THE CANADIAN PRESS
HAMILTON -- Even George Cortez was impressed by his quarterback's numbers.
"I expected us to play well,'' the Hamilton head coach said of the Tiger-Cats' 41-28 win over the Montreal Alouettes on Friday, a game that saw Henry Burris complete 28-of-32 passes for 326 yards and five touchdowns.
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"Did I expect us to be 28 and 32? Well, obviously, nobody expects that,'' Cortez added. "That's pretty tough (to accomplish) in the backyard against air.''
Friday marked the fifth time in Burris' 13-year career that he has thrown five touchdowns in a game as the Ticats put together a stellar outing on the offensive side of the ball.
Andy Fantuz and Dave Stala each had two TD catches for the Tiger-Cats, while Chris Williams had the other.
Burris' first touchdown pass of the game, a five-yarder to Fantuz that capped a 74-yard drive on Hamilton's first possession, gave him 285 career TD passes and moved him past Tracy Ham for fifth all-time in the CFL.
"Things were flowing for us tonight,'' said a smiling Burris, who stopped his dancing to answer media questions. "Our offensive line did a great job of blocking ... our receivers made plays.''
Despite the big win, the Ticats are well aware that they are capable of doing this more often. However, they were quick to admit they aren't getting ahead of themselves.
"Right now, our status is 'To be continued,''' Burris said.
"Until we can come out and do this on back-to-back occasions, right now we're not settling for this. We're going to enjoy this one because it sets the direction we want to go.
"But we've got to be consistent at doing this. If we want to make the playoffs we need to win out right now.''
Adrian McPherson, Jamel Richardson, Chris Jennings and S. J. Green each scored for Montreal.
Montreal quarterback Anthony Calvillo was 12-of-23 passing for 197 yards and two touchdowns.
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"For us offensively, when you're on the road and going two and out early it's not going to help the cause,'' said Calvillo. "We have to look ourselves in the face and say, 'We didn't do enough,' especially on our side of the ball.
"It's always disappointing when you're going two-and-out, two-and-out and they're scoring. It just puts more pressure on the offence. We were able to scratch back a bit but it just wasn't enough today.''
Burris threw four touchdown passes in the first half alone. The Ticats never punted the ball away as Hamilton took a 31-14 lead into the locker-room after recording 20 first downs and 301 yards of offence while controlling the ball for more than 20 minutes.
"(Burris) had an opportunity to scramble a few times and beat us with his legs, which he did early right down the middle of the pocket,'' said Montreal head coach Marc Trestman. "He got outside and made some plays with his feet and made some completions. If you can't make him uncomfortable in there he's a tough guy to stop.
"He's a premiere quarterback in our league and what he did tonight is what they brought him here (in a trade with Calgary) to do. They had to win this game and they brought their 'A' game and we didn't have enough in all three phases to stop them.''
Cortez, meanwhile, was proud of his ball club.
"I think what we showed today was that (the Hamilton players) have a lot of pride in themselves,'' said Cortez. "And they wanted to show that what happened last Friday night (a 34-12 loss in Winnipeg) wasn't a true indication (of their ability) and now we need to carry that over to the next Friday night.''
Notes: Montreal and Hamilton split the first two games between the clubs this season. ... The Alouettes haven't won at Ivor Wynne in five trips, including a 39-24 loss on July 21.
With files from CFL.ca Staff