Grant ran a corner route about one minute into the fourth quarter, jumped to catch the pass from a scrambling Zach Collaros and landed one foot inbounds with no room to spare for the seven-yard score. It gave the Ticats their only TD of the game and some breathing room as they went on to defeat the Ottawa Redblacks 16-6 in CFL action Friday night.
"Size 13 — just long enough," he responded when jokingly asked the size of his feet. "If I was a size 14, it wouldn't have been good."
Hamilton was up only 7-6 as the third quarter wound down when Hamilton slotback Terrell Sinkfield took a handoff and ran 43 yards to the Ottawa nine-yard line. That run set up the touchdown and a 14-6 lead. Hamilton kicker Justin Medlock kicked a 94-yard single on the ensuing kickoff to go up 15-6. He added a 75-yard punt single midway through the fourth to make it 16-6.
Hamilton remains undefeated in five games at Tim Hortons Field and improved to a 7-8 record with a temporary spot atop the CFL East.
The Ticats entered the week in a three-way tie for first place in the East with Toronto and Montreal. But all three teams are in must-win situations this week as the B.C. Lions, who sit fourth in the West with an 8-7 record, currently hold the crossover playoff spot - meaning one of those three teams will likely be bumped from a playoff appearance and only the top-two will go through.
Ottawa fell to 2-13.
Grant gave an impassioned locker room speech to the team after the game.
"You kind of get to a point late in the season where you're either in a position to control your destiny or you have to wait for another team to lose a game or win a game and fortunately for us, we're in a position where we control what we have right now, and going into Toronto (for next week's game) it's a big game," he later explained to the media. "We're here to fight and I just want everybody to know it's in our control and I want to keep it that way."
Medlock made two of three field-goal attempts, hitting from 21 and 26 yards but hit the left upright and fell short from 36.
Ottawa kicker Brett Maher made one of three field-goal attempts, a 28-yarder, but missed from 48 and 38. Maher's 38-yard attempt, in the same direction as Medlock's (north, with the wind), hit the right upright and fell short.
Collaros made 17 of 31 pass attempts for 171 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He also rushed for 57 yards.
Ottawa's veteran quarterback Henry Burris, who played for Hamilton the past two seasons, had zero touchdown passes or interceptions in the game. He completed 14 of 27 pass attempts for 160 yards. Burris remains one TD pass away from moving into sole possession of third on the all-time list for touchdown passes. He is currently tied with the legendary Ron Lancaster with 333 TDs, behind Anthony Calvillo (455) and Damon Allen (394). Burris has not thrown a touchdown pass in four games now and not since Ottawa's Sept. 21 win over Saskatchewan.
Hamilton's defence held Ottawa to just six points (though two of those came from a conceded safety), 41 rushing yards and 160 passing yards while recording four sacks. Ottawa's defence also had four sacks.
"I've said it before. It's hard to win," said Hamilton head coach Kent Austin. "A victory's a victory. I'm proud of our players . . . We didn't get it done last week (in a last-minute loss against Toronto) and we were able to run the ball this week and run the clock out."
The Ticats were able to maintain ball possession for the final 2:48 by keeping the ball on the ground using new running backs Delone Carter and Sam Ojuri. Carter, who just signed with the Ticats last week after spending time in the NFL the past three seasons, finished the game with 56 yards on 10 carries. The rookie Ojuri had four carries for 13 yards.
Hamilton's leading receiver Andy Fantuz left the game in the first quarter with a reported leg injury.
Hamilton controlled the ball for 19:17 in the first half but went into the locker room with only a 7-1 lead. Medlock opened the scoring with a 21-yard field goal and 61-yard punt single to give Hamilton a 4-0 lead in the first quarter.
Ottawa pulled to 4-1 in the second quarter when Maher missed his 48-yard field-goal attempt wide right for a single. The only other scoring in the half came with time expired as Hamilton capped a 61-yard drive with another Medlock field goal — this one from 26 yards.
Midway through the third, Hamilton was trapped deep in its own end forcing Medlock to concede the safety on a punt attempt to make it 7-3.
Ottawa couldn't get anything going. A 38-yard drive on the following possession that ate up almost five minutes ended with a missed 38-yard field goal attempt.
It took a 49-yard pass interference call against Hamilton for Ottawa to move the ball into its best field position of the night at the Hamilton 21. Two downs later, Maher hit his 28-yard field goal and Ottawa pulled to 7-6 late in the third.Suggest a correction