THE CANADIAN PRESS
MONTREAL -- This time around the Hamilton Tiger-Cats were happy to see a Quinton Porter comeback bid fall short.
Lindsay Lamar scored on an 88-yard punt return as Hamilton held on for a 33-26 win over the Montreal Alouettes on Thursday night in the pre-season opener for both teams.
Tiger-Cats quarterback Dan LeFevour threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Chevon Walker just before halftime and Delbert Alvarado kicked three field goals in the first half.
"I thought the effort was outstanding,'' said Hamilton head coach Kent Austin, who won in his first CFL game since 2007, when he coached Saskatchewan to the Grey Cup. "We played really hard for the entire game.''
Ticats QB Jeremiah Masoli scored on a one-yard run 1:13 into the fourth quarter to put Hamilton up 33-12 in front of a Percival Molson Stadium crowd of 20,174.
Porter threw a pair of touchdown passes as Montreal mounted a comeback bid.
The former Ticats quarterback connected with Kenny Stafford on a 75-yard touchdown 3:04 into the fourth to draw the Alouettes within 33-19. Porter also threw a 20-yard touchdown to Tyron Carrier at 10:34.
"We knew it just takes a couple of big plays like that and things can change, but I just wish we could have kept more going at the end there,'' said Porter, who spent the last five seasons with Hamilton.
"We just ran out of time.''
As happy as he was about his team's effort, Austin saw plenty of areas of the Ticats' game that he wants to improve.
"We've got to clean up a lot of things,'' said Austin, who coached Cornell for the last two seasons after spending two years as the offensive coordinator at the University of Mississippi, his alma mater.
"Too many penalties, especially on special teams. We've got to eliminate some of those mistakes, and we will. We'll be better with our assignments next week.''
LeFevour completed 10-of-19 passes for 149 yards in the first half.
"I thought we moved the ball pretty well,'' LeFevour said. "We moved the ball consistently. There were no real two-and-outs, not a lot of them, and just making plays and at least giving ourselves an opportunity to score.''
Masoli completed 5-of-10 attempts for 82 yards. Brian Brohm also went 5 for 10, for 110 yards, including a 38-yard pass to Eric McCree on a drive that led to Lauther's field goal that made it 26-12.