As ugly as it gets

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 11:49 AM ET

This game story is brought to you by the number 10.

That is how many turnovers the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and the Edmonton Eskimos combined to produce last night in an ugly affair at Commonwealth Stadium.

A stunning 48 points were scored off those turnovers - 27 by the Ticats.

But the Esks managed to survive - thanks to a last-minute touchdown by Calvin McCarty - to win 38-33.

The victory moves the Esks to 7-4 in the West Division, tied for second with Calgary.

It also pushes Edmonton's home record to 5-1 this year. But next to Jason Goss's three interceptions and two touchdown returns, maybe the most startling number of the night is the four interceptions thrown by Ricky Ray, the most in his Eskimo career - according to the pivot.

Hamilton's Casey Printers also chucked four. But Ray's were more mind-boggling.

"I can't play like that," said Ray. "Thank God our defence came up with some big turnovers and gave us some points."

Edmonton head coach Danny Maciocia defended Ray on his fourth pick, which went for a touchdown in the second half, claiming a receiver ran the wrong route.

But Ray isn't buying that.

"Tonight it is on me. I didn't make very good throws," said Ray, who has now thrown 13 interceptions this season.

But receiver Kelly Campbell isn't concerned.

"(Crap) happens," shot Campbell. "Ray is a very good quarterback and I don't care if he throws 10 picks in a game, he knows how to win a ball game. He found a way for us to pull it through."

That came in the final two minutes when Ray marched the club 75 yards on six plays, ending with a McCarty 21-yard touchdown run for the win. It ended a wild night.

The turnover parade started 59 seconds into the ugly tilt when Goss picked off Printers on the second play, going 50 yards for a major.

Hamilton answered with back-to-back touchdowns to Precahae Rodriguez (18-yard pass, 10-yard pass) that were both set up from Ricky Ray first quarter interceptions.

The Esks answered with a touchdown drive (one-yard Ray plunge) that wasn't aided with a turnover before the game became goofy - again.

A Jonte Buhl interception led to a 41-yard Ray touchdown pass to Kelly Campbell on the next play for a 21-17 Edmonton lead with 9:30 left in the second quarter.

But Ray kept giving Hamilton life by throwing his third interception just 1:17 into the third quarter.The Tabbies turned that into a field goal to sneak within one point of a tie.

That momentum disappeared - again - when Goss scored his second touchdown on a 94-yard interception return with 6:53 remaining in the third stanza for a 28-20 Esks advantage.

Ray couldn't stop his charitable mood, though, as he tossed his fourth pick of the game to Geoff Tisdale with 14:23 left. Tisdale went 62 yards for the major.

As if that wasn't bad enough, receiver Kamau Peterson fumbled for the second straight game later in the fourth to lead to another Hamilton field goal.

Nick Setta's fourth field goal put the Tabbies in the lead (33-31) with 2:06 on the clock before McCarty's game-winning major.

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GAME BALL

Jason Goss, Edm. DB

Three interceptions - two for touchdowns - and a team record for most return yards in a single contest. And it came against his former team.

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GAME GRADES

OVERALL: C+

Offence: D

Four Ricky Ray picks is extremely ugly. But can't fail the offence because it produced the game-winning driver with 59 seconds left.

Defence: B

Four interceptions is very impressive. But the defence let Casey Printers run for 125 yards.

Special teams: B

Solid return night for Tristan Jackson and perfect kicking performance by Noel Prefontaine (47.8-yard punting average, one field goal). But too many penalties.

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NOTABLES

Defensive tackle Dario Romero was scratched before kickoff with an undisclosed injury ... Edmonton's other scratches to the four-man reserve were OL Aaron Fiacconi, LB Derrick Doggett and WR Maurice Mann ... The crowd of 33,766 was just shy of the 35,000 targeted by Eskimos management.

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UP NEXT

At Montreal, Sept. 21, 11 a.m (TSN, CHED)


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