Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Die-cats run out of lives, Esks in by default

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TORONTO -- Chad Owens broke the CFL's single-season all-purpose yards record but it was Swayze Waters' 51-yard field goal on the game's final play that earned the short-handed Toronto Argonauts a wild 43-40 win over Hamilton on Thursday night and eliminated the Tiger-Cats from playoff contention.

Owens accumulated 95 combined first-half yards to give him 3,863 on the season, breaking Mike (Pinball) Clemons' mark of 3,840 yards.

Toronto (9-9) rested 10 starters but that didn't deter the Argo subs, who took control early by surging to a stunning 20-3 first-quarter advantage before rallying before a season-best Rogers Centre gathering of 27,283 on Fan Appreciation Night.

Hamilton (6-12) continually shot itself in the foot against the Argos' B-team -- which played veteran Jarious Jackson and rookies Trevor Harris and Zach Collaros at quarterback in the contest, with Collaros's 13-yard TD pass to Sammy Tranks putting the home team ahead 37-26 at 3:38 of the fourth.

Burris pulled Hamilton to within 40-33 with 2:47 remaining with a three-yard TD strike to Avon Cobourne. After two incompletions that took just 26 seconds by Collaros, the Ticats got the ball at the Toronto 39-yard following a 35-yard punt return by Chris Williams with 2:15 to play.

Burris and Williams then hooked up on five-yard touchdown pass that tied the score 40-40 with 1:10 remaining.

But Collaros took over at the Toronto 42 with a minute remaining and marched the Argos to the Hamilton 44 to set up Waters' winning boot.

As a result of the Toronto win, Edmonton clinches a playoff berth. If the Eskimos can beat the Calgary Stampeders tonight and the B.C. Lions down Saskatchewan on Saturday, the Esks will get third in the West and face the Stamps in the conference semifinal Nov. 11. The Riders would cross over into the East Division and travel to Toronto on Nov. 11.

Should the Eskimos lose to Calgary or the Riders defeat the Lions, Saskatchewan would get third in the West and Edmonton would cross over.

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 2, 2012 C2

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