The Ti-Cats triumph over the Boatmen now creates a three-way tie at the top of the East. With Hamilton, Montreal, and Toronto at 2-2. Hamilton and Toronto will meet in a quick rematch this coming Friday at BMO Field. The Argonauts will be looking to get over this disappointment and avenge this humbling loss at the hands of their hated rivals.
The action heated up before the game even started, with both teams jaw-jacking at midfield. During warmups, tempers flared as both Hamilton and Toronto players had to be pulled apart.
Both defenses came to play in the early going. The Ti-Cats and Boatmen’s offense was limited early on. Hamilton and Toronto traded early field goals and some big hits along the way.
With the game tied at 3, heading into the second quarter. The Argos defense held for a while, putting consistent pressure on Dane Evans. But the Boatmen’s offense struggled to move the football. The team would generate a field goal and a single, thanks to Boris Bede. But it was Hamilton who started showing signs of life on offense as the game pressed.
Thanks to a roughness penalty on Jeff Richards, which set up the Ti-Cats in excellent field position. Hamilton raced down the short field quickly. And QB Dane Evans would find David Ungerer on a pass in the red zone. Ungerer would stiff-arm Treston Decoud and leap into the end zone to break the early 3-3 tie. Giving Hamilton a lead that they would not relinquish.
Toronto would go into the second half only trailing 10-4, despite their struggles on offense.
The 10-4 score would stay the same midway through the third quarter until the 2019 special teams player of the year, Frankie Williams, would completely change the game’s complexion with an electrifying 67-yard punt return for a touchdown. The major play by Williams would give his team a 17-4 lead.
Toronto’s offense would fail to respond to Hamilton’s game-changing score. And Hamilton would continue to bring the nail down at the Hammer on their next offensive series. In only three plays, The Tiger-Cats would drive the field’s length and strike on a 57-yard touchdown pass from Dane Evans to Tim White. Hamilton would cash in a two-point conversion to put extra salt in Toronto’s wounds. Hamilton would now vault ahead of the Boatmen 25-4.
Down 21, Toronto’s offense would continue to stall as the game went into the 4th quarter. Hamilton would extend their lead 26-4, picking up a rouge thanks to Whitford punt.
The Argos would finally mount their first touchdown scoring drive when Nick Arbuckle would connect with Eric Rogers on a twelve-yard touchdown. The ensuing extra point and a single on the kickoff would cut the Ti-Cats lead to 26-12.
The Argos defense would force Hamilton to punt on their next series. But a 57-yard punt would pin Toronto’s offense back near their end zone. And disaster would strike, as a pressured Nick Arbuckle pass would be picked off in the air and returned for a touchdown by Simoni Lawrence. The Ti-Cats would miss the extra point, but the back-breaking play would give them a 32-12 lead deep in the fourth quarter.
With the game out of reach. Argonauts head coach Ryan Dinwiddie would pull Nick Arbuckle, who had two interceptions on the day. Dinwiddie would turn to McLeod Bethel-Thompson to finish out the game at quarterback. MBT led the Argos on a TD drive, one that would see Eric Rogers score his second major of the game. The TD and extra point would get Toronto within 13 points at 32-19.
The Argos would fail to execute an onside kick after getting within two scores. However, Toronto’s offense would get the ball one more time but ended up turning the ball over on downs. The two heated rivals would nearly come to blows as the game ended. Hamilton comes out on top with a decisive knockout on the scoreboard on Labour Day. 32-19. The Argonauts will have to get up off the mat quickly and save their best counter punches this Friday at home.
2021 Labour Day Classic: Toronto Argonauts @ Hamilton Tiger-Cats Box Score