Late field goal gives Argonauts win over Tiger-Cats
Ticats' Williams sets 2 CFL records with return touchdown
Swayze Waters' 33-yard field goal with 26 seconds remaining earned the Toronto Argonauts a wild 33-30 win over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Monday in the final Labour Day contest at Ivor Wynne Stadium.
Ricky Ray marched the Argos 51 yards on seven plays to the Hamilton 27-yard line with just over two minutes remaining, setting up Waters' game-winning boot, to the dismay of the sun-drenched gathering of 31,032.
Hamilton took over at its own 35-yard line, but turned the ball over on downs following three incompletions.
Henry Burris pulled Hamilton into a 30-30 tie with a 10-yard TD strike to Brandon Rutley at 12:40 before finding Dave Stala on the two-point convert.
That came after Toronto erased an 11-point deficit by scoring 19 points to start the fourth quarter. After Hamilton conceded a safety early in the quarter, the Argos pulled within two points on Chad Kackert's one-yard TD run at 5:46.
Just under two minutes later Ahmad Carroll returned a Burris interception 37 yards for a touchdown, and then a 26-yard Swayze field goal gave Toronto an eight-point lead.
The fourth-quarter fireworks stole the spotlight from a record-setting achievement by Hamilton's Chris Williams, who registered his CFL-record sixth return TD of the season. The diminutive receiver ran a punt back 82 yards for the touchdown in the first, his fifth punt return TD of the season (the other came on a missed field goal). It also marked the third straight game Williams has taken a punt back for a score, another CFL record.
Williams had three TDs in Hamilton's 36-27 home win over Toronto, returning a punt and missed field goal for scores in that contest and has scored a league-leading 11 touchdowns this season. He's challenging Milt Stegall's single-season TD record of 23, recorded in 2002.
Williams also had a 52-yard catch and 63-yard punt return in the second half that set up field goals for Hamilton (3-6), which suffered its fourth straight loss.
Toronto (5-4) left victorious in its final Labour Day appearance at Ivor Wynne Stadium, which is scheduled to be demolished in the off-season and replaced with a new facility that the Ticats will call home in 2014.
The huge TD was sweet redemption for Carroll, who was flagged four times for 89 yards in Toronto's 27-16 home loss to Edmonton last week.
Hamilton dropped its Labour Day record against Toronto to 29-13-1. Toronto is 4-3-1 in its last eight Labour Day contests at Ivor Wynne but earned its first victory since 2008.
Burris dropped to 17-10 in head-to-head matches against Ray (16-9 during season, 1-1 in playoffs).
Burris's 17-yard TD strike to Onrea Jones at 14:16 of the second staked the Ticats to a 16-10 half-time lead, an advantage kept intact when Hamilton's Dee Webb blocked Waters' 42-yard field goal try to end a sloppy opening half. But it was Williams who provided the half's biggest play, returning a punt 82 yards for the TD at 9:09 of the first.
But the impact of the play was lessened when Hamilton missed the subsequent convert to still trail Toronto 7-6. The Argos opened the scoring on Ray's 40-yard TD strike to Chad Owens at 4:33.