The Toronto Argonauts (6-3) have taken control of the East by defeating their heated rival Hamilton Tiger-Cats (4-5) in thrilling fashion 24-23. Led by McLeod Bethel-Thompson (388 yards, 2 TDs), the Argos rallied from a 12 point deficit late (20-8) to take the lead 21-20 before having to drive down the field for a game-winning 51-yard field goal by Boris Bede at the final gun.
Toronto overcame a sluggish start at Tim Horton’s Field on Thanksgiving. One that saw the team trail 12-5 at halftime. But perhaps an omen of how their Thanksgiving would end came on Boris Bede’s nearly missed field goal before the end of the first half, which barely grazed the flagpole for Toronto’s first offensive score of the game.
A key turning point in this Thanksgiving Throwdown came when a Kameron Kelly interception with the Ti-Cats up 20-8 was overturned by a brilliant challenge by Argos coach Ryan Dinwiddie. A roughing the passer call on JaGared Davis negated what could have been a game-sealing turnover. McLeod Bethel-Thompson would go on to lead the Boatmen to three scoring drives late to help Toronto get their first victory at Hamilton since 2017.
The Argos thrilling victory over Hamilton puts them two games up in the East with five games left to play. The win also puts Toronto at 4-1 in their division. After playing two games in a five-day stretch, the Boatmen will now play at Montreal (4-4) 11 days from now. The 4-5 TiCats will be back home on 10/23 to face Ottawa.
Toronto Argonauts @ Hamilton Tiger-Cats Week 10 Game Recap/Highlights/Box Score
Before the game started, it was announced that Argos DE Charleston Hughes would once again be a healthy scratch.
Toronto’s defence would see the field first against Hamilton’s offence to start the game. The Boatmen would force a quick two and out.
The Argos would take over on their first offensive possession at their 30-yard line. On their very first play, McLeod Bethel-Thompson would go to the air and hook up with Kurleigh Gittens Jr. for a 17-yard gain. But two plays later, a tipped pass at the line of scrimmage that was nearly intercepted would stall the drive at midfield.
Setting up Hamilton on their second drive at the 43. An unnecessary roughness penalty by Treston Decoud would get the Ti-Cats offense into Toronto territory. Boris Bede would come on and punt the ball only 31 yards off the side of his foot. Two plays later, a Jeremiah Masoli connection with David Ungerer would bring Hamilton to the 35.
Shawn Oakman’s sixth sack of the season would force a second and long. But Jeremiah Masoli’s 11-yard run, followed by a QB sneak on 3rd and inches by David Watford, would net the Ti-Cats another first down. One play later, Masoli would find Sean Thomas-Erlington in the flat, and he would race to the end zone scoring a 24-yard major to give Hamilton a 6-0 lead. However, Tiger-Cats kicker Taylor Bertolet would miss the extra point thanks to the swirling winds at Tim Horton’s Field.
Looking to respond. The Argos would take over on their 36-yard line after a 25-yard kick return by Chandler Worthy. A procedure penalty would negate a first down pickup by Bethel-Thompson to Patrick Lavoie. To make matters worse, LaVoie would injure his hamstring during the play. Toronto’s offense would commit three consecutive penalties leading into a 2nd and 20. The Argos would get some of those yards back on a 17-yard completion, but they would be forced to punt again.
Back-to-back big running plays for Hamilton by Maleek Irons for 37 yards combined would put their offence immediately into Toronto territory. Two Masoli completions would take the Ti-Cats to Toronto’s 22-yard line. But Toronto’s D would hold Hamilton to a field goal, and Taylor Bertolet would redeem himself by kicking a 28 yarder through the uprights to extend the Ti-Cats lead to 9-0.
With the first quarter winding down. Toronto’s offence would pick up one first down before stalling again and punting the ball away.
The Tit-Cats would get the ball back up 9-0. Facing a 2nd and long, just inside Toronto territory. Hamilton would convert the first down on an 18-yard catch and run by Jaelon Acklin. Steven Dunbar would catch the ball past the first-down marker on another second and long, but he would lose yardage by circling back. No matter, Jeremiah Masoli would convert a QB sneak to extend the drive into the red zone. Two straight completions by Masoli to Bralon Addison and Steven Dunbar would quickly get Hamilton to midfield.
Masoli would take a shot into the end zone on the next play, but Shaq Richardson would break the play up at the goal line. Toronto’s defence, thanks to a nice open-field tackle by Jeff Richards. would hold in the red zone. Taylor Bertolet would connect on the field goal from 20-yards out to give Hamilton a 12-0 lead.
Toronto’s offensive struggles would continue, as Hamilton’s JaGared Davis would stuff DJ Foster on a first down run and then force an incompletion by pressuring McLeod Bethel-Thompson. The quick two and out by Double Blue would give Hamilton the opportunity their two-score lead.
However, a 62-yard punt by Boris Bede and excellent coverage would pin Hamilton back at their 10-yard line. On second down, Dexter McCoil would nearly sack Jeremiah Masoli in the end zone for a safety. Toronto would get their two points on the next play as Hamilton would concede the safety in the end zone on 3rd down on a comical Tunde Adeleke 23 yard loss in the end zone, where he ran around for a while before stepping out of bounds. The play would get Toronto on the scoring, as the team now trailed 12-2.
Toronto’s offense would fail to capitalize on the team’s field position after the safety. Mark Washington’s defence would continue to pitch a shutout in the first half. The Ti-Cats defence would produce back-to-back big plays from their best defensive playmakers. Ciante Evans would break up a pass on the sidelines intended for Kurleigh Gittens Jr. After another Toronto penalty, Simoni Lawrence would chase down and sack McLeod Bethel-Thompson.
A nifty punt return by Hamilton’s Marcus Green would set up Hamilton at the 42-yard line. Two Masoli completions would get the TiCats into Toronto territory. But a blitzing Chris Edwards would tip a Masoli pass to force Hamilton to punt. However, on 3rd and 2, Hamilton’s attempt at a fake-punt run by Garand-Gauthier would fall short of the line to gain.
Toronto’s offense would have great field position after the turnover on downs. But a dropped pass by DeVaris Daniels on second down would kill the Boatmen’s potential momentum swing.
Hamilton would get the ball back with just over two minutes left in the first half. A big pass breakup by the 6’9 Shawn Oakman at the line of scrimmage would keep Hamilton from adding to their first-half lead.
Toronto would get the ball at their 48 with 52 seconds left in the first half. McLeod Bethel Thompson would complete a pass to Ricky Collins for a first down to get Toronto into Hamilton territory. MBT would break the pocket and water slide for another first down conversion to Hamilton’s 40-yard line.
DJ Foster would pick up another first down with 17 seconds left on a 10-yard completion. But two plays later, JaGared Davis would sack Bethel-Thompson with only two seconds left in the first half. The Argos would call timeout. Boris Bede would nearly miss a 40-yard field goal to cut Hamilton’s halftime lead to 12-5. The kick by Bede would veer over the left upright, but the refs under the kick would signal it as being good.
After starting the game, 7/15 for 84 yards, McLeod Bethel-Thompson would come back out on the pivot for Toronto to start the second half. A holding penalty on special teams would set the Argos back at the 10. But Bethel-Thompson would connect with Kurleigh Gittens for a first down, followed by a completion to Damion Jeanpiere for 19 yards.
Toronto would pick up another first down on a 12-yard pass to DeVaris Daniels. The play would bring the Boatmen across midfield. MBT would complete another pass to Ricky Collins for a first down, but a Hamilton sack by Dylan Wynn on Thompson would force a second and long from the 46.
DJ Foster would pick up 10 yards on a swing pass to set up a 43-yard field goal, but Boris Bede would miss the kick wide. Marcus Green would return it out of the end zone, but an illegal block would put the Ti-Cats offence inside their 5-yard line.
Backed up in their own end zone, Jeremiah Masoli would throw out of it and find Tim White for a 60-yard gain. Toronto’s defence would force a Ti-Cats punt after a near interception by Dexter McCoil, but the big-play by Hamilton out of their end zone helped flip field position.
Toronto would get the ball back at the 21. Thompson would find Gittens Jr for a first down. Two Aj Ouellette runs would net 9 yards. Facing a 3rd and 1 at their 45, Toronto would opt to punt the ball away instead of going for the first down.
Up 7, midway through the third quarter. Hamilton’s offense would get clicking. Jeremiah Masoli would find Bralon Addison for 18 yards and a first down. Sean Thomas Erlington would convert another first down on the ground. A Jaelon Acklin completion would take Hamilton into Toronto territory.
At Toronto’s 48 yard line, Masoli would take a deep shot to a wide-open David Ungerer, but he would miss him for what would’ve been an easy score. Hamilton would have to settle for one point on 3rd down, as a 62-yard punt by Whitford deep into the corner of the end zone would give Hamilton a 13-5 lead.
Toronto’s next offensive possession would start with a procedure penalty. The Argos would try to crawl out of their self-inflicted hole with a 27-yard catch and run by Ricky Collins. Two straight completions to Kurleigh Gittens for 35 yards would bring the Boatmen into the red zone. McLeod Bethel-Thompson would find Chandler Worthy in the end zone for what could’ve been a touchdown, but Jumal Rolle would break up the play at the last second. After another penalty on offence, Hamilton would send the house at MBT, and he would be forced to release into the end zone early for an unsuspecting Chandler Worthy, who looked like he was feeling the effects of too much Turkey.
Worthy’s incompetence would lead to Toronto settling for a field goal by Boris Bede to cut Hamilton’s lead to 13-8 as the third quarter ended.
It wouldn’t take Hamilton very long to respond to Toronto’s field goal. On just three plays, Jeremiah Masoli would find Steven Dunbar first for 32 yards. Two plays later, the Ti-Cats would attack Chris Jones defence deep with a 45-yard touchdown by Masoli to Jaelon Acklin to give the Ti-Cats a 20-8 lead.
Down 12, Toronto’s offence would try to speed things up. The team would drive to midfield, but a blitzing Ti-Cats defense would lead to a pressured Bethel-Thompson throwing an interception to a diving Kameron Kelly over the middle of the field. Argos head coach Ryan Dinwiddie would challenge the play for a potential roughing the passer call. The challenge would succeed as the officiating staff ruled that JaGared Davis roughed Thompson.
The penalty would negate Kelly’s interception, and two plays later, Chandler Worthy would redeem himself from his end zone mishaps earlier with back-to-back big plays. One on a 22-yard completion and then an 11-yard shovel pass for a touchdown.
The Argos score would trim Hamilton’s lead to 20 to 15. A roughing the kicker penalty on Boris Bede’s extra point would give Toronto a chance to set up Hamilton in poor field position. But Toronto returned the favor with a bad, unnecessary roughness penalty by AJ Oulette that would prevent Hamilton from starting their next drive inside their 10.
However, Toronto’s defence would force a two and out. A 15-yard punt return by Worthy would set up Toronto near midfield. A red-hot McLeod Bethel-Thompson would keep Toronto’s momentum alive. Thompson would complete four consecutive passes for 57 yards. The last one, a gorgeous 22-yard touchdown near the sidelines to DeVaris Daniels. On the play, Daniels made a fantastic aerial catch. The major would give the Argos a 21-20 lead. However, the team’s two-point attempt would fail as Kameron Kelly in the end zone picked off Thompson.
Down one with less than three minutes left. Hamilton’s offence would drive to midfield and would face a second and long. Masoli would take a shot down the field that was incomplete. But the Ti-Cats would successfully challenge for a pass interference penalty on Treston Decoud. Instead of punting the ball away at 2:31, the penalty would net Hamilton 35 yards and set them up deep in Toronto territory.
In field goal range, facing a second and eight at Toronto’s 22. Jeremiah Masoli would thread a pass between two defenders to Bralon Addison for a first and goal at the Argos ten-yard line.
With two minutes left, The Argos would burn a timeout to preserve time. A first-down run by Maleek Irons would set up a second and goal from the 7. Jamal Peters would tackle Masoli at the 4-yard line, setting the stage for a third and goal. Taylor Bertolet would connect on a 12-yard field goal to give Hamilton the 23-21 lead with 1:07 left in the game.
McLeod Bethel-Thompson would come back out down two with 1:01 left at the 35-yard line.
Toronto would pick up a first down on a 13-yard completion to Chandler Worthy. A big tackle by Simoni Lawrence on Jeanpiere at the 52 would set up a 3rd and 6 at the 52. Bethel-Thompson would successfully convert by threading the needle on a 13-yard pass to Dejon Brissett.
Hamilton would call timeout with Boris Bede coming on to kick a 51-yard field goal at the gun to win what will go down as one of the most dramatic regular-season victories by Toronto in recent history.
Finals Score: Toronto Argonauts 24 Hamilton Tiger-Cats 23
|GITTENS JR., Kurleigh||7||8||105||60||15.0||22||0|
|COLLINS JR, Ricky||6||9||88||52||14.7||27||0|
FG MISSED RETURNS
|MCCOIL SR, Dexter||12||0||1||0||0||0|
|COLLINS JR, Ricky||1||0||0||0||0||0|
|THOMAS ERLINGTON, Sean||3||18||6.0||10||0|
|THOMAS ERLINGTON, Sean||2||2||51||47||25.5||27||1|
FG MISSED RETURNS
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