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Hamilton Tiger-Cats season comes to crashing halt after playoff loss against Montreal

Any thought that the Hamilton Tiger-Cats would end a more than two-decade-long Grey Cup drought was squashed on Sunday after they fell 28-17 against the Montreal Alouettes in the Canadian Football League’s East Division Semifinal.

Alouettes QB Trevor Harris was surgical in the first half, orchestrating three touchdown drives, including a game-opening series that culminated in a 13-yard TD to receiver Jake Wieneke.

Backup quarterback Dominique Davis pushed Montreal’s lead to 14-3 with a one-yard touchdown run, while running back Walter Fletcher scampered for a 33-yard score that put the Als up 21-6 midway through the second quarter.

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Quarterback Dane Evans started the game but Hamilton’s offence could only muster a 47-yard and 23-yard field goal by kicker Seth Small. They trailed Montreal 22-6 at the break.

Evans was supplanted early in the third quarter by backup pivot Matthew Shiltz, who engineered a touchdown drive that ended with a 12-yard scoring pass to Steven Dunbar Jr., cutting the Als lead to 22-14.

Shiltz finished the game 11-19 for 127 yards, with one touchdown, one interception and one fumble. Evans completed 7-of-10 passes for 123 yards and an interception.

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Montreal’s David Cote booted a 33-yard field goal at the end of the third frame and Small split the uprights on a 35-yard attempt to make it 25-17 for Montreal.

One of the key moments of the game came with 2:14 to play, when former Ticat Tyrice Beverette hit Shiltz, who lost the football, and the Alouettes recovered at the Hamilton 24-yard line, virtually ending any hope of a Ticats comeback.

Montreal will visit the Toronto Argonauts in the East Final on Sunday, Nov. 13.

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