Hamilton Tiger-Cats add to record win total after topping Montreal Alouettes

Hamilton Tiger-Cats' Brandon Banks reacts after scoring a touchdwon during second half CFL football action against the Montreal Alouettes, in Montreal, Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats‘ magical run in 2019 continued Saturday with a 38-26 victory over the Montreal Alouettes.

The hometown Alouettes (9-8) opened the scoring with 90 seconds left to play in the first quarter, when QB Vernon Adams Jr. tossed the ball into the hands of a diving Quan Bray.

Hamilton, which leads the CFL with a record of 14-3, answered back on their ensuing drive when Dane Evans and Brandon Banks combined on a 55-yard touchdown with no time left on the clock.

Banks found an open path to the endzone when he juked past Montreal defensive back Jarnor Jones.

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The catch pulled Banks even with Luke Tasker’s record of 104 receptions in a season, set in 2017. ‘Speedy B’ then broke the record with his 105th reception of the year with just over three minutes to play in the half.

The Ticats failed to make good on the two-point convert and trailed 7-6 after the first quarter.

Adams Jr. added to Montreal’s lead 3:30 into the second quarter when he threw an 11-yard TD to receiver Jake Wieneke to make it 14-6.

Evans guided the Cats on an impressive six-play, 95-yard drive that ended with an 18-yard touchdown run by Bralon Addison. Maleek Irons ran in for a two-point conversion to even the score at 14 points apiece with 2:45 to go before halftime.

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Matthew Shiltz replaced Adams Jr. at quarterback and connected with Christ Matthews for a 15-yard major with 50-seconds remaining on the clock to give the Al’s a 21-14 advantage.

The Cats then rattled off two consecutive TD drives with Evans finding Anthony Coombs in the endzone for a six-yard major less than four minutes into the third quarter, and about three minutes later, Evans and Banks hooked up on a nine-yard score to stake Hamilton to a 28-21 lead.

Pinned deep in their own zone late in the third quarter, Hamilton conceded a safety which trimmed their lead to 28-23.

4:14 into the fourth quarter, Boris Bede kicked the first field goal of the game from 29 yards out to cut the Ticats’ lead down to two points.

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But Evans responded by engineering a five play, 90-yard touchdown drive that culminated in a six-yard touchdown by Banks, his third of the game and career-high 13th of the season.

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Cats kicker Lirim Hajrullahu booted a 34-yard field goal with 1:59 to go to round out the scoring.

Hamilton will close out the regular season with a home game against the Toronto Argonauts on Nov. 2, and will then enjoy a bye week before they host the Eastern Final on Nov. 17 at Tim Hortons Field.

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