Winnipeg outclasses Hamilton, Tiger-Cats fall to 0-3

For the first time since 2017, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats have lost their first three games of the season after falling 26-12 Friday night in Winnipeg.

Blue Bombers running back Brady Oliveira scored on a one-yard touchdown run with 18 seconds left in the first half and teammate Willie Jefferson returned an interception 30 yards for a TD midway through the fourth quarter as the two-time defending Grey Cup champions improved to 3-0 on the season.

The victory vaulted Winnipeg into first place overall in the Canadian Football League while the Ticats fell to dead last in the league.

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Hamilton QB Dane Evans completed 25 of his 42 pass attempts for 237 yards but he was also picked off twice, while Winnipeg’s Zach Collaros threw for 302 yards after completing 21 of his 32 attempts. Collaros was intercepted by Cats’ defensive back Richard Leonard.

The two teams traded field goals to begin the contest, the start of which was delayed by 30 minutes due to inclement weather at IG Field.

Winnipeg’s Marc Legghio booted two of his three field goals in the first quarter and also added three punt singles while Hamilton’s Michael Domagala converted four of his five field goal attempts to account for all of the Ticats’ points.

Two minutes after Domagala gave the Tiger-Cats their first and only lead of the game, Oliveira’s rushing TD put the Bombers back on top and gave them a 14-9 lead heading into halftime.

The victory was Winnipeg’s 11th straight at home, which is five shy of tying the franchise record that was set from 1993 to 1995.

The Tictats started the 2017 season with eight consecutive losses, including an epic 60-1 defeat against the Calgary Stampeders, which cost then head coach Kent Austin his job.

Hamilton will try to earn their first win of the season on Canada Day when they host the Edmonton Elks at Tim Hortons Field.

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