WINNIPEG — Henry Burris passed for 188 yards and rushed for a touchdown as the Tiger-Cats closed out their pre-season with a 26-25 win over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
Burris and what looks to be a close resemblance to the Tiger-Cats starting offence began the game with an impressive 63-yard opening drive, culminating with a touchdown scamper by the former Calgary Stampeders pivot to take an early 7-0 lead.
Burris and the ‘Cats would dominate the first quarter in both time of possession and first downs, adding another field goal and taking a 10-0 lead into the second quarter.
The Bombers offence would get on track when Buck Pierce, making his first appearance of the pre-season, would find sophomore receiver Kito Poblah in stride for a 57-yard gain, setting up an Alex Brink one-yard TD plunge a play later to cut the Hamilton lead to 10-7.
Luca Congi would add his second field goal of the game after Burris worked his team down the field on the ensuing drive and stretch the Ticats lead to 13-7.
The teams would trade field goals and head into halftime with the score 16-8 for the Tiger-Cats.
The start of the second half would also signal the end of Pierce and Burris’ night. Quinton Porter would take over for the Tiger-Cats while Alex Brink would enter for the Bombers and both would make an immediate impact.
First, Porter would find WR Aaron Kelly in the back of the endzone for a 29-yard touchdown to go up 23-8, only to be answered on the ensuing drive by a 14-yard strike from Brink to rookie WR Doug Pierce to cut the Hamilton lead to 23-15.
The Ticats would add another score off the foot of Bishop’s grad Josh Maveety who nailed a 45-yarder at the end of the third quarter to put the ‘Cats up 26-15.
Justin Goltz would enter the game at quarterback for Winnipeg at the beginning of the fourth quarter and moved the ball well in his first few drives, setting up a Justin Palardy field goal to pull within eight points.
The Blue Bombers would add another six points and pull within two when rookie WR Kurt Adams made an athletic play on a Joey Elliott toss for a 30 yard touchdown. The major was set up by a 40-yard Johnny Sears punt return but Winnipeg would fail to capitalize on a two point conversion and the score would sit at 26-24.
Elliott would lead the Bombers down the field one last time, setting up a potential game-winning field goal for Eric Wilbur but the import kicker would sail the kick wide left and secure a 26-25 win for his former team in Hamilton.