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(Saturday, September 8th)
Final Score: Toronto 45, Hamilton 31
Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - Chad Kackert rushed for 172 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Toronto Argonauts to a 45-31 victory over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in an East Division battle at Rogers Centre.
"Statically it was a good performance," said Kackert. "The offensive line played well. I did not have to do a lot of the work thanks to them. I just tried to stay calm. As things opened I just tried to make something happen."
Ricky Ray was efficient for Toronto (6-4) under center, completing 26-of-32 passes for 331 yards with an interception. Kackert, who had previously not rushed for 100 yards in a game this season, also led the Argonauts with 67 receiving yards on six catches. Evan McCoullough recorded a team-best five tackles and forced a fumble.
Henry Burris completed 16-of-30 attempts for 272 yards and three touchdowns for Hamilton (3-7), which has lost five games in a row.
"We did not play a good football game," said Tiger-Cats head coach George Cortez. "We had too many dropped passes. They did a good job holding us to field goals. We're considering pretty much anything for the next game."
Avon Cobourne rushed for 119 yards on 13 carries while Chris Williams caught five passes for 71 yards. The loss put Hamilton four points behind its opponent in the East Division standings.
Toronto wasted no time scoring its first points, as Kackert produced a season long 43-yard touchdown run on the team's third play from scrimmage to take an early lead. Eric Wilbur converted the extra point attempt for his first point in a Toronto uniform of the season after coming in to replace the injured Swayze Waters.
Luca Congi put the Tiger-Cats on the board with a 48-yard field goal at the 7:11 mark of the first quarter.
Owens returned the ensuing kickoff 66 yards to give the Argonauts great field position. A timely sack of Ray by Jermaine McElveen forced Toronto to settle for a 16-yard field goal by Wilbur at the 7:11 mark of the opening period.
Hamilton showed a spark on its following drive, as Cobourne broke a pair of 20- plus yard runs to help the offense push down the field. The drive stalled inside the 10-yard line, leading to a 10-yard field goal by Congi which made it 10-6, in favor of Toronto.
The Argonauts opened up the scoring in the second frame with a 25-yard field goal by Wilbur that made their lead, 13-6, with just over 11 minutes remaining in the opening half.
The Tiger-Cats' offense was stopped once again, but not before it put Congi in position to add three points to the board with a 45-yard field goal at the 8:27 mark of the second quarter.
Burris made a costly mistake the next time Hamilton gained possession. The veteran quarterback was picked off by Patrick Watkins, who returned it 27 yards for a major that gave Toronto a 20-9 lead at halftime.
The Argonauts were in position to add their lead on their first drive after the intermission, but Dee Webb intercepted Ray to shift the momentum back in Hamilton's favor.
Burris led the Tiger-Cats down the field by completing a 50-yard pass play to Dave Stala before delivering a touchdown pass to Samuel Giguere later on the drive. Hamilton pulled within a field goal, 20-17, after a successful two-point conversion.
Toronto took back control as Jarious Jackson dove into the end zone to finish off a six-play, 63-yard drive, which gave the Argonauts a 10-point lead once again.
Kackert added onto the Toronto advantage in the fourth period as he just barely managed to cross the goal line after an 11-yard run for his second touchdown of the game. On the Argonauts' next possession, Kackert ran into the end zone for the third time, on a 39-yard run to give Toronto a commanding, 42-17, lead with just over six minutes left in regulation.
Hamilton narrowed the margin as Burris completed a 30-yard touchdown pass to Onrea Jones before connecting with Andy Fantuz for a four-yard pass into the end zone.
Toronto added three more points with a 28-yard field goal to finalize the score ahead, 45-31.
Toronto improved to 5-0 when leading at the half...The Argos now hold a 2-1 lead in the season series...Watkins now has a team-best four interceptions for the season...Burris has completed a touchdown pass in nine-straight contests...Wilbur had two illegal kickoffs in his debut with the team...These teams meet again Nov. 1 in Toronto.
09/08 19:10:57 ET
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