Wednesday, September 05, 2012


Tiger Cats and Argonauts-Home and Home, 2012

Classic confrontations between two teams are usually steeped in history. The football game played in Hamilton on Labour Day was a prime example. The Toronto Argonauts traveled down the Queen Elizabeth Way to take on the Tiger Cats in their final Labour Day game at the aging Ivor Wynne Stadium. At the end of the season, the football field is going under the wrecker’s ball, with a new edifice to be constructed on the site for the 2014 season.


Veteran Canadian Football League commentator Chris Schultz summed up the importance of the game. Playoff games are the most intense, followed by the first game of the season and the Labour Day game. There is justification for that. Most teams are at the half way point in the season. They have likely faced the opposition at least once this season. And yes, of course, there is the history.


The Argonauts and the Tiger Cats have tangled 43 times on Labour Day! The Ticats have won 28 of those contests, the Argos just 14, and one game ended in a 30-30 draw. They will do it all again next Saturday! A great piece of scheduling by the league office. Most of the time, these teams play again the following weekend, to add a little more spice to the rivalry.


The Argos went into the half time break trailing the Ticats. When the final score was posted on the board, the Argos had broken a nasty streak, with a 33-30 victory. It was the first time in 16 games that they had come from behind at half time to post a win. To do it in Hamilton, in front of some of the craziest football fans on the planet would have been extra special.


For three quarters, the Ticats led the way. Argo receivers dropped balls, and the team was penalized at the most critical times. On one occasion, the Argos scrimmaged the ball inside the Ticat twenty yard line. With the momentum building, the Argos were penalized for having 13 men on the field instead of 12. They gave up ten yards, a likely touchdown, and settled for a field goal. A really dumb mistake.


Rickey Ray continues to work his way into the Argo machine. He had to contend with a stubborn Ticat rush, a few questionable calls, and butter-fingered receivers, especially in the first half. But he had one key weapon in his backfield, and that was the difference in the game.


Chad Owens came to play, once again. He proved to be really difficult to bring down, for the Ticat defenders. He caught great passes, he knifed his way through tiny holes, and exploded on defenders. He ended up amassing 402 “all purpose” yards, breaking an Argo record. Expect the same this coming weekend in Toronto.


Following the game, Owens provided a wonderful interview for CFL fans on The Sports Network. He always gives credit to his teammates, sums up the game succinctly, concludes with a smile and says, “Aloha”. He is, after all “The Flyin’ Hawaiian”!


The Ticats’ Chris Williams electrified the crowd in the first quarter with his sixth punt return for a touchdown this season. He now has sole ownership of the record, surpassing such greats a Henry “Gizmo” Williams from the Edmonton Eskimos. The Ticats botched the convert attempt. Those miscues almost always have ramifications later on in a tight game.


Gas up the van, Martha. We are heading to the Rogers Centre for the rematch next Saturday! Should be another great game!



James Hurst


September 4, 2012  




Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?