HAMILTON – Boris Bede’s 51-yard field goal on the final play of the game capped a wild fourth quarter and earned the Toronto Argonauts a stirring 24-23 road win over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Monday.
Bede’s game-winning boot came after Taylor Bertolet’s 11-yard kick with 1:07 remaining in regulation put Hamilton ahead 23-21. But McLeod Bethel-Thompson methodically moved the Argos downfield 31 yards in seven plays.
Bertolet’s field goal capped an 84-yard, nine-play drive but the biggest part of it was a successful Hamilton challenge resulted in a 35-yard pass interference call. That put the Ticats at the Toronto 24-yard line instead of punting on third down.
Bethel-Thompson’s 23-yard TD strike to DaVaris Daniels at 11:00 gave Toronto a 21-20 advantage. It was a monumental comeback by the Argos, who were woefully outplayed in the first half yet only trailed 12-5.
Toronto (6-3) remained atop the East Division standings and also took a 2-1 lead in the head-to-head series with Hamilton. The fourth and final meeting will be Nov. 12 at BMO Field.
Hamilton (4-5) suffered its second straight home loss, to the dismay of a Tim Horton Field gathering 21,378. The Ticats were coming off a 23-20 overtime loss to the Montreal Alouettes on Oct. 2 after registering 11 consecutive victories on home soil.
Bethel-Thompson finished 29-of-42 passing for 388 yards and two TDs with an interception.
Hamilton starter Jeremiah Masoli completed 24-of-33 attempts for 361 yards and two touchdowns.
Masoli’s 45-yard pass to Jaelon Acklin at 2:07 of the fourth put the Ticats ahead 20-8. It came after Bede”s 27-yard field goal just 15 seconds into the quarter that pulled Toronto to within 13-8.
But a big reason why Toronto had to settle for the field goal was Jumal Rolle’s stellar defensive play to prevent Argos’ receiver Chandler Worthy from making a TD grab in the end zone.
McLeod Bethel-Thompson hit Chandler Worthy on a nine-yard TD strike at 6:40 to cut Hamilton’s lead to 20-15.
Bethel-Thompson opened the second half with five straight completions for 70 yards in driving Toronto from its 10-yard line to the Hamilton 36 but Bede’s 43-yard field goal try was wide, preserving Hamilton’s seven-point lead. Joel Whitford made it 13-5 with a 62-yard punt single at 11:47.
Bede’s 40-yard field goal cut Hamilton’s half-time lead to 12-5 but the score truly flattered Toronto. The Ticats outgained the Argos 234-95 and had the ball for a whopping 19 minutes 54 seconds in the opening half.
Toronto’s other points came on a safety at 8:47 of the second.
Masoli was 14-of-19 passing for 147 yards with a TD while Irons ran for 56 yards on six carries.
Bethel-Thompson completed 7-of-15 passes for 84 yards and was Toronto’s rushing leader with 12 yards, which came on one play during the drive Bede capped.
Bertolet’s 20-yard field goal at 5:35 gave Hamilton a 12-0 lead, capping a solid 12-play, 68-yard march. It came after his 28-yard field goal at 13:10 of the first.
Thomas Erlington opened the scoring with a 24-yard TD reception at 7:02 to finish a seven-play, 67-yard drive.