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Nov 17, 2012 12:05am
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TORONTO - Chad Owens and the Toronto Argonauts are heading into the CFL playoffs
on the craziest of rolls. Clay Matthews Jersey . Owens broke the CFLs
single-season all-purpose yards record and Swayze Waters booted a 51-yard field
goal with no time remaining as the short-handed Argos, minus 11 regulars,
rallied for a wild 43-40 win over Hamilton on Thursday night that eliminated the
arch-rival Tiger-Cats from playoff contention. Toronto (9-9) rested 10 starters
— including quarterback Ricky Ray — and linebacker Brandon Isaac served a
one-game suspension for an illegal hit last weekend against Saskatchewans Darian
Durant. But that didnt deter the Argo subs, who surged to a stunning 20-3
first-quarter advantage before Waters game-winning boot brought the season-best
Rogers Centre gathering of 27,283 to its feet on Fan Appreciation Night. “When
they scored to tie it up at the end I knew we were going to have a chance so I
went on the sidelines, hit a few into the net and tried to prepare myself,”
Waters said. “You have to prepare for that situation all the time because thats
why they have you here, to make kicks and win games. “But it doesnt happen very
often so I was excited to be able to put it through the pipes . . . it gives us
momentum heading into the playoffs.” Toronto will host either Edmonton or
Saskatchewan in the East Division semifinal Nov. 11. Hamiltons loss clinched a
playoff berth for the Eskimos, who can finish third in the West by downing
Calgary on Friday and having the B.C. Lions beat the Riders on Saturday. Should
Edmonton lose or Saskatchewan win, the Riders will take third and the Eskimos
will travel to Toronto and face their former starter in Ray. The Esks were 2-0
this season against the Argos, who obtained Ray from Alberta last December.
“That was a clutch kick,” Argos head coach Scott Milanovich said of Waters
winning boot. “I mean you have (Chris) Williams back there . . . with the game
on the line. “Were playing better, theres no doubt about that. I know
offensively weve picked up the pace the last three weeks. I think weve got our
confidence back. If you have a great quarterback and some confidence youve got a
chance to win.” The Ticats (6-12) played all of their regulars, and with good
reason: they desperately needed the win to keep their slim playoff hopes alive.
But Hamilton continually shot itself in the foot against the Argos B-team, which
played veteran Jarious Jackson and rookies Trevor Harris and Zach Collaros at
quarterback in the contest, with Collaross 13-yard TD pass to Sammy Tranks
putting the home team ahead 37-26 at 3:38 of the fourth. Starter Henry Burris,
37-of-55 passing for a career-high 497 yards and four TDs, pulled Hamilton to
within 40-33 with 2:47 remaining with a three-yard TD strike to Avon Cobourne.
After two incompletions that took just 26 seconds by Collaros, the Ticats got
the ball at the Toronto 39-yard following a 35-yard punt return by Williams with
2:15 to play. Burris and Williams then hooked up on five-yard touchdown pass —
giving him a career-high 43 this season — that tied the score 40-40 with 1:10
remaining. Burris finished the season with 5,367 yards passing — another career
high — while Williams had four catches for 104 yards and two TDs, boosting his
club-record total to 17. But Collaros took over at the Toronto 42 with a minute
remaining and marched the Argos to the Hamilton 44 to set up Waters winning
boot. Torontos offence got a huge boost from receiver Dontrelle Inman and
running back Gerald Riggs Jr. Inman, back after missing four games with a
hamstring injury, opened the game with a 46-yard reception and finished with
seven catches for 128 yards and a TD. Riggs, replacing incumbent Chad Kackert,
had 15 carries for 112 yards and added two receptions for 35 yards. “That kind
of set the tone for the game, the first catch of the game,” Milanovich said.
“Dontrelle had a number of big catches and Riggs was as physical as Ive seen in
a long time. “Youre always happy with someone gets their opportunity and it
hasnt gone smoothly for them all year and they do the job. Theres something to
be said for that.” Hamilton ends the season the CFLs worst road team with a 1-8
record and after a 3-2 start to the season went a dismal 3-10 the rest of the
way. Tempers flared with 4:49 remaining with a melee that resulted in five
penalties being called. Owens had a front-row seat for the fireworks as he was
on the sidelines for the second half after delivering a record-breaking
performance in the first. He accumulated 95 combined first-half yards to give
him 3,863 on the season, breaking Mike (Pinball) Clemons mark of 3,840 yards. He
also had 49-yard completion to Spencer Watt. “It wasnt about beating Pinballs
record, it was just about just showing what hard work, dedication, sacrifice and
passion can do for you if youre fortunate enough to get the opportunity,” Owens
said. “Thats why Im so thankful, man. “Four years ago I was out of football. I
got the chance to come up here and continue my dream and as soon as I got here
in Toronto (three seasons ago) things started falling into place.” Despite his
gaudy passing numbers, Burris also threw two interceptions — with one being
returned for a TD — and lost a fumble that led to another Argos touchdown.
Slotback Andy Fantuz had 10 catches for 109 yards but also lost a fumble at the
Toronto 10-yard line with Hamilton trailing 30-26 late in the third. “I was
fighting for a yard and I was going down when I lost it,” said Fantuz, one of
Hamiltons top free-agent acquisitions last off-season. “It was a huge momentum
swing.” Added Burris: “Pretty much our season in a nutshell. Great flashes, then
mistakes. “Make too many mistakes like that and the game wont go in your
favour.” Ticats coach George Cortez agreed. “Obviously we had two turnovers that
put us in a hole,” he said. “Basically we gave them two touchdowns.” Toronto
beat Hamilton in three-of-four meetings this season and Burris believes the
Argos can make a lot of noise in the CFL playoffs. “Theyre a very good team and
theyre going to make a run in the East,” he said. “They did exactly what they
were supposed to do to get the win today.” Jordan Younger, on a 36-yard
interception return, had Torontos other touchdown. Waters finished with five
field goals and four converts. Aaron Kelly also scored for Hamilton. Luca Congi
kicked four field goals and four converts. NOTES: Receivers Ken-Yon Rambo and
Mike Bradwell were among Torontos pre-game scratches while receiver Bakari Grant
and defensive lineman Brandon Peguese didnt dress for Hamilton . . . . Ray is
Torontos first 4,000-yard passer since Kerry Joseph in 2008 and finished the
season as the most accurate passer in Argos history 68.6 per cent, breaking
Kerwin Bells club record of 67.3 per cent in 1998. But Ray will end the year six
pass attempts short of Condredge Holloways club record of 474. Charles Woodson Jersey . PETERSBURG, Fla. Aaron Rodgers Womens Jersey . —Alabama
turned a lacklustre start into another easy win. http://www.officialgreenbaypackersgear.com/a-j-hawk-jersey
. After losing nine of 11, the Braves have bounced back in a big way and enter
tonights contest on the heels of sweeping the Miami Marlins. On Thursday,
Martin Prado went 2-for-5 with a home run and three RBI in Atlantas 8-2 victory.
Aaron Rodgers Pink Jersey .Y. – The anchor of
the Dallas Mavericks defence now centres one of the leagues best frontcourts. Tramon Williams Womens Jersey . Far from it.
In fact, there were many encouraging aspects of the two-and-two split with the
Angels.VANCOUVER—Roberto Luongo was nowhere to be seen publicly Thursday, but
he was still the talk of the town as the Vancouver Canucks hoped to build on the
momentum of their Game 4 playoff win over the Los Angeles Kings. Speculation on
Luongos future with the Canucks was rampant after the veteran goaltender was
benched for the second straight game in favour of backup Cory Schneider, who
made 43 saves in a 3-1 win in L.A. on Wednesday night. With the victory, the
Canucks staved off elimination, reducing their series deficit to 3-1 in the
best-of-seven Western Conference quarter-final series, which resumes Sunday in
Vancouver. Associate coach Rick Bowness said head coach Alain Vigneault and his
staff wrestled with the decision to go with Schneider in the potential
season-ending game. “Thats probably the most difficult decision Alains had to
make in our tenure here,” Bowness said during a media availability session after
the club travelled home from Los Angeles. “Anyways, thats what it was.”
Vigneault switched goaltenders after Luongo had played well in the first two
games in an effort to give the Canucks some momentum. It did not pay off in Game
3 as the Canucks lost 1-0, but the Vigneault stuck with Schneider and the
Cancucks were rewarded. “You have no idea how incredibly difficult that was
because of the amount of respect we have for Roberto, not only as a goalie and
as a professional, but as a man,” Bowness said. Schneider, 26, has allowed just
two goals in the past two games and sports a 1.02 goals-against average and .969
save percentage. Luongo, 33, has allowed seven goals in two games for a 3.59
average and .891 save percentage. The switch has sparked considerable chatter
because Schneider is due to become a restricted free agent in the summer. He
will likely merit a considerable raise in salary and could receive offer sheets
from other clubs. The Canucks would have the ability to match any offer. Luongo
still has a decade to go on a 12-year contract, translating to a US$5.33-million
salary cap hit that would be difficult, but workable, for other clubs.
Daniel Sedin insisted the Canucks are comfortable with either Schneider or
Luongo in goal. He praised Luongo for handling the benching with class while
maintaining a strong desire for the Canucks to win. “We trust both goaltenders
tremendously,” he said. “(Schneider) was great both in Game 3 and Game 4. So
whoevers in net, were going to play the same way in front of him. We trust
theyre going to get the job done.” And the task remains extremely difficult. The
Canucks are trying to join the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs, 1975 New York Islanders
and 2010 Philadelphia Flyers as the only teams that have come back from 3-0
series deficits to win. The Kings remain in control of the series, said both
Bowness and Sedin. “Even though they lost the game, theyre in pretty,” Bowness
said. The Canucks are feeling much better about their chances now that Sedin has
retturned from a concussion that kept him out of 12 games, including the first
three of this series. Jordy Nelson Pink Jersey. He recorded an
assist Wednesday and reignited Vancouvers dormant power play as the Canucks
scored twice on three man-advantage opportunities while rallying from a 1-0
first-period deficit. They had been blanked on 14 power-play chances until then,
and had also surrendered two short-handed goals. Bowness said the power play
gave the Canucks the “jump-start” they needed, and bestowed considerable praise
on Sedin. But the modest winger refused to be anointed as the clubs saviour,
insisting the Canucks started to turn things around when he was not there. “If
we play (Game 5) like we did Game 3, I like our chances,” Sedin said. He also
liked the way his head and the rest of his body felt in his first game back. The
biggest issue, he said, was getting his timing back, which proved difficult in
the first period. “My head was fine, and I didnt really worry too much about
that,” he said. “Once I got the first hit out of the way, that was no question
to me.” Sedin knew he was ready to play after skating on his own for three hours
Sunday in Vancouver. He feels lucky that he only missed a dozen games after the
likes of Pittsburghs Sidney Crosby, Washingtons Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Steen
of St. Louis missed considerably more. “Every time you wake up, your head hurts
and its tough,” Sedin said. “I talked to Backstrom and Steen. They were out a
lot more than I was. So that must have been really tough. I was kind of
fortunate in that way.” Chicago defenceman Duncan Keith was suspended five games
for the March 21 elbow to the head that caused Sedins involuntary hiatus. Sedin
said players, not suspensions, can make the biggest difference when it comes to
reducing head shots. He said there was a difference between the intentional head
shots and the controversial hit former teammate Raffi Torres delivered to
Blackhawks star Marian Hossa. Torres was suspended indefinitely for the hit.
“Theres a difference between those kinds of hits,” Sedin said. “Thats more of a
hockey hit. I know he left his feet, and hes probably going to get suspended for
that. Its the other stuff that you want to get rid of, the intention to injure
or (when) you do stuff thats not part of hockey. “Its a different game now than
it was before the rule changes. Its a faster game and stuff (is) going to
happen. I still think its up to the players. The suspension is not going to
solve the problem.” Bowness, who played in the NHL and minors between the
mid-1970s and mid-1980s, said the game is far more violent now than it was then.
The biggest difference is that players take head shots now whereas they used to
fight more frequently. “Its different violence now than in the early 70s,” said
Bowness. “Do I like it? Absolutely not. I hate intentional head shots. I always
have.” ’ ’ ’ 

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