Labour Day finally rolled around in the CFL, and with two games already completed on the weekend, the fun was just about to begin with the traditional Monday games. First up on the double-header docket was the Toronto Argonauts facing their historical rivals in the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. There was a lot on the line in this game, and the physicality was taken to another level. It was time to buckle up for a spicy affair between two great franchises.
Related: CFL Power Rankings – Week 5
Dane Evans is Hamilton’s QB
After the Tiger-Cats decided to roll with Jeremiah Masoli to start the season, they have quickly realized that Dane Evans is not only their future but also their present. He has been able to elevate the team around him to another level, and while it could be a complete coincidence that the games he has started the team has looked better, I find it rather unlikely. Maybe it’s the tone he sets inside the locker room, or maybe he actually is that much better than Masoli, but it’s rather inconsequential to the point.
This is not to say at all that Masoli is a bad quarterback, but he has started to develop a bit of a reputation of not being able to get a team over the hump. If that’s really his fault, I don’t know, but he’s not the only one. Matt Nichols is another player who is like that. You can win with those guys, but sometimes, it’s best to move on as the Blue Bombers did with Nichols.
What is clear is that Evans is the answer now, no matter how good you think Masoli might be. That ship has sailed. Evans can do everything that Masoli can and then some leaving the Cats with no other option. Under the guidance of Evans, the Cats look like real contenders like everyone expected them to be at the beginning of the season.
Argos QB Woes Still Loom
It doesn’t seem to matter whether it is McLeod Bethel-Thompson or Nick Arbuckle, the Toronto Argonauts seem to have at least some level of quarterback concerns. Bethel-Thompson looked good in his opening start of the season but followed it up with a bad game in the second week of the season. Much is the same story for Arbuckle. He came out firing against the Blue Bombers in a home victory, but he looked bad against the Tiger-Cats.
We don’t have to ask ourselves who will or should start for the Argonauts in the rematch since the cat is already out of the bag on that one. Ryan Dinwiddie has confirmed that Arbuckle will be under centre for the Argos when they host the Tiger-Cats in the rematch, and that really isn’t too much of a surprise. He’s the young up-and-comer while you know what you are going to get with Bethel-Thompson.
While it’s the right choice, their quarterbacking needs to be better for them to have a legitimate chance at competing for the East division. With the Tiger-Cats seeming to come alive and the potential for explosiveness with the Montreal Alouettes, there is a better than good chance that the Argos come out of this as the third-place team in the East and even miss the playoffs altogether.
Tabbies Smother Argos
If there was one word to describe the Labour Day classic in this scenario, it would be “beatdown”. Utter dominance by the Tiger-Cats who left the Argos not even an iota of hope. They took control of the game early on by making big play after big play and sucking the life out of the Argos’ sideline.
Credit partially goes to the Tiger-Cats fans who were at the game as well. They were loud, especially considering there were only 15,000 of them there. This was their first chance to see their Tiger-Cats at home since they won the East final in 2019. They were going to be tough to beat in this game, but I don’t think anyone expected a royal butt-kicking to be broken out.
Passing Yards: Dane Evans (HAM): 248
Rushing Yards: John White (TOR): 32
Receiving Yards: Tim White (HAM): 93
Touchdowns: Eric Rogers (TOR): 2
Tackles: Jovan Santos-Knox (HAM): 8
Special Teams Tackles: Curtis Newton (HAM): 3
Sacks: Chris Edwards (TOR), Shawn Oakman (TOR), Robbie Smith (TOR), Ja’Gared Davis (HAM), Dylan Wynn (HAM), Mason Bennett (HAM): 1
Interceptions: Simoni Lawrence (HAM), Cariel Brooks (HAM): 1
13th Man Spots Player of the Game
POTG: Dane Evans
21/29 passing, 248 yards, 2 touchdowns