The Toronto Argonauts brought the hammer down in The Hammer – literally.
Bringing out a giant hammer was one just one of many celebrations for the Argos as they defeated the Hamilton Tiger-Cats 41-28 at Tim Hortons Field to kick off the Monday slate of OK Tire Labour Day Weekend.
Chad Kelly threw for 201 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions while also rushing for 27 yards and a touchdown while AJ Ouellette rushed for 79 yards and Andrew Harris added a touchdown in the win.
Taylor Powell threw for 296 yards, three touchdowns and an interception in the loss while Tim White grabbed eight receptions for 11o yards and a touchdown.
Coming into Hamilton on Labour Day, the Argos set the tone early as they marched downfield, and while unable to convert in the end zone, still got on the board with a 28-yard field goal from Boris Bede on the first drive.
With the Ticats unable to get downfield, their defence would come up with a huge play to get the Argos off the field as Javien Elliott intercepted Kelly at the Hamilton 36-yard line.
But Hamilton would go two-and-out on their next drive, and Toronto capitalized after their turnover as Kelly found Kurleigh Gittens Jr. for 21 yards to set up first-and-goal for Toronto at the Ticats two-yard line.
Harris, the fifth-leading rusher in the history of the league, would punch in the first touchdown of the game to put the Argos ahead by double digits.
Just as the Ticats had done two drives earlier, Toronto took their turn on grabbing an interception as Jamal Peters grabbed his second pick of the season to put the Argos in Hamilton territory to start their next drive.
Using their field position wisely, Kelly laid a ball deep to DaVaris Daniels who cut across the field for the 31-yard grab as the Argos added to their lead.
With three minutes left to play in the half and the Ticats needing another big play, Stavros Katsantonis intercepted Kelly once again that allowed the Ticats to get downfield and set up a 37-yard field goal from Marc Liegghio.
Receiving the kickoff at the half, Hamilton had one of their strongest drives yet as Terry Godwin and James Butler were Powell’s receivers of choice, as the two helped the Ticats move downfield where eventually Godwin would get the touchdown grabbing a 17-yard catch to cut the lead to seven.
Knowing that they would have to not only extend their lead but use each drive wisely, the Argos chewed up nearly five minutes of clock, using Ouellette’s strength to continually get first downs and move downfield, before Damonte Coxie would adjust in the air to get inside his defender and grab a touchdown for a second-straight week.
A huge kickoff return from Tyreik McAllister for 63 yards got the Ticats to the Toronto 34-yard line on the next drive, but the play was halted as Brandon Barlow sacked Powell to force a third down, and Hamilton looked to Liegghio to kick a 37-yard field goal instead.
Toronto started the fourth quarter off with a bang as Ouellette and Harris moved the ball downfield to get to the Hamilton two-yard line, before a newly-extended Kelly ran the ball in himself for the Argos to go up by 18 points.
Eating up five minutes of clock themselves, Powell found multiple 20-plus yard passes for first downs to get across midfield and the drive would result in a Tim White touchdown, who also grabbed the two-point convert good to make it a 10-point game.
Just as the Ticats cut into the Argos lead and showed their offensive charge, the Argos gave the ball to Ouellette not to run in, but rather to find Dejon Brissett for 26 yards for a touchdown.
Powell would find a third touchdown pass in the closing seconds of the game, once again connecting to Godwin with 11 seconds left to play in the game but it would not be enough to close the gap against a dominant Argos team.
The Tiger-Cats will head to TD Place Stadium to face the Ottawa REDBLACKS at 7:30 p.m. EDT on Sept. 8 to kick off Week 14, while the Argos will head home to BMO Field to host the Montreal Alouettes on Sept. 9 at 1:00 p.m. EDT.