The Toronto Argonauts. They’re just not ready.
The Hamilton Tiger-Cats made a declarative statement about the pecking order of the East Division on Labour Day, blowing out their rivals 42-12 on a steamy Monday afternoon at Tim Hortons Field. Quarterback Zach Collaros threw for 400 yards and four touchdown passes while Luke Tasker had seven catches for 105 yards to lead the way.
After the Argos opened the scoring with a punt single – they wouldn’t score again for almost three quarters – the Ticats went to work, driving 75 yards in a tidy four plays and capping it with a 12-yard toss from Collaros to Terence Toliver as Hamilton took a 7-1 lead.
Another second long drive – this one went for 101 yards – led to a 16-yard Justin Medlock field goal but it was another special teams play that opened the floodgates for good. Back up safety Neil King stormed through the Argonaut punt formation and blocked the Swayze Waters kick, setting the Ticats’ up at the Toronto 32 yard line.
Four plays later, Collaros hit Tiquan Underwood with a six yard slant in the end zone to make it 17-1.
A Courtney Stephen interception had Hamilton back in business 90 seconds later and again they capitalized, Medlock connecting from 20 yards out. They extended the lead with another major when Collaros connected with Terrell Sinkfield with an 18-yard strike to make it 27-1. At the half.
Hamilton extended their lead with a 49-yard Medlock field goal before the Argos finally registered their first major of the day, set up by the Ticats’ lone turnover (a Collaros fumble.) Trevor Harris connected with Kevin Elliott from a 11 yards out but Hamilton still led by 21 heading into the fourth.
Waters hit a 43-yard field goal to cut into the lead but Collaros drove the Ticats 75 yards down the field to chew up much of what was left of the clock, then finished it with a 16-yard pass to Sinkfield. Short-yardage quarterback punched in a final, salt-in-the-wound touchdown with under a minute to play.
With the win, the Ticats improve to 7-3 and take sole possession of first place in the East Division. More importantly, they win the season series against the Argos and will hold the advantage in any season-ending tie-breakers. These two teams meet again next Friday in Toronto.
Notes: Attendance was announced at 24,390, the largest crowd of the season… the Ticats took three unnecessary roughness penalties on one play in the third quarter, which backed them up to their own three yard line… Hamilton native Daryl Waud had a fumble recovery for the Argos.