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Jeremiah Masoli, Hamilton Tiger-Cats slam Montreal Alouettes to start 3-0 for first time since 2004-

HAMILTON — Jeremiah Masoli threw for over 400 yards with a TD while running for two others as the Hamilton Tiger-Cats dispatched the Montreal Alouettes 41-10 on Friday night.

Hamilton (3-0) opened a season with three straight wins for the first time since 2004. That year, though, the Ticats proceeded to fall to 3-5.

Masoli finished 25-of-31 passing for 417 yards but was also intercepted three times. Masoli threw for 338 yards and three TDs and ran for another in last week's lopsided 64-14 road win over Toronto.

Ticats receivers Brandon Banks (seven catches, 152 yards) and Bralon Addison (eight catches, 121 yards) were impressive. Banks also thrilled the announced Tim Hortons Field gathering of 22,407 with a 30-yard touchdown run while Addison narrowly missed throwing a TD strike on an option pass.

Not to be outdone, Ticats rookie Sean Thomas Erlington, a Montreal native, had five receptions for 102 yards with a TD and two-point convert. He also had 47 yards rushing on nine carries after running for 109 yards on 12 carries last week against Toronto.

Vernon Adams Jr. started for Montreal (0-2) with incumbent Antonio Pipkin (ankle) out. Matt Schiltz was under centre to start the second half but Adams returned later in the third and finished 14-of-24 passing for 173 yards with a TD and interception while rushing for 38 yards on nine carries before giving way to Schiltz for good in the fourth.

Hamilton's defence registered six sacks in the contest.

Adams hit Jake Wieneke on a 27-yard TD strike at 14:11 of the third to cut Hamilton's lead to 26-10. But the Ticats countered with Masoli's 10-yard TD run at 4:13 of the fourth, then Masoli hit Thomas Erlington on the two-point convert.

Masoli added a one-yard TD run at 11:12. The two teams return to Montreal next Thursday night.

Lirim Hajrullahu boosted Hamilton's lead to 26-3 with a 34-yard field goal at 10:22 of the third.

Hamilton opened the second half impressively as Masoli hit Thomas Erlington on a 75-yard TD strike just 1:17 into the third. Masoli then found Nikola Kalinic for the two-point convert, giving the Ticats a 23-3 advantage.

Dane Evans had Hamilton's other touchdown. Addison added a two-point convert while Hajrullahu finished with two converts and a field goal.

Boris Bede booted a convert and field goal for Montreal.

Second-quarter touchdowns by Evans and Banks staked Hamilton to its 15-3 half-time advantage. The Ticats blew a great chance to increase their advantage but Evans was stopped three times from the Montreal one-yard line late in the second, fumbling on his final attempt to give the Alouettes possession at their 10-yard line with a minute remaining.

Banks's TD run at 9:06 gave Hamilton its 12-point advantage and culminated a tidy four-play, 75-yard possession. Bede hit a 46-yard field goal at 7:42 after the home team failed to recover a short kickoff that gave the Alouettes possession at the Ticats' 52-yard line.

But Bede's kick made interim coach Khari Jones' decision to have Bede punt in the first rather than try a 45-yard boot in a scoreless contest peculiar. After a scoreless first, Evans ran in from the one-yard line at 5:06 of the second before Masoli hit Addison on the two-point convert.