Star Hamilton Tiger-Cats linebacker Simoni Lawrence likes travelling down the QEW to take the stage in Toronto.
Lawrence scored his first career touchdown at BMO Field in 2016 as the Argonauts opened the stadium as their home field. It was a pick-six for the talented defender in a 42-20 win for the black and gold. The last time Hamilton played in The Six the Ticats laid a 64-14 beatdown on the boatmen.
“I just like the atmosphere in Toronto. I understand that we have a really good defensive team and we put on a great show and our team as whole puts on a great show for Toronto,” Lawrence said.
The Tiger-Cats have won seven straight regular season games against the Argos. Ricky Ray was the last Toronto quarterback to tame the Tabbies and record a win, 43-35 on September 30, 2017. The surefire Hall of Fame QB completed 66 percent of his passes that day for 330 yards with three touchdowns and one interception.
Since then Lawrence and his Ticats have won three consecutive tilts when making the short bus trip to match-up with their rivals. The 32-year-old all-star scored his second career major in the 2021 Labour Day Classic, a 32-19 victory on the holiday Monday, intercepting a tipped Nick Arbuckle pass and sliding into the end zone during the fourth quarter.
“We understand who we are and we don’t have to prove anything, we just play our style of football,” Lawrence said.
According to head coach Orlondo Steinauer, it’s far from a home game for the Tiger-Cats even though they were able to sleep in their own beds before commuting on the highway. Despite the short turnaround — three days between games — Lawrence has recovered and is focused on entertaining the crowd.
“A lot of my Toronto friends tell me that they love when we come into town,” Lawrence said. “It’s the most fun game they get to watch.”