Saturday, September 17, 2022

Evans threw a career-high 5 TDs as the Tiger-Cats troubled the Blue Bombers. CBC Sports

Dane Evans and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats were finally able to finish a game.

Evans threw a career-high five touchdown passes as Hamilton secured a stunning 48-31 victory over Winnipeg on Saturday afternoon. But the Ticats’ offense was at their best in the fourth quarter after the Blue Bombers scored two touchdowns to pull them within 41-31.

The unit reacted strongly in the air with a 90-yard, 14-play drive that Evans capped at 13:03 with a six-yard TD pass to David Unger. More importantly, March ate seven minutes 20 seconds off the clock.

“I just want the ball in my hands with the game on the line,” Evans said. “I know this season two has gone our separate ways, but as a contestant that’s all you can ask for.

“I told people that if we made a touchdown it was over and I think everyone had that instinct about them.”

Hamilton (4–9) broke a three-game losing streak to finish third in the East Division, two points behind defunct Montreal (5–7). Ticats visit Alouettes on Friday nights.

“We just have to stay locked inside,” Evans said. “We certainly can’t begin to think about how great we are because Montreal will come out and punch us in the face.

“The great thing is I don’t think anyone in this locker room is going to do that. I think we’re going to do as Hamilton always does, go back to work and just be us again.” It wasn’t our Super Bowl or the Gray Cup.”

Winnipeg (12–2) suffered their first loss in four games and fell 7–1 on the road.

Evans passed 25-in-32 for 327 yards, posting his most complete performance of the year before a Tim Hortons field gathering of 22,288.

look | Evans shines in Tickets win over Bombers

Evans airs it in Tickets big win over Bombers

Hamilton QB Dane Evans joined Canadian rookie Keondre Smith for a 54-yard touchdown in the Tiger-Cats’ 48-31 win over Winnipeg.

“that [five TD passes) is just kind of what it took tonight to win,” Evans said. “I’d be sitting right here telling you the same thing if we ran in five touchdowns.

“As long as we win, whatever it takes I’ll do it. It felt good, I’m not going to lie to you but everybody on the team did it. I don’t even know if I got hit, everybody was protecting their butts off.”

Much was expected of Evans this season after Hamilton signed him to a two-year contract extension and allowed veteran Jeremiah Masoli to become a free agent. Evans had been the Ticats starter in their two Grey Cup losses to Winnipeg in 2019 and ’21.

But Evans and Hamilton have both struggled this year. The 28-year-old Texan came into the game having won just two-of-nine starts and leading the CFL in interceptions (13), fumbles (seven) and fumbles lost (six).

What’s more, he hadn’t played in three of Hamilton’s previous four games (out for two, listed as third quarterback in the other) due to a right shoulder injury.

On Thursday, Evans said he’d spent time with Dr. Carla Edwards, the Ticats psychiatrist, adding the sessions definitely benefited him mentally and even helped with his physical recovery.

“It was huge,” he said. “I think it’s just another part of my game that I can tap into.

“I think it obviously helped me. I’m excited to get to talk to her after something good finally as opposed to what I have been talking to her about.”

Ticats head coach Orlondo Steinauer credited Evans for his performance but said the veteran quarterback had plenty of help.

“He [Evans] responded and showed why he was rewarded with his efforts over the years of being the leader of this football team,” Steinauer said. “But it always starts at the front.” [and] i thought they [Ticats offensive linemen] Did a great job.

“The biggest thing is that we ended the drive with a touchdown and that’s something we avoided for whatever reason. Credit Winnipeg, whatever was going ‘right’ for us, that 10-point game And we had to answer in the air and I thought we did.”

Zach Collaros finished 23-in-34 for 342 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Rookie Dalton Scion had six receptions for 158 yards.

Hamilton’s attack marked the most points surrendered in a game by Winnipeg since their 37–33 loss to Calgary on October 19, 2019.

Hamilton had touchdowns with Tim White, two Malik Carney, Fred Dunbar Jr. and Keondre Smith. Seth Smalls scored two field goals and six converts.

“We needed that one and I think it showed we wanted it,” said White, who had six catches for 63 yards. “The Dane clearly showed up to play and our team is better when he does.

“Anyone who goes through adversity like what [Evans] To have been through and to be able to show up against one of the better teams in the CFL, it’s clearly a phenomenal thing. It’s definitely a big confidence booster and we look forward to more.”

Dakoa Outbreak, Rashid Bailey and Nick Demsky make a touchdown to Winnipeg. Mark Leghio added three field goals, three converts and a single.

Hamilton beat Winnipeg 24-4 in the second quarter to take a 34-14 lead at halftime. Evans was 15-in-19 passing for 252 yards and three TDs.

Carney took Hamilton 20-10 at 3:36. He sacked Collaros and forced the Winnipeg quarterback to falter. Carney recovers and takes 22 yards for TD.

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