Kevin Glenn threw for 322 yards and a touchdown to lead the Hamilton Tiger-Cats past the Toronto Argonauts 26-17 on Friday night.
Hamilton (7-9) moved into second spot in the East Division standings, two points ahead of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers (6-9), who face the league-best Montreal Alouettes (13-2) on Saturday.
Toronto (3-13) suffered its sixth straight loss before a Rogers Centre gathering of 25,352 to remain firmly entrenched in the conference basement. The Argos are also a dismal 1-7 at home.
Hamilton defended the Ballard Cup after taking the season series. The two teams finished 2-2 but the Ticats had a better point differential.
Hamilton took control of the game by storming out to a 20-0 lead at halftime. Toronto’s anemic offence, which is at or near the bottom of most CFL categories, struggled in the opening half but did march 57 yards on seven plays before Kerry Joseph hit Jeff Johnson on a one-yard TD pass to make it 20-7 early in the third.
Argos head coach Bart Andrus made an interesting decision midway through the fourth with his club facing a third-and-five situation from the Hamilton 10-yard line. Despite trailing 23-7, he opted to go for the field goal instead of the touchdown. Medlock hit from 17 yards out to cut Hamilton’s lead to 23-10 at 7:28 but the decision drew no shortage of catcalls from the crowd.
But it looked much better when Joseph hit Jason Carter on a 95-yard TD strike at 11:39, cutting Hamilton’s lead to 23-17.
However, Glenn marched Hamilton 74 yards on six plays – including a 42-yard completion to former Argo Arland Bruce III and 27-yard strike to Chris Bauman – and Nick Setta cemented the win with a 17-yard field goal at 14:07.
Adam Tafralis and DeAndra Cobb had Hamilton’s touchdowns. Setta finished with four field goals and two converts.
Medlock ended up with a field goal and two converts.
Hamilton took advantage of Argos penalties, miscues and turnovers for its commanding half-time lead.
Toronto got an early indication as to the kind of night it would be when linebacker Zeke Moreno returned an interception 43 yards for a touchdown on the game’s opening play. But it was negated by an offside call, allowing Hamilton to retain possession and march 36 yards on nine plays before Setta’s 45-yard field goal opened the scoring at 4:01.
Toronto turned the ball over on its 39-yard line after Hamilton stuffed Joseph on a third-and-one gamble. An interference call on Dovonte Edwards in the end zone gave the Ticats possession at the Argos’ one-yard line, where third-string quarterback Tafralis scored on a keeper 35 seconds into the second.
Glenn’s 12-yard TD strike to Cobb at 7:39 put Hamilton up 17-0 and came two plays after a facemask call against Toronto linebacker Kevin Eiben put the Ticats at the Argos’ 15-yard line.
A series earlier, Amos Allen put Toronto in a huge hole when he tried to return a punt from the end zone but only got to the six-yard line. Two plays later, the Double Blue was forced to punt from its end zone after a two-and-out, giving the Ticats possession at the Argos’ 50-yard line.
Setta’s 15-yard field goal at 14:48 capped a nice 42-yard, four-yard drive to cap the opening half.