The Hamilton Tiger-Cats have punched their ticket to the 108th Gray Cup championship at home next Sunday after a 27-19 beat the Toronto Argonauts. A tremendous defensive performance, explosive special teams play and the exploits of his backup quarterback contributed to the victory.
Despite possession of the ball within the five-yard line by Hamilton twice in the first quarter, Toronto had to settle for two field goals from Boris Bede from 10 and 11 yards.
Trailing 6-0 early in the second quarter, quarterback Dane Evans replaced an ineffective Jeremiah Masoli after the latter fumbled at Toronto’s 16-yard line.
Evans completed all 16 of his pass attempts for 249 yards. He threw a touchdown and ran for two more TDs to propel Hamilton to his second straight Gray Cup final.
Bede added two more field goals, 47 and 33 yards, to bring Argos’ lead to 12-0 at halftime in front of an announced crowd of 16,898 fans.
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The Ti-Cats returned to the game in the third quarter when Papi White returned a punt from Bede for a 92-yard touchdown and Evans hit catcher Jaelon Acklin for a 13-yard TD to equalize the score at 12-12.
Following a missed field goal by Bede from 41 yards that resulted in a rouge for the Argos, Hamilton took his first lead of the game 3:18 in the fourth quarter when Evans dived into the end zone from the one-yard line. , putting the Cats up to 20-13.
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Bede added his fifth field goal of the game from the 47-yard line to trim Hamilton’s lead to 20-16 with 6:33 left in regulation.
Evans scored his second running touchdown of the game with 2:48 left as he ran into the end zone from one yard.
Bede completed the score with 1:10 left in the game when he converted an 18-yard field goal.
The December 12 Gray Cup at Tim Hortons Field marks the first time in 25 years that Hamilton will host the Canadian Football League title game.
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