OTTAWA – With a 23-16 win over the Ottawa Redblacks on Saturday, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats wrapped up their CFL regular season on a four-game winning streak.
In stark comparison, the Redblacks’ rough season (4-14) came to an embarrassing end with an 0-9 record at TD Place.
Matt Shiltz, making his third start of the season, went 12-for-18 for 144 yards. Dane Evans took over in the third and played part of the fourth before Shiltz returned.
Evans finished the game 7-for-9 for 117 yards, but more importantly got to test his throwing thumb in game action before next weekend’s playoff action.
Hamilton (8-10) heads to Montreal next Sunday to take on the Alouettes in the East Division semifinal.
Ottawa will have plenty of decisions to make in the off-season as this is the third straight season they’ve failed to qualify for the post-season.
Caleb Evans got the start and finished the game 14-for-25 for 110 yards. Tyrie Adams was given an opportunity to show what he can do coming into the game at the 10-minute mark of the fourth quarter.
On his first drive, Adams took the Redblacks to the two-yard line and two plays later Evans punched in Ottawa’s first and only touchdown of the game to make it 23-16 Hamilton.
Adams finished the game 8-for-12 for 98 yards.
With the TD, Evans set a new Ottawa franchise record for rushing majors in a single season, surpassing Ron Stewart’s mark of 15, set in 1960.
Hamilton led 13-9 at the half, with six of its nine points coming off Seth Small’s leg.
Small added a 40-yard field goal five minutes into the third quarter to extend the Tiger-Cats lead to 16-9. The Tiger-Cats boosted the lead with Jamie Newman punching in his second TD of the game from the one-yard line to take a 23-9 lead.
Things did not start well for the Redblacks.
On the third play of the game, Shiltz found himself under pressure, but managed to get the ball off to Terry Godwin and the Tiger-Cats found themselves on Ottawa’s one-yard line. On the next play, Newman had a QB sneak for a touchdown. Small added the convert to take a 7-0 lead.
Neither team managed to produce much offensively in the second quarter as the teams counted on the kickers to improve the score.
Ottawa’s Lewis Ward was impressive kicking a pair of field goals from the 51-yard line, as well as one from 29 yards. Small had 37- and 31-yard field goals as the Tiger-Cats led 13-9 at the half.