for this game

Medlock locks up win for Hamilton over Lions

Oct 5, 2014 - 4:22 AM Hamilton, ON ( - An eight-yard field goal by Justin Medlock with less than two minutes remaining proved to be the game winner as the Hamilton Tiger-Cats came back to defeat the British Columbia Lions, 19-17, at Tim Hortons Field.

Medlock finished a perfect 5-of-5 on field goals for the Tiger-Cats (6-7) as they secured their fourth straight win and the fifth in the last six outings. With the victory, Hamilton remained in sole possession of first place in the East Division standings, despite having a losing record.

Hamilton quarterback Zach Collaros converted 27-of-43 for 367 yards and was intercepted once as the team was kept out of the end zone but still came out on top.

The Lions (7-7), who led 10-0 in the second quarter, were paced by Kevin Glenn who converted 19-of-33 for 188 yards, while receiver Emmanuel Arceneaux was credited with the only passing TD of the night for BC, a 17-yard connection with Shawn Gore. BC has now lost three in a row for the first time since 2011.

"You have to tip your hat to Hamilton," said a visibly frustrated head coach Mike Benevides after the loss. "But everybody in that room (the BC locker room) worked their butts off."

The Lions scored the first points of the night on a 27-yard field goal by Paul McCallum late in the first quarter and then on the first play of Hamilton's next possession, Collaros was picked off on the right side by Josh Johnson, who then returned it 38 yards for the major and the 10-0 advantage.

It wasn't until the second quarter that the Tiger-Cats finally broke through as Justin Medlock connected on a 40-yard field goal, but only after the hosts had the drive halted by an offensive penalty.

Following a strong punt return, which was aided by a penalty, Hamilton again moved methodically down the field, thanks in part to a spectacular one-handed grab by Andy Fantuz. Inside the red zone, Collaros appeared to have his sights set on a receiver in the end zone, but his pass deflected off the left upright. A subsequent incomplete brought on Medlock for a 15-yard field goal to close the gap to 10-6 with just over five minutes to play before the half.

Medlock was brought on for a 42-yard field goal later in the period as well, cutting the deficit to a single point at the break.

Hamilton's first possession of the second half also ended with three points, when Medlock converted a 37-yard effort at the 8:28 mark of the third, giving the hosts their first lead of the night at 12-10.

However, the advantage for the 'Cats was short lived as the Lions were back in the end zone thanks to the major thrown by Arceneaux to Gore with just over three minutes remaining in the third.

The Tiger-Cats were able to take back two points when they held the Lions deep in their own end of the field and forced punter Ricky Schmitt to concede in his own end zone, making the score 17-14 with 7:17 remaining in regulation.

On their very next possession the Lions again were forced to take a knee in the end zone, allowing Hamilton to draw to within a single point with just over four minutes left.

The Ticats got the ball back near midfield and appeared to be on their way to a field goal attempt, but a challenge flag brought about a review and BC's Ronnie Yell was hit with a pass interference penalty, bringing the Hamilton offense back on the field. On the very next play the visitors appeared to have scored the go-ahead TD, but after that play was reviewed it was determined that Mossis Madu's knee was down before reaching the goal line.

Collaros tried to sneak into the end zone on the next play, but was stopped short, giving Medlock a chance to hit an eight-yard field goal to give the 'Cats a slim 19-17 advantage.

The Lions had two chances to regain the lead in the final minute, but both times the visitors turned it over on downs.

"We just have to keep fighting ... we have to stay together," Glenn said following the difficult loss. "We gotta keep believing in ourselves, have a short memory, flush this loss out and get ready for the Ottawa RedBlacks."