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Ticats hang on in Edmonton

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EDMONTON -- Greg Ellingson reeled in a pair of Henry Burris TD passes as the Hamilton Tiger-Cats held on to snap a two-game losing skid with a narrow 30-29 victory over the Edmonton Eskimos in a battle between two of the CFL's cellar-dwellers Friday night.

The Tiger-Cats (2-4) also broke a nine-game road losing streak extending back into last season.

The Eskimos dropped to 1-5 and are 0-3 to start the season at home for the first time since the construction of Commonwealth Stadium.

Edmonton took a 3-0 lead six minutes in on a Grant Shaw field goal, coming on the heels of an Aaron Grymes interception on Hamilton's opening drive.

The Tiger-Cats responded with a 17-yard Luca Congi field goal on their next possession.

The offensive attacks continued at a snail's pace as the next scoring play was another Shaw field goal four minutes into the second quarter to make it 6-3 Edmonton.

Hamilton finally got things going midway through the second frame as C.J. Gable scored on an eight-yard touchdown run to put the Tabbies up

10-6. The Tiger-Cats kept the momentum and capitalized on another long drive as Burris had a ton of time to connect with Ellingson for a 17-yard passing major with just under two minutes to play in the second quarter to make it 17-6.

A large contingent of frustrated Edmonton fans booed their team off the field at the half.

Hamilton conceded a safety early in the third quarter to pull Edmonton to within nine points.

Congi got those points back with a 38-yard field goal with five minutes left in the third quarter to put the Tiger-Cats up 20-8.

Edmonton finally found its way into the end zone with a minute left in the third quarter.

A 37-yard passing play from Mike Reilly to Fred Stamps set up a five-yard pitch from backup quarterback Kerry Joseph to Hugh Charles, who scampered across the goal line to make it 20-15 heading into the fourth.

The Tiger-Cats responded just two minutes into the fourth as Burris rifled a 17-yard pass to Ellingson for his second touchdown of the game and a 27-15 Hamilton lead.

Edmonton battled back to remain in the game with five minutes left as a 35-yard passing play to Cary Koch set up a seven-yard TD pass from Reilly to a leaping Marcus Henry to make it 27-22.

The Tiger-Cats kicked a field goal to give themselves an important cushion with two minutes left, making it 30-22.

Edmonton came flying back as a 40-yard passing play to Koch led to a three-yard passing play from Joseph to Calvin McCarthy with 1:24 remaining. The Eskimos attempted a two-point convert to tie the game, but running back Jon White dropped a pass from Joseph.

Hamilton attempted a passing play on second down with under 30 seconds left and were unable to run out the clock and the Eskimos got the ball back to midfield, but Shaw's 50-yard field goal try came up short, giving the Tiger-Cats the single-point victory.

Both teams will now take a breather with their bye weeks.

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 3, 2013 C2

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