The Labour Day Classic has never been kind to Ricky Ray.
The Toronto Argonauts’ quarterback lost his third-straight Labour Day game as a starter to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Monday with a 24-22 defeat in a thunderstorm-delayed game that took more than five hours to complete at Tim Hortons Field.
“Obviously, the atmosphere’s a little bit different with the Labour Day games,” Ray said. “But the game’s still the game. You get out there and play. I’ve been through enough of these to know what to expect coming in, to a visitor’s stadium on Labour Day.
“They’ve just had our number, have had our number for a while, and we just haven’t made the plays.”
Ray didn’t have a bad night, completing 34-of-47 pass attempts for 325 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.
But his personal record as a starter on Labour Day fell to 1-3 and he hasn’t beaten the Ticats in this marquee matchup since 2012.
The Ticats have now won all four Labour Day games hosted since moving to their new stadium. Trevor Harris, now with Ottawa, started for the Argos in their 2015 loss.
Monday’s result was a particular let-down for the 37-year-old Ray, who had a career day when these teams last met in the season opener. Toronto won that game 32-15 at BMO Field, throwing for 506 yards – a personal best and a league-high this season.
Ray is 18-11 against the Ticats overall, the most wins he’s recorded against any CFL team.