The Hamilton Tiger-cats came out on fire as they destroyed the BC Lions 52-22 at Tim Hortons field in Hamilton on Saturday night.
The game was over long before the clock ran out as the Tiger-cats jumped out to a 31-1 lead late in the second quarter thanks to some impressive play on defense and on special teams.
Of the four first half touchdowns from Hamilton, one came on defense, one came on a punt return and two came on long touchdown passes from quarterback Zach Collaros. Brandon Banks got the Cats on the board first when he scored from 44 yards out on a pass from Collaros.
Just minutes later, the lead was two scores after Eric Norwood picked up an Andre Harris fumble and took it 26 yards for a defensive score. Collaros put the punctuation on a perfect first quarter with a 58-yard touchdown pass to Tiquan Underwood. Hamilton got its last touchdown of the half when Banks returned a 60-yard Richie Leone punt 96 yards for the score.
The Lions finally found the end zone late in the quarter to cut the deficit to 24 when Travis Lulay found Austin Collie from seven yards out for the score.
The second half began much like the first as the Lions saw a turnover turned into a touchdown for Hamilton. Lulay was intercepted on the first play from scrimmage and Collaros took advantage with his third touchdown pass of the game. This time he connected with Luke Tasker for the three-yard score.
The pair hooked up for the Tiger-cats last offensive touchdown of the night when Collaros found Tasker for a 15-yard score.
On the ensuing possession, the Hamilton defense struck again as they intercepted Lulay and returned in 31 yards for the second defensive touchdown on the evening.
After the interception, former BYU standout John Beck took over for Lulay and took the Lions on two scoring drives in the fourth quarter. The first came when he moved the Lions offense to the Hamilton 38-yard line before the drive stalled and Leone hit a 45-yard field goal.
The last score of the night came when the Lions marched 75 yards before finding the end zone for the second time. Beck started out the drive with his legs as he scampered 24 yards to get into Hamilton territory. After two more completions, Beck threw his first touchdown of the year when he connected with former BYU teammate Collie from 22 yards out for the score.
In the win, Collaros completed 19-of-23 passes for 290 yards and four touchdowns. Tasker was one of his favorite targets with six catches for 100 yards and two scores while Banks added two touchdowns of his own.
Lulay completed 13-of-20 passes for 139 yards and a touchdown with two interceptions while Beck ended up 7-for-12 for 96 yards and a touchdown with 24 yard rushing on one carry.
Collie finished the night with two catches for 29 yards and two touchdowns as the Lions fell to 3-4. One the season, he has caught 24 passes for 260 yards and four touchdowns. Up next on the schedule is a matchup with the Montreal Alouettes on Thursday.