Tiger-Cats lose quarterback Zach Collaros, blow lead, in loss to Eskimos

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HAMILTON — Aaron Grymes and Otha Foster returned interceptions for touchdowns as the Edmonton Eskimos defence took advantage of backup rookie quarterback Jeff Mathews in a 25-18 come-from-behind win over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Saturday afternoon.

Tied 18-18 with less than two minutes left, Jacory Harris, Hamilton’s third-string quarterback, fumbled on the Ticat 53 and it was recovered by Edmonton’s Don Oramasionwu. Seven plays later, Kendial Lawrence ran in a four-yard TD — Edmonton’s first offensive touchdown — and the Eskimos (8-4) took their first lead of the game with 43 seconds left.

Hamilton’s Zach Collaros, the league’s leading passer, was knocked out of the game early in the second quarter with a suspected knee injury after being hit from behind during a scramble by Edmonton lineman Mathieu Boulay. Collaros was replaced by Mathews, who is usually used on third downs.

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Mathews had a fumble and three costly interceptions — one returned 68 yards for a touchdown by Grymes to tie the game at 18-18 midway through the fourth. Foster returned another 45 yards for a TD while Marcell Young made an interception in the endzone after the Ticats had a first-and-goal at the nine-yard line.

Mathews was replaced by Harris after his second pick-six and less than nine minutes left in the game.

Terrence Toliver scored a touchdown for Hamilton (8-4). Lawrence, Foster and Grymes scored for the Esks.

Hamilton kicker Justin Medlock was good on all three field-goal attempts, from 10, 42 and 39 yards. Edmonton kicker Sean Whyte hit from 29 yards out. Both kickers conceded safeties.

Carol Phillips, The Canadian Press

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