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CFL Preview - Toronto (1-1) at Hamilton (0-2)



From The Sports Network

By Gregg Xenakes, CFL Editor

DATE & TIME: Saturday, July 14, 7:00 p.m. (et).

GAME NOTES: The Hamilton Tiger-Cats are one of two teams in the league who have yet to put all the pieces together in 2012 and earn a win, something they hope to remedy on Saturday, when they take on the Toronto Argonauts at Ivor Wynne Stadium.

Hamilton, which is set to play three of the next four games at home, has allowed an average of 41 ppg thus far and while the team went from posting just 16 points in the opener against Saskatchewan to 36 versus British Columbia on Friday, the 'Cats still had to deal with a three-point setback on the road.

The Tiger-Cats opened the game last week with a 95-yard touchdown pass play between Henry Burris and Chevon Walker, the two combining on a two-yard major in the fourth frame as well when Hamilton was frantically trying to gain some momentum. Burris connected on 26-of-39 for 359 yards and four touchdowns, but was intercepted once (returned for a touchdown) and suffered four sacks along the way.

Chris Williams continued to show his worth as he caught four passes for 28 yards and a score and also returned a punt 67 yards for a major in the third frame.

Unfortunately for the Tiger-Cats, the run defense was less than effective against BC as the Lions rolled up 208 yards and a score of 24 attempts.

As for the Argonauts, they were involved in a similar matchup against Calgary on Saturday, but in their case they came out ahead in the 39-36 final at home thanks to kicker Noel Prefontaine who broke the tie with a 28-yard field goal as time expired.

Prefontaine, now the league leader in kicking points with 30 through two games, converted 6-of-8 field goals and all of his PATs in pushing the Argos into the win column.

New Toronto quarterback Ricky Ray broke out in a big way as he threw for 407 yards and a couple of scores, although he also tossed two interceptions in the tight matchup. Andre Durie led all receivers with 10 catches for 118 yards, while Dontrelle Inman turned his three catches into a hefty 107 yards and both aerial TDs for the hosts.

Running back Cory Boyd scored the first points of the game for the Argonauts as he crossed the goal line from five yards out in the first quarter, just a small sample of his game-high 101 yards on 20 rushing attempts in the meeting.

The Toronto defense took Calgary starting quarterback Drew Tate out of action during the team's second possession with an apparent left wrist injury. Tate, who remained on the turf for several minutes before heading to the bench, put his hand down on the turf as he attempted to elude a hit by Toronto's Derrick Summers. However, even with the Stamps being forced to go to their backup at quarterback, Kevin Glenn, they still managed to rally and make the game competitive against Toronto.

Toronto, just 6-12 last season, lost the first two meetings between the clubs a year ago before delivering a surprising 33-16 victory in the regular-season finale on November 3.

Even with that most recent victory, the Argos are still far behind in the all- time, regular-season series, as Hamilton maintains a 122-87-2 edge dating back to 1950. The 'Cats have captured six of the last seven matchups and seven of nine, overall.

Being in the same division, Hamilton and Toronto are set to face each other three more times during the regular season. The squads are set to battle during back-to-back weeks in early September, the dates separated by just five days, while the Argos will host Hamilton in the last game of the regular season.

Clearly Ray can put up some very strong numbers when it comes to yardage totals, but he'll also need the Toronto defense to play a more pivotal role this weekend or the visitors are going to keep Hamilton in the loss column.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Toronto 27, Hamilton 18

07/11 11:27:12 ET