Winnipeg Blue Bombers receiver Julian Feoli-Gudino, left, crosses the goal line to score a touchdown against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in first-half CFL action in Hamilton, Ont., Saturday, August 12, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Aaron Lynett
HAMILTON — Winnipeg kicker Justin Medlock hit six field goals to lead the Blue Bombers to a 39-12 victory over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Saturday night.
It was the Bombers' third win in a row as they improved to 5-2.
Winnipeg quarterback Matt Nichols completed 25-of-35 pass attempts for 267 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. Nichols connected with Julian Feoli-Gudino and Darvin Adams for the TDs while Timothy Flanders ran in a score. Running back Andrew Harris rushed 14 times for 107 yards.
Jeremiah Masoli and Damarr Aultman scored for the Ticats. Hamilton quarterback Zach Collaros completed 21-of-33 pass attempts for 216 yards, one TD and one interception.
Hamilton fell to 0-7 despite hiring June Jones as an assistant head coach last week and a promoting Phillip Lolley to defensive co-ordinator on Tuesday.
Medlock was good on attempts from 34, 31, 30, 43, 57, and 32 yards, but missed from 43 when the ball hit the upright and 45 when it was blocked.
Hamilton kicker Sergio Castillo did not attempt a field goal.
The Tiger-Cats were set back before the game even started when all-star veteran defensive back Emanuel Davis was set to return from a hamstring injury and make his first start of the season. But he came down with food poisoning and didn't play.
Down 22-12 to start the fourth, Hamilton's offence had just scored and was moving the ball again near midfield when Collaros fumbled and Hamilton recovered for third-and-long.
Winnipeg took advantage with Medlock's 32-yarder after seven plays. A Hamilton fumble by receiver Mike Jones on its next possession led to a Winnipeg 53-yard scoring drive and Adams' 35-yard TD reception for the 32-12 lead. A 58-yard scoring drive ended with a one-yard TD run by Flanders ate 3:48 and made it 39-12 with 24 seconds left.
Medlock kicked his first three field goals in the first quarter to give the Blue Bombers a 9-0 lead.
The Hamilton offence got going in the second quarter with a scoring drive of 85 yards on eight plays with the wind. A 28-yard reception by CJ Gable to the Winnipeg 30 highlighted the drive that finished with back-up quarterback Masoli diving in from the one-yard-line. A two-point convert attempt was incomplete and the score was 9-6.
Medlock's first miss came on the next Winnipeg drive when his 43-yard FG attempt against the wind hit the right upright. But when Hamilton went two-and-out on the next possession, he came right back five plays later and nailed a 43-yarder for the 12-6 lead.
Gable fumbled a lateral on the next Hamilton play and Winnipeg's Jake Thomas recovered the ball on the Hamilton 36. It led to a four-play scoring drive ending with a six-yard TD reception by Feoli-Gudino and a 19-6 Blue Bomber lead that held into halftime.
To open the third, Winnipeg could only move the ball 19 yards, but that was enough for Medlock to hit a 57-yard field goal with the wind that just made it over the bar and stretched the lead to 22-6. But his 45-yard attempt on the next possession was blocked by Hamilton's Don Unamba.
Hamilton took over on their 43 and looked to be creating some momentum when receiver Mike Jones mishandled a pass and Winnipeg linebacker Sam Hurl recovered the loose ball and rumbled 62 yards to the endzone. But the play was ruled an incomplete pass and Hamilton continued to drive. Three plays later, Collaros hit Aultman for a 29-yard catch-and-run TD. The missed two-point convert made it 22-12.
Carol Phillips, The Canadian Press