Ray hits Owens with late TD strike to rally Argos past Ticats
TORONTO — Ricky Ray and Chad Owens delivered a most improbable comeback win for the Toronto Argonauts.
Ray’s 69- yard TD strike to Owens with 1: 14 remaining in regulation time earned the Argos a stunning 34- 33 win over the Hamilton Tiger- Cats on Friday night. Ray found a wide- open Owens, who then managed to evade defender Erik Harris for the gamewinning touchdown.
However, the big play almost never was. Owens said he stumbled shortly after making the catch, which allowed Harris to make up ground on the Argos slotback.
“I got excited as soon as I caught it, I went to turn and almost lost my footing ... so I gave him a chance to kind of recover,” Owens said. “Hats off to Harris for finishing that play. I’m just glad I had enough juice left to take it all the way.
“It’s the biggest win of the season. Every game from here on out is the biggest game of the season. We have to have that mentality to the Grey Cup, it’s a must- win game the rest of the way.”
Toronto ( 6- 8) outscored Hamilton 21- 3 in the fourth to erase a 30- 13 third- quarter deficit and claim its third straight win. The Argos also moved into a first- place tie with the Ticats ( 6- 8) in the East Division, two points ahead of the idle Montreal Alouettes ( 5- 8).
Toronto also evened the season series with Hamilton, with the two teams meeting again at Rogers Centre on Oct. 2. But what Friday’s victory means is the Argos will again have the chance to play for first in the East next weekend when they host the Alouettes.
The contest wasn’t a gem by any means as both teams combined for 30 penalties for 331 yards and five turnovers.
“Such a frustrating night for most of the night but there’s some character underneath the mistakes,” said Toronto head coach Scott Milanovich. “We’ve got a ton to clean up but we survived for another week and have a chance to play Montreal for first place again.
“The guys in the locker- room are happy with that win but understand that wasn’t our best effort tonight, hopefully.”