Saturday's CFL game between the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Ottawa Redblacks has seen some crazy twists, including Ottawa taking a 17-0 lead and Hamilton bouncing back to lead 20-17 at the half behind backup QB Jeremiah Masoli, but the most unusual of all came in the third quarter. The Ticats need a win by six points or more to take first place in the East and its accompanying first-round bye, but with 4:52 left in the third frame, they were down 31-20 and facing third and 21. Then this happened:
Yes, that's an onside punt for a touchdown, with Hamilton DB Rico Murray lining up behind the punter, racing downfield, recovering the ball after it took a weird bounce and speeding into the end zone. It's perfectly legal under Canadian football rules (in a nod to the game's roots in rugby, the punter or anyone behind him when the ball's kicked can legally recover a punt even before the opposing team touches it) but extremely rare, and it's appropriate that it happened in a game between Ottawa and Hamilton. Last year, the Redblacks posted the first successful onside punt recovery for a TD since 1999; this year, the Ticats pulled off their own onside punt recovery for a TD in an August 3 game against Toronto. So, there have now been three onside punt recoveries for a TD in two years, after 15 years without one, and they've all involved at least one of these teams. This is only part of the craziness that's developed in Saturday's game (which has also had a missed convert returned for two points, huge lead swings and much more) but it's a great part of it.