Mighty Mouse lives.
Couldn't make in the NFL, but doing very well in the CFL. Very happy for him. We could sure use him back home. CFL: Argo Chad Owens breaks Pinball Clemons’ combined yards record
Published on Friday November 02, 2012
STEVE RUSSELL/TORONTO STAR Michael (Pinball) Clemons congratulates Argo Chad Owens, who broke Clemons' all-purpose yardage record Thursday night. Chad Owens STEVE RUSSELL/TORONTO STAR Chad Owens celebrates setting the single season CFL all-purpose yards record Thursday night.
On a night when Argo Chad Owens became pro football’s single-season record holder for combined yardage, it took a 51-yard field goal by Swayze Waters to end the playoff hopes of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
Down 20-3 in the second quarter and 40-26 in the fourth, Hamilton quarterback Henry Burris rallied his team to tie the game with two minutes left. But then Waters, cool and calm with the game on the line, booted the pigskin through the uprights with no time left on the clock, ending the Tabbies’ playoff hopes and their miserable 2012 season.
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It was the kind of moment all kickers dream of, Waters said after Toronto’s 43-30 victory Thursday night before an announced crowd of 27,283 at the Rogers Centre. The Argos will now play either the Edmonton Eskimos or Saskatchewan Roughriders next Sunday in the East semifinal at the Rogers Centre.
“I was just excited to get the opportunity. You try to put yourself in the situation every time you make a kick in practice so that every other kick seems easy,” said Waters, who was a perfect 5-for-5 in field goals. “Kicking is a pressure position. You have to go out there relaxed. You kind of build up that pressure in your mind in practice. It’s not often you get that chance to kick a game-winner.”
Coach Scott Milanovich lauded Waters’ night.
“We don’t get the win without him,” Milanovich said. “He’s going into next week’s playoff game with a ton of confidence. It was a clutch kick. You have Chris Williams back there on a 51-yard kick with the game on the line and he knocks it through.”
For Owens, it was a nail-biting night to remember. Four years ago he thought he was finished as a football player but he came to the Argos and got a chance to “live out” his dream and made history.
With a 29-yard kick return at 9:27 of the second quarter, Owens passed Michael (Pinball) Clemons to set the pro football record of 3,863 combined yards for a single season before he left the game just before the first half ended. Owens fell 177 yards short of becoming the first player in pro football history to reach 4,000 all-purpose yards for a single season.
The “Flyin’ Hawaiian” almost threw a touchdown pass as well. On an option play, he hit Spencer Watt with a 49-yard pass and Toronto would eventually kick a field goal.
“It’s not just me. I can’t get the yards if 11 other players aren’t blocking or running their routes or the quarterback isn’t getting me the ball,” Owens said. “But I’m 2-for-2 in passing now.”
Toronto was leading 20-13 when Owens set his record and moments after reaching the milestone they stopped play for a brief ceremony while his wife Rena and their three children, Chad Jr., Areana and Sierra-Lynn, joined him on the field for a special presentation with Clemons.
Veteran Jarious Jackson started, completing 4 of 5 passes for 92 yards and a 15-yard TD for Inman, who led all Toronto receivers with 128 yards. Trevor Harris took over in the second quarter, completing 7 of 14 passes for 77 yards before Zach Collaros, playing his first CFL game, took over midway through the third quarter.
In the fourth, Collaros engineered a 100-yard drive in nine plays, ending with a 13-yard TD strike to Sammy Tranks. Then after the Ticats’ Williams tied the game with his second TD of the night on a five-yard pass, Collaros brought Toronto back down the field, giving Waters a chance for his game-winning kick. Collaros completed 7 of 11 for 101 yards.
Burris went the distance, completing an incredible 37 of 55 passes for 497 yards and four TDs, giving him 43 for the season, including a 93-yard bomb to Williams. But he was also picked off twice by Argos safety Jordan Younger and sacked three times.
For the Argos, rookie tailback Gerald Riggs Jr. also had a terrific game. He rushed for 112 yards on 15 carries and a TD. He also caught two passes for 35 yards. His 61-yard run was also the longest run of the season for Toronto. Tranks also caught a 13-yard TD pass. Waters also kicked field goals from 36, 18, 32 and 41 yards.
Besides Williams’ two TDs, Aaron Kelly grabbed a two-yard TD strike on third down and Avon Colborne caught a two-yard TD pass in the fourth to make it a one touchdown game. Kicker Luca Congi booted field goals from 33, 28, 34 and 44 yards.
Owens was named Toronto’s nominee for the league’s most outstanding player and special teams player earlier in the week. The East and West representatives will be announced on Wednesday.
He entered Thursday’s game needing just 73 combined yards to pass Clemons, who had 3,840 all-purpose yards during the Argos’ 1997 Grey Cup-winning season. On Sept. 29, Owens became the first player in professional football history to gain 3,000 combined yards in three consecutive seasons.
Owens was the CFL’s first player to reach 1,000 yards this season. On Sept. 3, he set a Toronto single-game record of 402 combined yards, and the third highest in CFL history, against the Tiger-Cats.http://www.thestar.com/sports/football/cfl/article/1281410--cfl-argo-chad-owens-breaks-pinball-clemons-combined-yards-record