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Pipkin throws TD pass, scores two himself as Alouettes defeat Ticats 30-28

HAMILTON — Antonio Pipkin threw a touchdown pass and ran for two others as the Montreal Alouettes held on for a 30-28 win over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the regular-season finale for both teams Saturday night.

HAMILTON — Antonio Pipkin threw a touchdown pass and ran for two others as the Montreal Alouettes held on for a 30-28 win over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the regular-season finale for both teams Saturday night.

Montreal (5-13) earned its second straight win to finish third in the East Division standings ahead of the Toronto Argonauts (4-14). But the Alouettes will miss the CFL playoffs for the fourth straight year.

Hamilton (8-10) came in having cemented second in the East Division and thus rested most of its starters, including quarterback Jeremiah Masoli. The Ticats host the B.C. Lions in the conference semifinal next Sunday riding a three-game losing streak.

The Ticats had a shot at a last-second win, but Lirim Hajrullahu missed a field goal from 49 yards out on the game's final play.

Pipkin's one-yard TD run at 14:24 of the third quarter staked Montreal to a 30-18 advantage. It was set up by Ty Cranston's recovery of Terrell Sinkfield's fumble on a kickoff at the Hamilton 19-yard line.

Ticats quarterback Dane Evans, in his first CFL start, found Mike Jones on a 26-yard touchdown pass at 4:34 of the fourth. That cut the deficit to 30-25 before a generously announced Tim Hortons Field gathering of 23,381.

Evans later drove Hamilton to the Montreal 19-yard line, but the Ticats had to settle for Hajrullahu's 20-yard field goal at 12:42 of the fourth quarter to trim the Als' lead to 30-28.

Evans finished 22-of-37 passing for 315 yards with two TDs and two interceptions. Jones had five catches for 114 yards and the TD, Bralon Addison recorded seven receptions for 103 yards and a touchdown while John White ran for 88 yards on nine carries.

Quarterback Johnny Manziel made his eighth start for Montreal. He completed four of five passes for 59 yards before giving way to Pipkin in the second quarter with the Alouettes leading 7-3.

Pipkin finished 8-of-15 passing for 217 yards while rushing four times for 21 yards. Eugene Lewis had two catches for 105 yards and two TDs for Montreal while William Stanback registered four receptions for 100 yards.

Hamilton cut Montreal's lead to 20-18 on Sean Thomas-Erlington's two-yard TD run at 5:26 of the third. But Boris Bede's 43-yard field goal at 11:20 put the Alouettes ahead 23-18.

Bede kicked three converts and a field goal for Montreal.

Hajrullahu booted three converts, a single and two field goals.

Pipkin hit Lewis with a 75-yard TD toss at 12:25 of the second to stake Montreal to a 20-11 halftime lead. He was sacked on the two-point convert.

Hamilton narrowed Montreal's lead to 14-11 on Evans's 20-yard touchdown pass to Addison at 8:41. Hajrullahu followed up with a 72-yard single on the ensuing kickoff.

Pipkin's one-yard run at 3:47 of the second put Montreal ahead 14-3. The TD was awarded upon review after Pipkin was seemingly stopped on third-and-one.

It came after Hajrullahu's 22-yard field goal at 11:53 of the first.

Manziel opened the scoring with a 30-yard TD strike to Lewis at 5:10 to cap a seven-play, 76-yard drive.

Dan Ralph, The Canadian Press