Quinton Porter’s fourth-quarter touchdown guided the Hamilton Tiger-Cats to an important 27-12 win over the Toronto Argonauts on Saturday night.
Porter’s one-yard run at 7:58 cemented the win for Hamilton before an announced Rogers Centre gathering of 21,853 with both the Toronto Maple Leafs and Toronto FC also playing home games. It also highlighted a bizarre stretch in the contest.
Hamilton drove to the Toronto eight-yard line before Lin-J Shell’s interception. However, Shell fumbled on the return and Ticats’ quarterback Kevin Glenn recovered at the Argos’ 25-yard line.
Porter scored a play after Toronto defensive end Ricky Foley was ejected following a melee to put Hamilton at the Argos’ one-yard line. Adding insult to injury, the Ticats recovered the onside kick but eventually punted.
Hamilton also managed a field goal off a fake punt to help make two Argos eat their words. After last week’s 25-24 home win over Winnipeg, Toronto linebacker Erijo Kuale guaranteed a victory over the Ticats and later tailback Cory Boyd suggested he’d run for 200 yards in the game.
Unofficially, Boyd finished with 62 yards on 11 carries.
Hamilton (7-6) won its second straight to move to within two points of top spot in the East Division, currently shared by Montreal and Winnipeg with 8-5 records. The Blue Bombers host the Ticats on Friday night while the Alouettes are home to the Argos on Oct. 10.
Toronto (3-10) suffered its sixth straight loss to Hamilton to leave its playoff hopes hanging by a thread. The Argos trail the Ticats by eight points with both teams having five regular-season games remaining.
What’s more, Toronto will have to finish ahead of Hamilton in the East Division standings as the Ticats clinched the season series. The Argos’ crossover hopes are just as precarious as Edmonton and B.C. are tied for second in the West with 14 points and five games to play.
Terry Grant and Chris Williams scored Hamilton’s other touchdowns. Justin Medlock added the converts and two field goals.
All Toronto mustered were four Noel Prefontaine field goals.
After an inauspicious start — Glenn threw two early interceptions — Hamilton outscored Toronto 10-3 in the second quarter for a 17-6 half-time lead. The Ticats had twice as many first downs (16 to eight) and nearly doubled the Argos’ offensive production (293 yards to 158).
After Toronto did nothing with the turnovers, Grant emphatically erased a 3-0 deficit with an 89-yard TD scamper at 12:10 of the first. It was the CFL’s longest run this and earned Grant his third touchdown in two games.
Glenn found Williams on an eight-yard TD strike at 4:36 of the second before Medlock’s 31-yard field goal at 12:31 put Hamilton ahead 17-3.
Toronto pulled to within 17-6 on Prefontaine’s 18-yard field goal at 14:33. It was set up by Prefontaine’s 21-yard completion to Jeff Johnson off a fake punt that put the Argos at the Hamilton 31-yard line.