'Cats come back: Burris leads fourth quarter surge | CFL.ca | Official Site of the Canadian Football League

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Recap: Hamilton 35, Saskatchewan 34

CFL.ca Staff

REGINA – Andy Fantuz was back in Mosaic Stadium as a visitor but it was another former Saskatchewan Roughrider that stole the show in the second half as Henry Burris led a fourth quarter comeback for a 35-34 win.

Burris simply took over the game in the fourth quarter, engineering three straight touchdown drives to erase Saskatchewan's late lead.  It was the second straight week that the Riders gave up a late lead but also the second week that Burris played lights out when he needed to.

After a near-perfect performance versus Montreal last week, Burris finished with 355 yards and 4 touchdowns on 28 of 38 passing.

Related: Ticats at Riders

» Video: Ticats at Riders Recap
» Images: HAM at SSK
» View Game Stats
» Ticats offence big down the stretch
» Video: Chris Williams' 21-Yard TD
» Video: Taj Smith's 74-Yard TD
» Video: Fantuz Returning to Riderville
Preview: Fantuz, Cats visit Regina

The former Saskatchewan superstar wideout, Fantuz, made his first appearance in Regina since signing with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats as a free agent in the off-season.

The Riders wasted little time getting the sold-out Mosaic crowd fired up, opening the scoring on their first possession as Darian Durant engineered an impressive 9-play, 60-yard drive, completed by a Kory Sheets 1-yard lunge to take an early 7-0 lead.

Aiding Durant’s cause was a 36-yard return by CB Tristan Jackson on the game’s opening kickoff.

Hamilton would help simmer down the raucous crowd early however, as they led a 10-play drive that set up a 32-yard Luca Congi field goal.

Successful opening possessions for both teams led to points but the defences began to tighten up midway through the first quarter with Hamilton DB Bo Smith making the first move, picking off a Durant pass at his own 36 yardline.  It was only the Rider pivot’s second turnover of the season.

Following a punt single by rookie K Josh Bartel, Durant would lead a 65-yard drive ending in a 47-yard Chris Milo field goal to extend the home team’s lead to 10-4.

Congi would counter with a 27-yarder on the next drive to pull the ‘Cats back to within three.

Right back the Riders would come as Milo hit a chip-shot field goal to put his team up 13-7.

Fantuz finished the first half with 2 receptions for 39 yards including a 23-yard gain.

On the other side of the ball, Jackson, who left in the first quarter with an injury, did not return when the second half kicked off.  Sophomore SB Jock Sanders took over punt and kickoff return duty.

Spreading the ball around

Sam Giguere was one of eight Ticats receivers that made receptions off the arm of Henry Burris who finished with 355 yards and 4 touchdowns on 28 of 38 passing.

After the Riders gained a single point off a missed 39-yard Milo field goal attempt, Henry Burris and the Ticats offence recorded their first major when the veteran pivot found speedster Chris Williams in the flat who made one defender miss and bolted to the endzone for a 21-yard touchdown to notch the game at 14.

The tie would last only one play from scrimmage however, as rookie WR Taj Smith recorded his first career reception in style, hauling in a Durant pass and racing 74 yards down the sidelines for a touchdown to re-gain the seven-point lead.

The Riders would force a single point on the ensuing kickoff and take a 22-14 lead with five minutes remaining in the third quarter.

With momentum in their favour and not willing to take any chances, the Riders would forgo a 3rd and 1 gamble on the next drive inside the Hamilton 30 yard line and kick a 33-yard field goal to go up by 11.

The Saskatchewan defence would force Henry Burris to a two-and-out and the second-half pile up of points would continue as Durant found Sanders for a 20-yard major to go up 32-14.

Last week, the Riders let one slip away from them in the fourth quarter against the Calgary Stampeders and as the final frame began, their habits from a week ago started to creep back in as the Ticats made a late surge, scoring two touchdowns in a span of 2:33.

First, Burris found WR Onrea Jones open for a 10-yard major, set up by a big 52-yard Sam Giguere reception.

The ‘Cats would force a turnover shortly there after when veteran LB Rey Williams pounced on a Durant fumble.  Two plays later, Burris found SB Dave Stala in the endzone for a 10-yard touchdown to cut the Riders’ lead to 33-28.

Along with seizing momentum, Burris also passed Hall of Fame quarterback Doug Flutie on the CFL’s all-time touchdowns list with 270 to place him in sixth place.

He wasn’t done there – one more possession, one more touchdown as he led an impressive drive resulting in Jones’ second score of the game and giving the Ticats their first lead of the game, 35-33.

The Riders would have one more shot to re-take the lead with just over a minute left but Milo sailed a field goal attempt wide and a single point would be all he could muster as Burris and the 'Cats hung onto the 35-34 win.

Fan Comments
The Als sure aren't ruling anything. They can't even beat Toronto.
Looks like the Cats are going to MEOW all the way to the Cup.
July 29, 2012 - 4:20pm
als rule
as usual a hammer supporter celebrates in july with his cocky attitude BUT come november it's always another team cheering!! ALS RULE AND ARE THE BEASTS OF THE EAST!!
July 30, 2012 - 12:12pm
Great comeback by the TiCats in this one. Kudos to Chris Williams for learning from last week...when he scored his touchdown, he acted like a real pro and just handed the ball back to the officials. He focused on the game at hand, not on a celebration! Just like he reaches the end zone on a regular basis...which he does, thanks to his talent!
July 29, 2012 - 12:16pm
Actually handing to ball to the official or just dropping it in the end zone is a typical Chris Williams reaction to scoring a TD, NOT what was seen last week.
July 29, 2012 - 11:56pm
Yet another nailbiter although it could have been a little less of one if the "Cats had not decided to go away from the short passes of the series before and try to use the running game - which had been only marginally successful all game long. I expected the Tabbies to have a better defence too. there was no need to get that far behind; the Riders are good this season but not THAT good. The coaches need to work on that for next week's game.
July 29, 2012 - 11:39am
Coach Hall, the prevent defense is like having a knucklebaler for a closer. Playing a game hoping that you won't get hurt too bad is a bad idea ..... as evidenced by the last 2 games.
July 29, 2012 - 4:51am
unexcusable is all i can say to blow two leads in the fourth quarter,coaches for the most part are to blame for this game,richie hall shame on you for letting burris nickel and dime his way against you in the fourth quarter,and our offensive cordinater for calling a passing play on 2nd and two late in the fourth,please watch the film a couple of games ago when we needed to kill the clock late in the fourth with a slight lead, sheets gave us the first downs and essentually ran the clock out. Where is butler, or even patrick for the big play on "D"? One more guy that needs to step it up, is our coveted big signing in the offseason pass rusher #11 in the program,where is he when we need him for a big play?
July 29, 2012 - 12:56am
Certainly a most unpredictable season so far. That's what makes the CFL so exciting.
July 29, 2012 - 12:31am
als rule
likes like calgary is going down to the BC lions with 3 minutes left its the horses 8 and the leos 31!!
July 28, 2012 - 11:54pm
CHOKE is the correct label. That was disgraceful. Not only was it a black eye for the Rider Nation it also speaks volumes about the state of the defense when the are pressures on. Unfrigginbelievable!!!!
July 28, 2012 - 11:32pm
how bout them tigercats?! they are the cardiac cats now it seems. another big win for this team. burris has another amazing game which is always great. the defense still needs work, but they managed to shut down sheets, which is always a plus. tigercats are back on track right now. now its break time next week until they play stampeders. keep it up boys. GO TIGERCATS
July 28, 2012 - 11:05pm
Green Nation
Unbelievable. I've watched football for a long time, but I don't ever recall watching two large leads like that blown in two consecutive games. Maybe it's a little early to use the "choke" label, but the Riders are starting to make other teams look good. The Riders could...should be 5-0 and dominating this league. Instead, they have now revealed some serious problems and every team is thinking they can beat these guys anytime, anywhere.

Not impressed with some of the coaching decisions going on the last two weeks (and I am basing this off the fact that the coaches are calling these plays, not Durant). First, against Calgary, late in the game and the Riders were in position to kick a field goal to give them breathing room, the backfield is cleared telling the Stampeders it's a passing play. What do they do? Tee off and sack Durant pushing them out of field goal range. Stupid call! In today's game, there were two decisions I didn't like. First, I believe early in the 4th quarter, TC's got a holding call on Riders 10 yard line. Instead of declining and giving the TC's just one more play to make it, they pushed them back and gave them two more cracks at the goal line. Of course they scored on 2nd down. The other stupid call was late in the game and Riders were driving around the 40 or 42 yard line. On 2nd down and 2 yards, instead of just pounding the ball for a first down, they decide to throw. Are you kidding me??? Just where is the coaching staff for this decision and what the hell are they thinking??? Run the ball, get a first down and then keep moving the ball closer for a field goal.

What's going on with this defence?? How can you play well for 3 quarters of the game and completely collapse in the fourth quarter?? It doesn't make any sense. Didn't see much of a pass rush at all in today's game and no aggression to make any plays to get turnovers. Never mind playing for pride, start playing for your jobs!

You can't blame the defence entirely. The offence has to take responsibility and take the damn ball and hang onto it for a few minutes and maybe even go down and get another score in the 4th quarter. Durant and the rest of the offence just hasn't done this in the last two weeks. I have always been a supporter of Durant. He has promise, he has the ability, but time to stop talking about the future and start playing like the star you're supposed to be!! Take the reins and take control of the game when you have the chance. By throwing to Getzlaf over and over again isn't going to do that. Throwing to Getzlaf 3 times at the end of the game hoping he would move you...are you serious?? Was it lost on the offence that they didn't move an inch because of that?? I've never seen a receiver drop so many balls when the ball has hit him squarely in the hands. He dropped a touchdown last week that cost them the game and he dropped another in the end zone today. He dropped another big gain in the 4th because he was afraid to take a hit. Is Getzlaf the Paris Jackson of the Riders? If he doesn't start making catches, I think he soon will be. He just isn't getting it done!

July 28, 2012 - 10:09pm
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