The Toronto Argonauts defeated the Hamilton Tiger-Cards 28-8 on Labour Day, extending their lead to 2 games over the Alouettes to lead the Eastern Conference. The team was led by Brandon Banks who increased his undefeated streak on Labour Day to 8-0 with two fourth quarter touchdowns.
Even with a stellar performance by Banks, Toronto’s defense was the star of the game with four forced turnovers, holding Hamilton’s offense to just 267 yards. It should be noted however that the Tiger-Cats were without starting QB Dane Evans who was nursing an injury to his throwing shoulder and backup QB Matthew Shiltz who was on the six-game injured list with a wrist injury. Instead third-string quarterback Jamie Newman had to make his first CFL start in the pressure of Labour Day weekend.
After going into the half tied at 8-8, the game seemed relatively balanced on both ends of the field. It wasn’t until the fourth quarter that the Argos were able to gain a significant advantage as Brandon Banks scored on a four-yard run and caught a 27-yard TD strike to ice the game.
Starting quarterback for the Argos, Bethel-Thompson, earned his first career Labour Day victory on his third attempt. He finished the game with 22/34 passing for 298 yards with two touchdowns but had two interceptions.
All in all, the Argos handed it to the Tiger-Cats pretty handily who now with a record of 3-9, are in dire need of quick wins to stay relevant for the playoffs this season.
Argos Placed Well for Playoffs
With 7 games to go in the regular season, Toronto seems in a reasonably safe place with a 6-5 record, sitting atop the East Conference. With the Alouettes next behind at just 4-7, the Argos are looking good to not only secure a playoff spot this season but also secure first week-bye. Ultimately, who wins the East may come down to the last two games of the season in which the Argos will face off against the Alouettes.
The Argos will be playing the 3-8 Ottawa Redblacks the next two weeks which could cement Toronto’s playoff berth. The Redblacks have however won their last two games and will be trying to make a turnaround to their season with not many games left to be played.
After the Reblacks, the Argos will be heading to play the 7-4 Calgary Stampeders and 8-2 BC Lions, a tougher section of the team’s schedule. Ideally the team will be trying to win the two-game series against the Redblacks 2-0, allowing them to relax against the stiffer opponents in the coming weeks.