TORONTO ARGONAUTS TOUCHDOWN REPORT – Week 21: Argos Get Looks at Future in Final Loss to Ticats
BarnBurner Sports Writer
Sunday, November 3, 2019
HAMILTON TIGER-CATS 21 – TORONTO ARGONAUTS 18
HAMILTON, ON – A game that basically began with a pick-six for Toronto became somewhat dull until the final play. Hamilton kicker Lirim Hajrullahu lined up for a 40 yards field goal with six seconds left on the clock to win the game. Tied at 18, all the Ticats needed was a point.
Hajrullahu booted the ball clean through the uprights for Hamilton’s 9th win at home and their 15th win of the season.
The most exciting stretch was the second quarter. A Hamilton field goal started the frame, immediately followed by a 75-yard pass thrown by Dakota Prukop in his first career CFL start to Rodney Smith for a huge Argonaut touchdown to regain the lead.
Hamilton answered right back with a solid drive downfield from backup QB Hayden Moore that was capped off by an 11-yard Cameron Marshall run into the endzone for the major.
Argonaut kicker Zack Medeiros hit a 41-yard field goal before Moore was immediately intercepted for the second time in the game by Linden Gaydosh. After a quick two-and-out, Medeiros was back out to kick another field goal but, missed a 29-yarder for a rouge.
A total of five point were scored in the second half, a couple of singles and the game-winning field goal for Hamilton, all in the fourth quarter.
That aforementioned pick-six was on Hamilton’s first possession and third play of the drive. Moore attempted to hit Rookie of the Year candidate Jaelon Acklin just ahead of the Argonaut 20 yardline but, it was snagged by Shaquille Richardson and returned 89 yards for a major.
Hamilton got the ball right back but, after a completed pass to Jalin Marshall, the Argonauts forced a fumble that would only amount to a two-and-out.
Moore, also in his first career CFL start, redeemed himself for Hamilton late in the first and marched the Ticats downfield before handing it off to Cameron Marshall for his first of two rushing touchdowns.
Moore may not like seeing his own number, at least on the opposition. Alden Darby picked Moor off three times Saturday, one of which was called back and didn’t make it onto the game sheet. So, two official interceptions for Darby and one each for Richardson and Gaydosh.
Moore finished the night with 218 yards and those four interceptions.
Prukop looked poised and calm in the pocket and threw for 118 yards and a touchdown in the first half. 23-year-old Canadian quarterback Michael O’Connor stepped in for the second half and threw 10 for 16 and 112 yards. No interceptions thrown by either young quarterback for Toronto.
Smith had 103 yards and the lone touchdown reception of the night, while Armanti Edwards was once again the favourite target, catching 4 of 8 passes for 62 yards.
Cameron Marshall had a season-high 109 yards rushing.
Hamilton heads off to the East Final as the best team in the CFL, while Toronto looks to the future with some hope.
Prukop and O’Connor both showed they can sling it in the CFL, while AJ Ouellette turned heads for the second week in a row at the running back position.
Toronto will have many decisions to make this off-season but, should also figure out how to keep guys healthy long-term. Notable names like Kevin Fogg, Matt Boateng, Brandon Burks, Ian Wild, and Bear Woods all sat out for extended periods this season, while Chris Rainey, Abdul Kanneh, Tyler Crapigna, Derel Walker, Cleyon Lang, and Chandler Worthy are other notables that spent time on the injured list.
Health and consistency were a major struggle for Toronto this season and new GM Michael ‘Pinball’ Clemons will certainly address those issues in 2020.