous to the sport, Evans spoke overtly about his struggles this yr, significantly his psychological well being, disclosing he had been working with a workforce psychologist.
On Saturday, he let his play do the speaking, connecting with Tim White, Steven Dunbar and Kiondre Smith for touchdowns, ending 15-for-19 passing for 252 yards and the three scores by the primary two quarters. Kicker Seth Small related on discipline targets from 52 and 41 yards.
The Smith landing was significantly egregious, because the rookie Canadian receiver obtained in behind the protection for a 54-yard landing with 1:46 remaining within the first half.
“We simply gave up some large performs that we usually do not surrender, and that is it,” added Bighill. “These performs, you look all through the season, we actually have not had these. These harm. You may’t surrender explosives excessive, for any purpose, whether or not it is communication, approach, what have you ever. We simply cannot have it.”
Not finished there, Tiger-Cats defensive finish Malik Carney sacked Bombers quarterback Zach Collaros, dislodging the ball and returning it 32 yards for the landing. It was the primary defensive rating allowed by Winnipeg this season.
The Bombers saved it shut early, even taking a 7-3 lead after Collaros related with Nic Demski for an eight-yard landing, giving Demski 5 touchdowns in his final 4 video games. Kicker Marc Liegghio hit his first of two discipline targets within the half, from 27 yards, to make it a 10-10 sport after the primary quarter.
The 34 factors was essentially the most surrendered by the Bombers all season, eclipsing the 29 the Calgary Stampeders put up again in Week 12.
“Fourteen factors off takeaways. I do not suppose we began as quick as we would have liked to. We did not actually match them within the first half,” Bombers head coach Mike O’Shea stated. “We simply wanted stops. We won’t allow them to rating extra factors and so they scored factors.”
Hamilton’s air-assault continued into the third quarter.
After Liegghio opened the second half with a 36-yard discipline aim, the Tiger-Cats responded with yet one more landing, Evans discovering White in the long run zone for a second time to provide the house aspect a 41-17 lead. The rating was arrange by a Jumal Rolle interception of Collaros, giving Rolle a decide in consecutive video games after registering an interception in a loss to the Toronto Argonauts in Week 13.
The Bombers pushed to make it shut, opening the fourth quarter with a two-yard landing run by short-yardage quarterback Dakota Prukop, capping off a 13-play, 84-yard collection. Collaros was again at it on Winnipeg’s subsequent drive, discovering Rasheed Bailey for a 14-yard landing, reducing Hamilton’s result in 41-31 with greater than 9 minutes remaining.
Dalton Schoen caught three passes for 54 yards to assist arrange the Bailey landing. Schoen paced all receivers with six catches for 158 yards, additional solidifying his place because the front-runner for CFL rookie of the yr.
“We have to play two good halves of soccer,” stated Collaros, who completed the sport 23-of-34 for 342 passing yards and two touchdowns, together with two interceptions. “Offensively, we moved the ball pretty nicely all through the sport, however the fumble was an enormous momentum swing, and I am unable to do this. You lose the turnover battle you are going to lose the sport.”
However in a season the place the Bombers protection has been as much as the problem, usually enjoying their greatest when the stakes are at their highest, it was the Tiger-Cats offense that dictated the remainder of the way in which.
Evans, who accomplished 78 per cent of his passes (25-for-32) for 327 yards and 5 touchdowns, related with David Ungerer for a six-yard rating. The exclamation mark got here on the Bombers ensuing drive, with Collaros being intercepted by Kameron Kelly with fewer than two minutes on the clock.
“It is one sport and so they’re a superb soccer workforce,” Collaros stated. “We have to use this bye to get higher, keep in form, get in form in case you’re not in form, and prepare for the stretch run.”
After a slew of accidents enjoying hockey that included breaks to the wrist, arm, and collar bone; a tear of the medial collateral ligament in each knees; in addition to a collapsed lung, Jeff figured it was a good suggestion to take his curiosity in sports activities off the ice and into the classroom.
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