The Winnipeg Blue Bombers lost their fourth game of the season and also lost their starting quarterback.
The Hamilton Tigers-Cats owned the football Friday night and beat the Blue Bombers 30-13 at Investors Group Field.
“They came in here and right from the start they flew around with a little more energy than us and played more physically than us,” said Winnipeg head coach Mike O’Shea. “We got behind early and then they controlled the ball and the clock. We didn’t run a lot of offensive plays and we didn’t get off the field on defense. Overall the bottom line is they made more plays than us. It’s one loss. We’ve lost three games already this year and this is one more. We’ll figure it out. The guys will come in ready to work Saturday and make some corrections and be better next time.”
The visitors won the time of possession battle as the Tiger-Cats had the ball for just over 38 minutes compared to just under 22 minutes for the Blue Bombers.
Hamilton quarterback Jeremiah Mosoli threw two touchdown passes including a 60-yard bomb to Brandon Banks 95 seconds into the game.
The Bombers, who saw their record fall to 10-4, did the chasing the rest of the night and couldn't catch a Tiger-Cats team that won just three times prior to Friday's game.
“Masoli scrambled really well creating time in that pocket,” said Winnipeg defensive back Chris Randle who got beat by Banks on that opening touchdown. “We knew that though going in. He capitalized on his opportunities and made plays.”
Blue Bombers quarterback Matt Nichols suffered a hand injury late in the first quarter but continued to play.
He threw a five-yard touchdown pass to Timothy Flanders early in the second quarter.
His final pass of the first half turned out to be his final pass of the game as Nichols was intercepted by Richard Leonard at the Hamilton seven-yard line with four seconds left in the second quarter.
Dom Davis took over the offense in the second half.
Running back Andrew Harris says it was tough to watch Nichols have to call it a night.
“He’s our leader. Anytime a key player, a guy that you look to to make plays, an impact player – it’s going to be tough on you. I felt like Dom did a good job when he went in there. He controlled the atmosphere pretty well. We just couldn’t get enough plays to get the win.”
Nichols completed 14-of-18 passes for 184 yards while Davis was good on 9-of-14 for 84 yards.
“I could have done a better job of moving the chains,” said Davis. “Some second downs I took a couple of shots where I could have checked it down and probably got a first down. That’s something I’ll look at in film and fix the corrections there.”
It's the first time the Bombers lost to an East Division team this season.
Winnipeg’s next game is Saturday, October 14th at home against the B.C. Lions.
photos courtesy Merle Peters