Hat Trick: Williams' three TD's propels Ticats over Argos | CFL.ca | Official Site of the Canadian Football League
Recap: Toronto 27, Hamilton 36

CFL.ca Staff

HAMILTON – Chris Williams and Andy Fantuz combined for four touchdowns as the Hamilton Tiger-Cats took the first round of the 2012 Battle of Ontario with a 36-27 win over the Argonauts.

It was a classic battle in more ways than one.  The Ticats-Argos rivalry is well documented but Saturday`s game also marked the first time that Henry Burris and Ricky Ray took their quarterback rivalry (previously with Calgary and Edmonton) East.

Defences started out flying with both teams getting pressure on the opposing quarterbacks but it was Burris and the Ticats that struck first when he found sophomore WR Chris Williams streaking down the sidelines for a 35-yard touchdown to take an early 7-0 lead.

Related: Argos at Tiger-Cats

» Video: Tiger-Cats at Argos  Recap
Images: TOR at Ham
» View Game Stats

Video: Williams' 119-Yard MFG TD
» Video: Fantuz's First Hamilton TD
» Preview: Argos at Tiger-Cats

The Ticats would build on their lead shortly after when Burris found Andy Fantuz in the endzone for a 24-yard major.  It was the former Saskatchewan Roughrider’s first touchdown as a Tiger-Cat.  The score was set up a few plays earlier when Hamilton LB Nathan Kanya pounced on a Chad Owens fumble when the elusive Argos returner had the ball stripped while fielding a punt.

The Ticats’ special teams unit would come up big again at the beginning of the second quarter when Williams would record his second touchdown of the game, taking back a Noel Prefontaine punt 87 yards to put the ‘Cats up 21-0.

Ray and the Argos’ offence would start to find a bit of rhythm on the next drive as they worked their way down the field and a 39-yard Dontrelle Inman catch put them within scoring range but they had to kick a 14-yard Prefontaine field goal.

The Argos would add another field goal on their next drive to cut the Hamilton lead to 22-6 and then record their first major of the game when Ricky Ray led the Toronto offence down the field and helped set up a 1-yard touchdown plunge by backup QB Jarious Jackson.

On the ensuing Ticats possession, Burris found receiver Bakari Grant over the middle but the Argos' Pat Watkins forced a fumble and Toronto took over with 53 seconds remaining in the half. 

The Argos were poised to inch closer on the final play of the half but a missed Prefontaine field goal was fielded by Williams and returned it 119 yards for his third touchdown of the game and a 29-13 lead at halftime.

Contrary to the score, Toronto was ahead of Hamilton in both first downs and total offence after two quarters.

Boyd's Big Night

Despite the loss, Cory Boyd still racked up huge numbers, carrying the ball 19 times for 168 yards and a touchdown.  Saturday's performance set a new career high for the third-year tailback.

The Argonauts opened the second half with a successful drive that was stopped by the Ticats 'D' inside the 10 yard line.  It wasn’t Prefontaine, however, that came out to attempt the chip shot field goal.  Undrafted rookie Anthony Alix hit his first career CFL three-pointer to pull the Argos to within 13.

Ray started getting into a groove but the Argos’ pivot couldn’t seem to find the endzone.  Alix missed a 24-yard field goal and Toronto had to settle for a single point.

Toronto refused to give up however, as they road their running back Cory Boyd down the field as the fourth quarter began.  Boyd had two big gains, leading the Argos inside the five yard line and eventually punching in the major from the three to cut the Hamilton lead to 29-24.

That would swing momentum in Toronto’s favour as DB Evan McCollough intercepted a Burris pass to set the Double Blue up on Hamilton’s side of centre.  It would lead to an 18-yard Alix field goal and the Argos pulled within two.

Burris and the ‘Cats would answer though, when the veteran QB orchestrated an impressive drive, capped off by a touchdown pass to Bakari Grant to extend the Hamilton lead to 36-27.

The Argonauts would have one last chance to get within striking distance but Hamilton DB Carlos Thomas made a play on the ball and intercepted Ray's toss with 1:51 remaining in the game.

Fan Comments
als rule
last year is over and done with!! it's 2012 new defence BUT where the hell is montreal's return game? devine and guy stink!! #85 back to returning punts again!!
July 16, 2012 - 7:42pm
Hank looked good in spots. He's got the ability but it the manner in which the offense is run that causes inconsistencies. A lot of plays are poorly conceived.

Toronto ran misdirection, crossing routes, and better imagination in their offense.
July 16, 2012 - 2:40am
A good game by the Ticats and a GREAT game by Williams with his 3 TDs. He should be getting some attention for POW honours IMO. tigercatmania2 - I'm not sure that I agree the pass rush didn't show although it wasn't present at all times. Yes Burris and his receivers are still trying to make connections at times leading to inconsistent production, but I do see positives from this game like all of the Ticats scores being TDs (plus the punt single) as opposed to Argos continually kicking FGs. Yes they weren't all offensive TDs but a TD is a TD. Rookie Boudreaux with his first sack, and a pick by Thomas as well as a forced fumble. Defense continues to improve and I think the offense will find more chemistry, and thus more connections, as they work together more. It is still early in the season but the team continues to show improvement from week to week. The game against the Als will be another good test but Als were never successful at IWS last season. Another win would certainly boost the team's confidence before having to face the rabid fans of Riderville in a couple of weeks.
July 15, 2012 - 10:34pm
the defense finally stepped it up this game when it matter IMO. the pass rush still didnt show, but being able to stop the argos in the redzone overall this game, was what really helped this team win. the offense could of done better, and burris struggled with completions this game. however, he was able to get 3 TDs when it was all said and done. give credit to the defense thought this week. good to finally get the 1st win now and get the monkey off the teams back. now its time to take on the als. GO TIGERCATS
July 15, 2012 - 9:53am
Its only the 3rd game but the Cats offense is still struggling a bit. Walker is clearly the best runnig back but I would think that cobournes experience could be of use at times as one veteran allstar helping another veteran all star in situational pakcages in the passing game. Cobournes ability to block and release for a dump off and perhaps bteak a tackle for a first down could help extend drives and add tho the Cats arsonal. Cobourne is also a great special teams player on coverage teams; perhaps being captain of the kick off and punt coverage teams could give them an edge. In the CFL special teams players are even more important then in the US game and often see more Playing time then in the states due to the 3 down game.
Just an idea of how to find a player of his vatety of abilities and high salary a place to contribute positively
July 15, 2012 - 3:00am
Good point. It's hard to believe the team can't make more use of such a good player. In fact it's almost impossible to believe. It's not as if little ac (as alsrule used to call him)has lost all his skill and is way over the hill.
July 15, 2012 - 5:01pm