Burris helps Hamilton hold off Montreal
Hamilton, ON (Sports Network) - Henry Burris threw for 360 yards and four touchdowns as the Hamilton Tiger-Cats held off the Montreal Alouettes, 39-24, on Saturday.
Burris connected on 27-of-30 pass attempts as Hamilton (2-2) won its second straight game to even its record.
Andrew Fantuz had eight catches for 135 yards and a score while Chris Williams added seven receptions for 115 yards. Chevon Walker contributed 19 carries for 80 yards and a touchdown.
Anthony Calvillo went 24-for-39 through the air for 374 yards, three touchdowns and an interception for Montreal (2-2).
S.J. Green had six catches for 110 yards to pace the Alouettes, who had a two- game win streak snapped.
Hamilton entered the second half with a 32-10 lead and the teams traded punts over the first three possessions of the third quarter until Calvillo hit Jamel Richardson with a 22-yard pass over the middle to set up a 32-yard bomb in the right corner of the end zone to Rod Davis.
Hamilton was forced to punt again on its next touch, and Calvillo made completions of 37 yards and 20 yards to Brandon London and Green, respectively, to set up a 12-yard touchdown grab on the left side of the end zone by Patrick Lavoie to make it a 32-24 game entering the fourth quarter.
The Tiger-Cats, though, regained some cushion in the opening drive of the fourth when a 32-yard kickoff return by Walker set up a three-play, 64-yard drive finished off with a 26-yard touchdown grab by Fantuz.
Montreal later converted on a pair of third downs during a 10-play drive that brought the Alouettes all the way down to the Hamilton 20, but Green failed to hang on to a floating pass on third down with 1:42 left in the game to turn the ball over on downs, and the Tiger-Cats ran out the majority of the clock to seal the win.
Montreal received the opening kickoff and Trent Guy returned it 27 yards to give the Alouettes the ball at their own 43-yard line, but Renauld Williams intercepted a Calvillo pass four plays later and returned it 53 yards down to the Montreal eight.
The Tiger-Cats immediately took advantage of the turnover on the next play when Burris found Bakari Grant on the right side for a touchdown.
"We really got off slow. That interception on the first drive didn't help," said Calvillo. "It's hard to fight back when that happens."
Following a Montreal two-and-out, Burris led a 12-play, 65-yard drive that was aided by a pair of Montreal penalties and capped by a Burris one-yard play- action pass to Daryl Stephenson, giving the Tiger-Cats a 14-0 advantage.
But the Alouettes answered with a quick six-play touchdown drive highlighted by a 54-yard catch-and-run up the middle by Green and finished off with a three-yard swing pass to the left by Brandon Whitaker to get Montreal back within a touchdown with 1:55 left in the first quarter.
Hamilton had a chance to add to its lead early in the second quarter with another big defensive play when Darcy Brown blocked a Sean Whyte punt on the Als opening possession of the frame, but Luca Congi missed a 32-yard field goal attempt wide right.
Whyte missed a 49-yard field goal attempt on Montreal's ensuing possession that Chris Williams caught and seemingly returned 118 yards for a touchdown as he started his celebration at the Alouettes' 10-yard line and was tackled into the end zone, but a review showed he was actually down at the one.
"It was just a lack of judgement. That's not who I am," Williams said about the play. "That was totally out of character. I apologize to my teammates and my fans."
Hamilton, though, quickly got in the end zone on the next play with Walker's one-yard leap up the middle to give the Tiger-Cats a 22-7 lead with 6:12 remaining in the first half.
After Whyte connected on a 45-yard field goal, Burris opened Hamilton's next drive with a 41-yard pass to Williams to move the ball into Montreal territory, and Burris later capped the five-play, 75-yard drive with a five- yard touchdown pass to Walker to extend the Tiger-Cats' advantage.
Congi's 22-yard field goal as time expired at the half gave Hamilton a 32-10 edge at the break.
Hamilton finished with 445 total yards, while Montreal racked up 424...Whitaker finished with six catches for 46 yards and seven rushes for 31 yards...London caught four balls for 88 yards...Walker ended with four receptions and 25 yards.