The Calgary defence provided the momentum and Kevin Glenn took advantage of it.
“When the defence plays games like that and gets turnovers, especially in our end, the offence strives to put points on the board,” said Glenn about the five interceptions that led to 18 points in a 35-11 victory over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Saturday night.
“Not just field goals, touchdowns. We did that tonight and I think . . . there’s where we got the momentum and we kept the momentum.”
Glenn threw three touchdown passes, two of them to Jabari Arthur, and completed 17 of 26 passes for 238 yards. He also gave up one interception himself, late in the game.
Maurice Price and Drew Tate also scored touchdowns for Calgary. Back-up quarterback Dan LeFevour scored for the Ticats.
Calgary kicker Rene Parades hit both his field-goal attempts from 41 and 44 yards. Hamilton’s Brett Lauther was good on one of three field-goal attempts, missing from 48 and 24 yards and hitting a 27 yarder.
Calgary running back Jon Cornish ran for 114 yards on 15 carries while Hamilton’s C.J. Gable ran for 132 yards on 13 carries.
Calgary improved to 10-3 to sit atop the West Division and had already secured a playoff spot. But Glenn called it a big win for the Stamps because they didn’t want back-to-back losses, after losing last week to Toronto.
“I think we did a great job of coming in here on the road and getting a big win against a very very good team.”
Head coach John Hufnagel agreed that he liked how the team rebounded after a loss, and was especially pleased with the defence.
“When they had the opportunity to make a play on the football they came up with it,” he said. “There were some excellent catches on the interceptions.”
Hamilton starting pivot Henry Burris had 50,367 career passing yards heading into the game and needed just 169 more to move past Ron Lancaster (50,535 yards) and become the fourth-leading passer in CFL history.
But he was pulled late in the third quarter before that could happen.
Burris threw three interceptions, leading to all of Calgary’s first-half points. His first two, in back-to-back possessions, were intended for rookie Luke Tasker who was making his CFL debut. Glenn turned those picks into two quick TDs for a 14-1 lead early in the second quarter, and the Stamps never looked back. Burris’ third interception late in the second quarter led to a 41-yard Parades field goal and a 17-1 lead.
“These types of nights suck, trust me, big time,” said Burris, who completed 13 of 24 attempts for 134 yards. “This is definitely not what we were prepared for and expecting to go out and deliver tonight. But, yeah, we played like crap tonight.
“It starts with me,” he continued. “I’m looking at myself in the mirror more than anybody else, so I don’t put it on the coaches or anybody else. I put it on me. This is my offence and we’re going to get things ready to go.”
Burris was replaced by LeFevour late in the third with the Ticats down 27-4. LeFevour immediately led the Ticats 65 yards downfield, keeping the ball for a one-yard TD and pulling Hamilton to 27-11 to end the quarter.
But Glenn continued to lead the attack to begin the fourth as Calgary put together a three-play, 77-yard drive, anchored by a 34-yard run by Cornish and finished with a 35-yard TD strike to Arthur and the 34-11 lead.
Derrius Brooks recorded the Stamps fourth interception of the game, this one off of LeFevour, midway through the fourth leading to a 52-yard punt single by Rob Maver.
Hamilton’s Brandon Boudreaux intercepted a tipped Glenn pass on the Calgary 15 nearing the three-minute mark. But Calgary defender Jamar Wall responded with his second pick of the night, this one in the end zone, to end a dismal night for the Ticats.
Hamilton head coach Kent Austin said his message to the team was straight forward.
“First of all, you will only improve as a football team if you learn from both the good things and the mistakes,” he said. “If you don’t learn from that, you’re doomed to carry those mistakes into the following week. You can’t turn the football over and you can’t leave points on the football field.”
The Ticats had recorded two missed field goals and an interception in the end zone by the end of the game.
Now with a 6-7 record, Hamilton’s final five games are all against East Division opponents, and their season will come down to how they perform the final stretch.
Hamilton had a rough start to the game when Lauther, taking over from veteran Hamilton kicker Luca Congi, missed his first two field-goal attempts in the first quarter - from 48 and 24 yards out. One was run out of the end zone, giving the Ticats a 1-0 lead.
The quarter ended with an interception by Calgary’s Micah Johnson off a Burris pass intended for Tasker, and the Stamps began their drive in the second quarter on their own 51-yard line.
Three plays later, Glenn hit Arthur for the 52-yard catch-and-run and a 7-1 Calgary lead. On Hamilton’s next possession, Burris again threw to Tasker, and this time it was picked off by Eric Fraser. On the next play, Glenn hit Price for a 42-yard TD strike and suddenly the Stamps had opened up a 14-1 lead just 2:48 into the second quarter.
Burris was intercepted again with 2:29 left in the half, this time by Wall, which led to a 41-yard field goal by Parades. Hamilton’s offence put a little bit of a drive together in the final minute, and Lauther hit a 27-yard field goal. Calgary was up 17-4 at the half. A 44-yard field goal by Parades made it 20-4 midway through the third.
Glenn ate up 4:44 on the clock, driving the Stamps 59 yards to the Hamilton 16 where they faced a third-and-one. They sent in quarterback Tate, who kept the ball and did an end-run untouched into the end zone to give Calgary a 27-4 lead.