Shawn Thomas Erlington’s 23-yard touchdown at 11:50 of the fourth quarter rallied the Hamilton Tiger-Cats to a wild 34-27 win over the Toronto Argonauts on Friday night.
Erlington capped a five-play 77-yard drive with his TD. Seth Small made it a 10-point game with a 46-yard field goal at 1:20 p.m.
Toronto completed the scoring with Boris Bede’s 18-yard field goal on the last play of the game in case the runs scored would feature in the season tiebreaker between the two teams.
The Ticats got an inspiring performance from starter Matt Shiltz. Rookie Jamie Newman opened the second half at quarterback for Shiltz (lower body injury), but Shiltz came back into the game in fourth.
And Shiltz quickly hit Tim White on a 60-yard touchdown pass at 4:45 to make it 24-24. It came after Lawrence Woods III returned an 87-yard punt for a touchdown at 2:31 but was called up for holding the game, much to the dismay of the 23,018 Tim Hortons Field rally.
WATCH | The Ticats claim a 4th quarter victory over their rivals Argonauts:
Shiltz was leaving for Hamilton with starter Dane Evans (shoulder) on the one-game injured list. Shiltz completed 14 of 19 passes for 176 yards with a touchdown and an interception while rushing four times for 15 yards.
Newman was two-on-two passing for two yards but added 55 rushing yards and a touchdown on seven carries.
Toronto starter McLeod Bethel-Thompson completed 24 of 37 passes for 287 yards and a touchdown.
Woods was outstanding for Hamilton with 222 return yards (153 on six punts, 69 yards on three kickoffs).
Toronto lost receiver Cam Phillips to injury in the pregame warmup. Veteran running back Andrew Harris lost his shoulder pads on the Argos sideline in the second quarter.
Labor Day Grudge Match
Toronto will host the Calgary Stampeders next weekend before Hamilton returns to BMO Field on August 26. The Argos and Ticats will face off in their final regular season meeting Sept. 5 at the annual Labor Day showdown at Tim Hortons Field.
Hamilton is in Montreal next weekend ahead of his final two regular season meetings with Toronto.
Chad Kelly and DaVaris Daniels scored Toronto’s touchdowns. Bede kicked four field goals and two conversions while John Haggerty added a single.
Rookie Kiondre Smith – the son of former CFL star Adrion (Peewee) Smith – had a two-point convert for Hamilton. Punt four field goals and a convert.
Bede’s 23-yard field goal at 10:21 gave Toronto a 24-17 advantage. Small’s 37-yard field goal at 5:55 brought Hamilton within 21-17.
Daniels’ TD capped a seven-play 46-yard drive that took 56 seconds. During that span, Hamilton received two misconduct penalties, a pass interference call and setter hits – plus the pyramid – while Toronto received a misconduct flag and a face mask penalty.
Four penalties were called on Toronto’s first play from Hamilton’s 46-yard line. The Argos won a pass interference challenge on Ciante Evans of the Ticats, who recorded the interception while defending against receiver Brandon Banks. The three misconduct calls also came after the turnover.
Bede went 14-14 with a 23-yard field goal at 10:38, capping a smart six-play, 80-yard walk.
Hamilton took a 14-11 lead on Newman’s two-yard run at 4:46 before Shiltz found Smith for the two-run convert. Newman scored a play after a 37-yard pass interference call against Toronto’s DaShaun Amos.
Small’s 43-yard field goal 20 seconds into the quarter put Hamilton within 8-6. But Bede replied with a 47-yard boot at 2:15.
Kelly’s one-yard run – Toronto’s first rushing touchdown this year – gave the Argos an 8-3 lead at 12:28 of first. It was set up by defensive lineman Robbie Smith’s 31-yard interception return on Hamilton’s four-yard line.
Haggerty threw a 48-yard punt single at 10:59.
Small opened the scoring with a 21-yard field goal at 8:43, which was set up by Woods’ 47-yard punt return. The ensuing face mask penalty on Haggerty put the Ticats at the Argos 16-yard line.