East rivals, the Toronto Argonauts and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats closed out the exhibition season Friday night at the University of Guelph. The Argos topped the TiCats 18-17 with a last-second game-winning 33-yard field goal by Boris Bede in a game that was live-streamed at Argonauts.ca. Hamilton and Toronto won’t play one another again until Week 9 of the regular season on August 6th. But it will begin a series of four games in five weeks between the two heated rivals.
Toronto Argonauts-Hamilton Tiger-Cats Preseason Finale Recap
As Mike Hogan mentioned on Toronto’s live stream, the game itself wasn’t a Rembrandt or a Picasso. But it wasn’t meant to be. The Argos got an opportunity to allow some of their starters to get their first game action in 2022, while the team’s backups made one last bid to get on the Boatmen’s ship for the regular season.
Argonauts starting quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson saw significant playing time on Friday Night. Toronto moved the ball well but bogged down in scoring territory. MBT was 15/24 for 183 yards in the first half. Thompson and new Argo Brandon Banks (3-34) missed on a few near scores with his new QB in their first game together.
Toronto’s anointed #2 on the pivot, Chad Kelly, had some ups and downs, including throwing an ill-advised interception in the third quarter. But overall, the CFL rookie did lead the team on the go-ahead score, finishing the evening 8/15 for 83 yards, a six-yard major he threw to WR Isaiah Wright.
CFL rookies RB Dan Adebeboye and WR Jamari Hester had excellent showings against Hamilton. Adebeboye led Toronto with 42 yards rushing. The 6’6 Hester paced the team’s passing attack with five receptions for 55 yards.
Toronto’s special teams had their fair share of issues all game. They had poor tackling and allowed a 99-yard punt return to Lawrence Woods for the game’s first score. And it wasn’t exactly a banner night for Boris Bede until the very end.
In typical 2021-like fashion, Boris Bede led the way for Toronto’s scoring, kicking four field goals in windy conditions at the University of Guelph. Bede’s game-winner at the gun is a repeat of his clutch kick against Hamilton on Thanksgiving last season. However, this clutch play came in entirely different circumstances with very little at stake besides ending the preseason for Doube Blue on a positive note.
Training camp and the preseason are over. The Toronto Argonauts players will have three days off before starting early preparations for their home opener in Week 2, Thursday, June 16th, at BMO Field.
But before they can get into regular-season mode. The Toronto Argonauts have to make final roster cuts Saturday at 10 pm ET. Double Blue has to pare down their active roster to 45, and the Argos can add up to 15 players on their practice roster. Earlier this week, Head Coach Ryan Dinwiddie told the media that he and his staff have figured out 75 percent of the roster. And that the other 25 percent would be determined by how players played in the Argos’ final exhibition game.
Since the Argonauts have a bye in the opening week of the 2022 CFL season, Toronto will have extra time to prepare for their home opener.
Once the regular season starts, what transpired on Friday night and during training camp will be a forgotten memory.
Training camp and the preseason had significant meaning for many players, particularly those on the bubble. But from here on out, everything counts. Most importantly, the results of the games.