- Free Agency
THE CANADIAN PRESS
HAMILTON — Redemption wasn’t nearly as important to Kevin Glenn as winning.
Glenn threw three touchdown passes to lead Hamilton to a 36-11 win over Edmonton on Friday night. The victory, before an Ivor Wynne Stadium gathering of just 20,791, came just five days after the Eskimos rallied to beat the Tiger-Cats 37-35 at Commonwealth Stadium.
“The biggest thing was getting the win,” Glenn said. “That’s one thing we always knew that we were still in control of our destiny.
“The biggest thing when you’re playing a team back to back that quick is it’s about who makes the adjustments. We made quite a few to counteract what they were doing last game and it worked out for us.”
Hamilton (7-7) earned its first win in three games to move into second in the East Division. The third-place Toronto Argonauts (6-7) face the Saskatchewan Roughriders (9-4) on Saturday before hosting the arch-rival Ticats on Friday at Rogers Centre.
“It’s going to be a big one,” Glenn said. “If we go there and handle our business then we can accomplish some things that would be good to be accomplished.”
Edmonton (4-10) suffered its first loss in three games to remain last in the West Division, two points behind third-place B.C. (5-8). The Lions face the Winnipeg Blue Bombers (3-10) on Monday.
Edmonton and B.C. meet in Vancouver next weekend.
Glenn was solid in leading Hamilton’s offence, which amassed 21 first downs and 421 total yards. The veteran quarterback finished 22-of-32 passing for 339 yards with no interceptions before being replaced by Quinton Porter late in the fourth.
But the key was Hamilton’s ability to score late in the first half and to open the second.
Edmonton converted on the lone turnover of the opening half to cut Hamilton’s lead 10-7. Mathieu Bertrand’s two-yard TD run at 14:38 of the second came just three plays after T.J. Hill recovered a Dave Stala fumble and returned it to the Ticats’ 15-yard line.
But Hamilton quickly moved 55 yards on three plays, including Glenn’s 42-yard completion to Maurice Mann, that put the home team at the Edmonton 13-yard line with two seconds remaining. Sandro DeAngelis then booted the 20-yard field goal on the half’s final play to put the Ticats ahead 13-7.
Glenn staked Hamilton to a 20-7 lead early in the third, thanks to Stevie Baggs recovering a fumble on the opening kickoff. Baggs grabbed the loose ball at the Edmonton 30-yard line after Bertrand mishandled the kickoff.
Four plays later, Glenn hit Stala on a 17-yard TD strike at 2:16.
“We gave up a turnover and score right at the half so I think it was big for us to come out in the second half and get that turnover and go down and score,” Glenn said. “It kind of changed the momentum of the game.”
Edmonton quarterback Ricky Ray definitely thought so.
“That was a big changer there,” he said. “They got the field goal before halftime and coming out we’re receiving the football and had that turnover that led to a touchdown.
“That really put us in a big hole. They were playing well defensively and not giving up much. That’s the thing that costs you in tough games like that, when you turn the ball over.”
Glenn cemented the victory with a 58-yard TD strike to Arland Bruce III just 49 seconds into the fourth. DeAndra’ Cobb ran in for the two-point convert to give the Ticats a 28-11 advantage.
Bruce finished with six catches for a game-high 142 yards.
Glenn then found Marquay McDaniel on a 15-yard touchdown pass at 5:51 to boost Hamilton’s lead to 35-11.
Edmonton coach Richie Hall said his club’s inability to take advantage of its opportunities was very costly.
“We had our opportunities,” he said. “The effort, for the most part, was there but you have to make plays for four quarters.
“We had opportunities to get our hands on the ball and didn’t finish. That was the difference in the game.”
The victory was sweet redemption for a Hamilton defence that had come under fire after giving up 30 or more points in three straight contests. On Friday, the unit was very solid throughout in registering two sacks and three turnovers.
“I think it was a big confidence builder for them, especially the guys in our secondary,” Hamilton head coach Marcel Bellefeuille said. “We did a good job of keeping everybody in front of us, but we were much more aggressive coming down and making plays on the ball, tackling.”
Ray was 25-of-34 passing for 196 yards and an interception before giving way to Jared Zabransky late in the fourth.
“They were a little bit more aggressive, they were able to get a little more pressure this time around and bring some blitzes,” Ray said. “When it came down to it they just played a good football game and outplayed us.”
Edmonton’s Noel Prefontaine booted a convert, single and field goal.
Cobb had Hamilton’s other touchdown. DeAngelis booted three converts and a field goal while Eric Wilbur had two singles. The other points came on a safety.
NOTES — Cobb rushed for 48 yards, the first time in four games he didn’t run for more than 100 yards . . . Kicker Derek Schiavone, defensive back Lawrence Gordon, linebacker Mark Restelli and defensive lineman Walter Curry didn’t dress for Edmonton. Receiver Glenn MacKay, offensive lineman Mark DeWitt, defensive tackles Jermaine Reid and Jeremy Gibbs were Hamilton’s scratches . . . Edmonton was attempting to win three straight for the first time since 2005.