Bo Levi Mitchell and the Calgary Stampeders continued their winning ways against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
Mitchell had a TD pass and ran for another as Calgary defeated Hamilton 30-20 on Saturday afternoon for its sixth straight win and 10th in 11 games versus the Ticats. But an untimely injury and boost from the defence helped the Stamps regain a share of top spot in the West Division.
Drew Tate's three-yard TD run with 33 seconds remaining cemented the Calgary win, to the dismay of the Ron Joyce Stadium gathering of 6,500 at McMaster University that was energized by a spirited Hamilton comeback. Tate's touchdown was set by a Jamar Wall interception of Ticats' quarterback Jeremiah Masoli, who had replaced injured starter Dan LeFevour.
"That's the kind of defence they are, bend but don't break," Mitchell said. "They give us the ball in good field position all the time.
"For them to come up and make a huge play at the end to win it and not put it all on the offence to make the play was great."
LeFevour injured in 4th quarter
LeFevour's departure was as big as Wall's interception. LeFevour pulled Hamilton to within 20-17 just 16 seconds into the fourth with a 21-yard TD strike to Bakari Grant. But he suffered a suspected left knee injury while scrambling and it was Masoli who came on after Rene Paredes' 38-yard field goal at 5:11 boosted Calgary's lead to 23-17.
Justin Medlock's 32-yard field goal at 9:11 made it a three-point game.
LeFevour finished 21-of-30 passing for 282 yards and two TDs while adding 42 yards rushing. Masoli completed 7-of-10 attempts for 68 yards with the costly interception.
"Obviously the game shifted when they had to make a quarterback change," Calgary head coach/GM John Hufnagel said.
"The guys are frustrated," Ticats head coach Kent Austin said.
"They play hard but we've got to play clean especially early in the game. We're digging too big of holes right now that we're trying to overcome. We're not a good enough football team to overcome a deficit like that right now."
Mitchell was a workmanlike 19-of-27 passing for 271 yards while adding 33 yards rushing on four carries. But the unit's workhorse was Hugh Charles, who ran for 102 yards on 14 carries in his first start with Calgary. Charles is the Stamps' fifth different tailback this season after injuries to Canadians Jon Cornish and Matt Walter and internationals Jock Sanders and Martell Mallett.
Calgary (6-1) moved into a tie with the Edmonton Eskimos (6-1) atop the West Division on a wet, blustery afternoon.
Hamilton (1-6) suffered its third straight loss and dropped to 0-6 versus West Division teams. Its lone victory was a 33-23 home decision over Ottawa on July 26.