Monday, September 3, 2018
TIGER-CATS 42 ARGONAUTS 28
Green and Banks had two touchdowns apiece as Hamilton rallied for a 42-28 Labour Day win over Toronto. Green and Banks both scored TDs in the fourth quarter as the Ticats outscored the Argos 18-0 in the frame to continue their Labour Day domination of their arch rivals.
It marked the second straight game Hamilton (5-5) came back to win. The Ticats overcame a 24-10 half-time deficit to edge the Edmonton Eskimos 25-24 at Tim Hortons Field on Aug. 23.
"The last two weeks we're doing what you need to do and that's finishing games,'' said Hamilton coach June Jones. "We finished two games in a row and that's what we haven't done since I've been here.
"That feeling that happened last week is contagious and so when we had the bad things happen we overcame it again.''
Hamilton improved 34-13-1 on Labour Day against Toronto. The Ticats are also 5-0 at Tim Hortons Field in the annual showdown.
Luke Tasker had eight catches for 145 yards while Banks finished with nine receptions for 135 yards. Green ran for 115 yards on 18 carries.
"When you win a game like this it's real easy to say, 'Look how good we can be if we can just fix this and that,''' Tasker said. "I think we can win a lot more games if we continue to fix the little things.''
More importantly, Hamilton moved to within two points of first-place Ottawa (6-4) in the East Division standings. And the Ticats are now four points ahead of both Toronto (3-7) and Montreal (3-8), who remain tied for third.
Hamilton visits Toronto on Saturday with a chance to clinch the season series. The two teams will meet a final time at BMO Field on Oct. 12.
But now, Tasker and the Ticats can think about sweeping the home-and-home series.
"It's huge,'' he said. "I said before this game that 3-6 is a lot different than 4-5, and now at 5-5. We're in a good place to put ourselves in a position for the playoffs.''
Toronto's McLeod Bethel-Thompson was 14-of-29 passing for 163 yards with an interception in dropping his second straight start after opening with consecutive victories. The Argos' offence managed just 221 net yards, compared to 543 for Hamilton.
"We showed some backbone and ability to make plays ... but we lost this game in all three phases,'' said Toronto head coach Marc Trestman. "I don't think we played well enough to win.
"I don't think we're far off. I think we showed some things we did better tonight, particularly coming back and not only tying the game but also getting the lead after they went up 21-14 at halftime.''
Toronto fell two wins behind Winnipeg (5-6), which stands fourth in the West and would earn the crossover if the playoffs began this week. Despite that the Argos did cap their '17 season winning the Grey Cup after dropping seven of their first 11 regular-season games.
"Our team is very well aware of what our record was after 11 games last year,'' Trestman said. "We're in a position to do that, but we're an entirely different team.
"Right now, we have to continue to find ways to get a little better.''