TORONTO ARGONAUTS GAME REPORT – WEEK 12: LABOUR DAY CLASSIC Ticats Shutdown Argos in 2nd Half in Crazy Classic
BarnBurner Sports Writer
Monday, September 2, 2019
HAMILTON TIGER-CATS 38 – TORONTO ARGONAUTS 27 FINAL
HAMILTON, ON – Halftime was the worst thing that could have happened to the Toronto Argonauts in 2019’s edition of the Labour Day Classic Monday afternoon.
After scoring 24 points in an explosive 1st half for McLeod Bethel-Thompson and the Argos, Toronto wouldn’t find the endzone again in the 2nd half. Tony Crapigna booted his fourth field goal late in the 3rd quarter for the only points the Argonauts could muster after halftime.
The game didn’t start on a good note.
Both teams traded touchdowns on their first possessions to get the game going and the crowd into it. Dane Evans and the Ticats offence marched the ball from their own 28 yard line and Evans ran it in from the Argo 10.
After a successful 2-point convert to make it 8-0, Bethel-Thompson and Derel Walker immediately responded with a 96-yard touchdown pass, a single-point convert, and a kick through the Hamilton endzone to tie the game.
About 4 minutes later, the game got out of hand.
A brawl broke out on an Argonaut incomplete pass that resulted in two Tiger-Cats being ejected from the game. Safety Tunde Adeleke and CB and star Returner Frankie Williams were both disqualified, Adeleke for abuse of an official and Williams for Unnecessary Roughness. The crowd at Tim Horton’s Field immediately turned sour towards the referees.
Hamilton seemed to lose a step after that, allowing a field goal, a two-and-out, a 1-play interception, another 2-and-out to begin the 2nd quarter, and another field goal before getting back on the board with a field goal from Lirim Hajrullahu.
Toronto continued to carry momentum and responded to the Hamilton field goal with another touchdown connection with Walker. They finished the half with field goal made possible by an interception by Qudarius Ford to take a 24-11 lead into halftime. Toronto forced 4 Hamilton turnovers and had an incredible 5 sacks in the 1st half.
And the switch was flipped.
The Ticats came out and scored almost every time they had the ball and shut down Bethel-Thompson’s offence. Toronto was shut out for 16:55 after their field goal late in the 3rd and forced just a single 2-and-out for Hamilton.
Evans held a streak of 19-straight completions in the 2nd half that was broken up by Justin Herdman with 5:30 left in the 4th quarter. He finished the game 31 for 37 and 442 yards with 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. It was Evans’ first career 400+ yard game.
This game was full of firsts for both teams, more so on the Tiger-Cats though. Running back Jackson Bennett scored his first career touchdown to start the 4th quarter and ended the game with 77 yards rushing.
Derel Walker meanwhile recorded his first career 200+ yard game, finishing with 203 receiving yards on 9 receptions.
Toronto couldn’t get their run-game going once again despite a fiery game from James Wilder Jr. He had just 16 yards on 7 carries and 37 yards on 5 catches. Herdman had 8 tackles, 2 sacks, and a forced fumble on defence.
Bethel-Thompson closed the game with 337 yards and 2 touchdowns but was just 52% on completions compared to Evans’ 84%.
Hamilton Defensive Lineman Dylan Wynn extended his sack streak to 5 games and receiver Bralon Addison put up his 7th career 100+ yard game with 167 total yards on 11 catches and 2 touchdowns. Brandon Banks also had 109 yards on 9 catches and Simoni Lawrence led the way on defence with 9 tackles.
Hamilton improves to 9-2 on the season and 35-13-1 in the Labour Day Classic against Toronto. This was their 5th comeback win of the season and go into their second Bye week as the best team in the CFL.
The Argos fall to 1-9 and continue to have the fewest points for and most points against in the league as they travel to Ottawa to face the Redblacks on September 7th at 1pm.
Hamilton wins the Ballard Trophy once again as they overcome a 16-point deficit to take the 2019 Labour Day Classic.
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