VANCOUVER — Shawn Gore had two touchdown catches, while Tim Brown returned a punt 67 yards for a touchdown as the BC Lions roared past the Hamilton Tiger-Cats 39-36 in Week 2 action at BC Place Stadium.
The Ticats entered the game following a disappointing loss to the Roughriders in Week 1, in which their new-look high-powered offence sputtered, scoring just one touchdown the entire outing.
Friday night was a different story, however.
The lone score last week for the Ticats came at the hands of speedy running back Chevon Walker, who took off for a massive 89-yard touchdown in his CFL debut.
One week later and Walker was it again; this time transforming an innocent-looking screen pass from Burris into a 95-yard touchdown romp, giving Hamilton a 7-0 lead.
Hamilton’s lead was short-lived, as the 2011 Most Outstanding Player Travis Lulay led the Lions on a nine-play, 76-yard drive that was capped off by a six-yard touchdown pass to Canadian receiver Shawn Gore.
But the Ticats would answer right back, with Burris completing a nine-yard touchdown pass to former Hec Crighton winner Daryl Stephenson, giving Hamilton a 14-7 lead.
After the Lions pulled within five of the Ticats’ lead thanks to a conceded safety by Hamilton punter Josh Bartell, Lulay showed just how dangerous the Lions offence can be.
Equipped with good field position, Lulay found Gore for his second touchdown of the night, this time connecting for a 26-yard score.
Gore, however, would eventually leave the game with a minor injury. He did not return.
Now leading by two, it was the BC defence’s turn to contribute. Anthony Reddick picked off Burris and returned it 48 yards to the Hamilton one-yard line.
One play later, tailback Andrew Harris would increase his team’s lead to nine with a one-yard touchdown.
Following the interception, Hamilton head coach opted to take Burris out of the game in favour of backup QB Quinton Porter.
Burris, however, would start the second half for the Tabbies.
Things would go from bad to worse for the Tiger-Cats in a hurry to start the third quarter. The always dangerous kick returner Tim Brown ran back a Bartell offering 81 yards for a major score, increasing the Lions’ lead to 33-14.
Late in the third frame, last season’s Most Outstanding Rookie Chris Williams continued the night’s fireworks in the return game, bringing back a Paul McCallum punt 67 yards for a touchdown.
Hamilton continued to slowly chip away at BC’s lead, with Burris leading the offence on a 13-play, 79-yard drive that would conclude with a one-yard touchdown by Walker – his second of the night and third of the season.
However, the Lions would extend the lead into a two-possession game, with McCallum connecting on a 19-yard field goal with less than five minutes to go in the final quarter.
The Ticats refused to go away, with Burris once again leading a strong charge downfield, culminating with a six-yard touchdown pass to Williams. Burris would then connect with Andy Fantuz for the two-point conversion, bringing the Ticats within three.
But that would be as close as the Ticats would get, as the Lions would go on to eat up valuable time on the clock, thanks in large part to the work of Harris on the ground.