The Hamilton Tiger-Cats fell to the Toronto Agonauts 30-23 in tonight’s preseason finale at Tim Hortons Field.
However, the silver lining for the Ticats is that they looked fairly effective when all the starters were in the game.
Starting quarterback, Jeremiah Masoli played the entire first half, and looked locked in early. He got the offence off to a hot start driving down the field and connecting with Bralon Addison on a 11 yard TD to pass to cap off a 10 play 70 yard drive.
The Argos would answer, however scoring 10 straight points to pull out ahead.
Masoli would throw an interception, however the defence had his back, holding the Argos to a 41 yard field goal attempt, which was missed for a single. Masoli finished the game with 17/26 passing for 154 yards, one passing touchdown, one rushing touchdown and one interception
Veteran Luke Tasker was the leading receiver in the first half, catching four passes for 55 yards.
Kicker Lirim Hajrullahu was perfect in the game, converting all three of his field goals, including a 43 yarder. He also connected on both of his extra points.
Canadian running back Sean Thomas Erlington had the highlight of the first half, bringing the crowd to their feet when he hurdled Argos safety Jermaine Gabriel at the end of his 24 yard rush.
Richard Leonard had the defensive highlight of the first half, picking off Canadian Michael O’Connor to set the Ticats up with great field position.
On the ensuing drive, Masoli would make the Argos pay for a pass interference penalty in the endzone, punching the ball in on the goal line for a 1 yard TD run.
The Argos got the ball down to the Ticat six yard line, but the defence would hold strong, forcing the Argos to kick a 12 yard field goal. The two teams would head into halftime tied at 20.
Dane Evans came out to start the second half at quarterback for Hamilton and played about a quarter and a half before making way to Hayden Moore.
Evans’ favourite target was the Ticats leading receiver in the game, Bralon Addison. Addison caught seven passes for 71 yards, with most of that coming from Evans.
The Tiger-Cats victimized another Canadian quarterback when Cariel Brooks picked off Brandon Bridge in the third quarter, however nothing would come from the drive.
Toronto would take the lead in the fourth quarter, when Dakota Prukop found Cole Watson who made a pretty diving catch in the endzone.
Thanks to a great return from Fankie Williams, the Ticats were able to get the ball deep into Argonaut territory, with a chance to tie it. However they turned the ball over on downs and that sealed the deal for Toronto.
Hamilton will open the regular season a week today when the host the Roughriders at Tim Hortons Field. As for these two teams, they’ll meet again at BMO Field on June 22.