HAMILTON — After a sub-par performance in Week 5, Stampeders running back Jon Cornish rebounded in very impressive fashion on Thursday night, leading Calgary to a 31-20 win over the Tiger-Cats on Thursday night.
Cornish registered 217 total yards, carrying the ball 19 times for 170 yards and a touchdown, while hauling in six passes for 47 yards in the process.
Tonight’s game marked the first meeting between the Stamps and Ticats this season, meaning it was also the first encounter between Burris and Kevin Glenn, who were traded for each other during the off-season.
Burris spent nine seasons in two different stints with the Stampeders, while Glenn donned Ticat black and gold for three years.
While both quarterbacks hoped to stick it to their former clubs early on, the defences maintained their composure, as both pivots played to two-and-outs on their opening two possessions.
On Calgary’s second drive, running back Jon Cornish registered his first carry of the night – a sweep to the weak side for no gain.
Cornish fell under some especially large criticism in the Stampeders’ last outing, a Week 5 34-8 loss to the BC Lions in which he failed to garner positive yardage on six attempts.
But Cornish, Glenn and the rest of the Calgary offence would begin to generate some traction with just over eight minutes remaining in the opening quarter.
Glenn would lead the Stamps on a five-play, 38-yard drive, but was unable to put any points on the board, as the drive stalled after backup QB Bo-Levi Mitchell was unable to earn a first down on a third-and-short play.
The defences would continue to make their marks in the first frame, as the first 15 minutes of action saw limited offensive activity, highlighted by the teams playing to a scoreless draw.
But the Ticats finally got their offence rolling in the second quarter, as Burris led a furious nine-play 64-yard drive that was capped off by Walker’s sixth touchdown of the year.
Burris and the Hamilton offence took advantage of three pass interference penalties committed by the Stampeders, two of which extended the drive on second down plays.
While the Stampeders offence was busy trying to re-discover its form, the special teams unit was busy putting them in position to score.
Stampeders kick returner Larry Taylor returned a 45-yard Josh Bartell offering 42 yards to the Hamilton 21-yard line.
The return must have sparked some motivation into the Calgary offence, as Cornish galloped into the endzone on the very next play with a 21-yard rush, evening the score at seven.
But with just over two minutes remaining in the half, the Ticats attack would come alive once again. This time, Burris completed three consecutive passes to Andy Fantuz, Onrea Jones and Dave Stala for a pair of first downs. The drive would eventually stall, however, forcing kicker Luca Congie to connect on a 43-yard field goal, giving the Tiger-Cats a 10-7 lead at the half.
The second half started off with a bang, as the Calgary special teams group continued to wreak havoc over the Tiger-Cats.
Can’t touch Cornish
Jon Cornish rebounded in a huge way on Thursday, registering 200 total yards and a touchdown, leading the Stamps to a win. » WATCH: Cornish’s 21-yard TD Run
After Glenn was unable to get anything going on the half’s opening drive, Ticats returner Chris Williams bobbled Rob Maver’s punt, allowing Malik Jackson to recover the ball on Hamilton’s 18-yard line.
Williams’ error proved costly for the Tabbies, as the Stampeders were able to even the score once again, thanks to a 25-yard field goal by Montreal native Rene Paredes. But Williams would atone for his mistake on Hamilton’s next possession, kicking off the drive with a 23-yard reception to bring the Ticats into Calgary territory. The sophomore’s grab was the second of four consecutive completions by Burris.
Despite seemingly being in-synch with his receivers, Burris was unable to connect with an open Stala in the endzone, forcing Congi to connect on his second field goal of the night, giving the Ticats a 13-10 lead.
However, the back-and-forth action continued, as Cornish spearheaded a lengthy seven-play drive that was capped off by a one-yard touchdown plunge by Mitchell, giving the Stamps their first lead of the game.
However, Calgary’s lead was short-lived.
With the third quarter inching closer to its end, the Ticats offence would once again look towards Walker for a boost.
The CFL rookie would take off for a massive 47-yard run, just barely crossing the corner of the endzone, to give the Tiger-Cats a 20-17 lead as the third quarter expired.
The touchdown ended a five-play, 85-yard drive, one that also featured the first CFL catch for 2012 draft pick Simon Charbonneau-Campeau.
However, the Calgary offence would be quick to respond, as Cornish would once again burn the Tiger-Cats on the ground.
Two consecutive rushes for a combined 35 yards by the New Westminster, BC native helped set up an eight-yard touchdown run by Romby Bryant, giving the Stampeders a 24-20 lead.
Calgary would increase its lead 11 with 7:40 remaining in the fourth quarter, as Glenn hooked up with Lewis for an eight-yard touchdown. The score was Lewis’ league-leading seventh touchdown grab of the season, far surpassing his total of five he recorded in 2011.
The win was the sixth-sraight win by a road team, and also marked the first win by the Stampeders in Hamilton since the 2010 season.