GUELPH, Ont. -- Hamilton quarterback Henry Burris threw two touchdown passes as the Tiger-Cats recorded their first victory of the CFL season with a 25-20 win over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers on Saturday night.
Sam Giguere scored a 61-yard TD catch-and-run on Hamilton's first possession of the game and John Delahunt scored his first career CFL TD reception, this one from 12 yards.
Bombers running back Chad Simpson, who has had a slow start to the season, shifted gears against Hamilton and scored a 75-yard rushing TD in the first and a 15-yard TD run in the fourth. Short-yardage backup quarterback Justin Goltz also scored for Winnipeg.
Bombers kicker Justin Palardy missed his lone field-goal attempt, from 40 yards. Hamilton kicker Luca Congi hit two of four attempts, missing from 44 and 28 yards, and hitting two 24-yard shots. He added a kickoff single and punter Josh Bartel added two punt singles.
The Tiger-Cats improved their record to 1-2 and join a log jam in the East Division with Toronto, Montreal and Winnipeg, all with the same record.
The game was played in front of a near-capacity crowd of 13,085 at the University of Guelph's Alumni Stadium, the Tiger-Cats home venue for the season.
Hamilton took a 17-13 lead into the fourth quarter. Congi's missed 28-yard field goal made it 18-13.
The Tiger-Cats hadn't scored a touchdown since the first drive of the game, but midway through the fourth, Burris led them on a 60-yard drive, hitting Delahunt for a 12-yard score and a 25-13 Hamilton lead with 8:48 left to play.
But with 2:40 left in the game, the Bombers capped a 62-yard three minute scoring drive that ended with Simpson's 15-yard touchdown run to make it 25-20. When the Ticats' offence couldn't keep possession, the much maligned Hamilton defence shut the door on the next Winnipeg series.
Burris ran for a huge first down on the next Ticats possession and the offence hung on.
Burris got Hamilton off to a quick 7-0 lead on its first possession of the game, converting a third-and-short on the first series of the game and then immediately hitting Giguere for a 61-yard TD strike with barely two minutes gone.
But there was none of that on the Ticats' next possession as the Bomber defence -- which led the league with 11 sacks coming in -- tackled Burris for large losses twice in a row.
Congi's missed 44-yard field goal and Bartel's 55-yard punt single made it 9-0 early in the second quarter.
But Winnipeg's Simpson took the ball from scrimmage on the Bomber's first possession of the quarter and ran in a 75-yard TD against a Ticat defence that has the league's worst numbers against the run. This is the third-straight game that Hamilton has given up a TD rush of more than 70 yards.
There was a bad snap on the convert attempt, and Winnipeg could only pull to 9-6. Palardy later also missed a 40-yard field goal when the ball hit the uprights. Both kicks were into the sun.
When the Bombers got the ball back, Johnson returned a Bartel punt 39 yards to the Hamilton 52. That set up a five-play, 48-yard drive ending with a seven-yard TD run by short-yardage back-up quarterback Goltz -- this time with a good convert -- and a 13-9 Winnipeg lead with 2:25 left in the quarter.
A 24-yard field goal by Congi made it 13-12 heading into halftime. He tied it 13-13 on his 85-yard kickoff single to open the third quarter and Bartel gave the Ticats the lead with a 69-yard punt single.
Another 24-yard field goal by Congi made it 17-13 for Hamilton and it stayed that way heading into the fourth.