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Calgary won its 12th straight meeting with the Hamilton Tiger-cats and moved to 3-0 all-time at Tim Hortons Field. An 11-game winning streak overall and a 16th win in a row following a regular-season bye were also achieved in the 28-25 victory on Friday night.
The Stampeders finish their non-divisional schedule with a 6-1-1 record and are now 13-1-1 on the year for the second consecutive season.
“I thought it was going to play out this,” disclosed head coach Dave Dickenson following the thrilling finish. “I thought it was going to be a very, very difficult game and I knew it would go 60 minutes. I knew the desperation Hamilton was playing with and they have good players and they’ve been playing well. I felt it would come down – not necessarily to the last play – but right to the end, and it did.”
A special-teams TD, Jorden’s clutch catches, a rouge and four field goals by Rene Paredes provided the points for the visitors.
In the second quarter, the Tiger-cats scored their first touchdown versus the Stampeders in over 86 minutes and would find pay dirt on their very next possession, as well.
Subsequent tallies for the Tabbies included two Kenny Allen field goals from in close and a third short-yardage run over the goal line.
Allen, making his CFL debut, had his initial punt blocked by Terry Williams in the early going to directly result in a major score. The recovery was secured in the end zone by William Langlais for the first career touchdown by the 2015 draft pick.
Alex Green would take two handoffs in the backfield and run them each in from one yard out. Jeremiah Masoli added a one-yard scamper of his own in between the two Green efforts.
Taking the lead with under five minutes remaining, Jorden plucked a pass out of the air for a crucial touchdown and would also get the two-pointer to follow to go ahead by seven. Jorden was returning from an injury suffered on July 29 against the same Hamilton squad.
“We missed some (plays) but I didn’t really feel like anyone, until Kamar made that catch, did something out of the ordinary,” Dickenson explained. “They have a good defence and you saw how they play. They’re physical and they don’t give up on any plays.”
Although the Tiger-cats would tie things up 51 seconds to go, a 58-yard pass interference penalty was then assessed to Courtney Stephen while matched up on Anthony Parker. The infraction set up Paredes to split the uprights from 17 yards out with zeros on the clock.
Six catches for 87 yards by McDaniel led the way for the Stampeders, while the Ticats leaned on Brandon Banks for 115 yards through the air.
Joshua Bell of the Stamps, coming up from his safety position to get to Masoli in the third, had previously not recorded a sack since entering the league in 2012.
“There is a lot of value in a game like that, especially if you can win,” admitted Dickenson. “(We showed) some of that extra grit in a real nail-biter. As you coach, you’re not liking it because you’re not playing as well, but I think it can do a lot for your team.”
Factoring in tonight’s result, a Winnipeg loss to BC tomorrow will ensure the Stamps host the Western Final on Sunday, Nov. 19.