Hamilton, Ontario (CFL.ca) - Spencer Watt's 12-yard TD catch anchored a 10-point third quarter as the Toronto Argonauts took advantage of Kevin Glenn's absence to upset the Hamilton Tiger-Cats 16-13 in the East Division semifinal Sunday.
Glenn, one of just two CFL quarterbacks to pass for more than 5,000 yards this season, suffered a hyperextended left knee late in the first half before an Ivor Wynne Stadium gathering of 27,828 on a cool, breezy fall afternoon.
Glenn returned to the Hamilton bench late in the third, but by that time Toronto turned a 6-3 halftime deficit into a 13-6 lead heading into the fourth.
Cleo Lemon's strike to Watt just 1:45 into the third gave Toronto its first lead of the game, 10-6. It was set up by Matt Black's recovery of a Marcus Thigpen fumble, his second of the game, on a punt return.
Noel Prefontaine connected from 11 yards out at 14:53 to extend the advantage.
But it should've been more. Following Lemon's pass to Watt the Argos drove to the Hamilton five-yard line before Geoff Tisdale intercepted Lemon's throw in the end zone to keep it a four-point game.
Glenn returned in the fourth sporting a brace on his left knee but it was backup Quinton Porter's three-yard TD run at 6:53 that pulled Hamilton within three at 16-13.
But Toronto managed to put together a 10-play drive that began at its three-yard line with 4:51 left in the fourth before having to punt with 59 seconds left. Prefontaine's 41-yard kick out of bounds left Hamilton on its 10-yard line with 52 seconds remaining.
Glenn drove Hamilton to the Toronto 41-yard line before Argos cornerback Byron Parker caught a deflected pass with two seconds left, the Ticats' fifth turnover of the game.
The win was Toronto's first in four meetings this year with Hamilton, which had forced a whopping 15 turnovers in the three regular-season victories while committing just five.
Prefontaine booted two field goals and a convert.
Sandro DeAngelis kicked two field goals and a convert for the Tiger-Cats.
DeAngelis's 17-yard field goal with four seconds remaining staked Hamilton to a 6-3 halftime lead. The Ticats could've been ahead by six points had DeAngelis not bounced another 17-yard try off the goalpost earlier in the half.
DeAngelis's second boot was set up by a sparkling 26-yard punt return by Thigpen. But the Ticats were left holding their breath when Glenn was injured on a 30-yard completion to Chris Bauman two plays earlier.
Just after releasing the ball Glenn was hit by Toronto defensive end Ricky Foley, who tackled Glenn, then twisted him to the turf. Glenn walked off on his own but didn't return to the Ticats' bench until late in the third.
The first half had the offensive flow of a stagnant swamp as the two teams combined for 15 punts, including nine for Prefontaine. Toronto was especially dismal on offence, mustering just 84 total yards and three first downs.