Tiger-Cats aim for East’s top seed

Medicine Hat News - - SPORTS - DAN RALPH

TORONTO Jeremiah Ma­soli and the Hamil­ton Tiger-Cats have put them­selves in a po­si­tion to bat­tle for top spot in the East Di­vi­sion.

Ma­soli threw four TD passes as Hamil­ton beat the Toronto Arg­onauts 34-20 on Fri­day night. The Ti­cats em­phat­i­cally swept the sea­son se­ries 3-0, but more im­por­tantly moved into a first­place tie with the Ot­tawa Red­blacks atop the East Di­vi­sion.

Hamil­ton (8-7) will face Ot­tawa (8-6) at TD Place next week­end to open a cru­cial home­and-home se­ries be­tween the two teams. The Ti­cats host the Red­blacks on Oct. 27.

“That’s it right there for top place in the East,” said Ma­soli. “Ob­vi­ously, we’ll be full go when that comes around.

“We’ll en­joy this road vic­tory, it’s not easy to get road vic­to­ries in this league and re­group af­ter this.”

Ot­tawa is in Ed­mon­ton on Satur­day, but leads the sea­son se­ries with Hamil­ton 1-0. How­ever Ti­cats head coach June Jones said his team couldn’t af­ford to look past strug­gling Toronto (3-12).

“If we’d lost this game, the home­and-home with Ot­tawa wouldn’t mean any­thing,” Jones said. “We have right in front of us an op­por­tu­nity ... it’s hard to win back-to-back games but we’ve got to do it now.”

Hamil­ton will head to Ot­tawa hav­ing won two straight and five of its last seven games over­all. Ma­soli was a piv­otal fig­ure in the sweep of Toronto with a com­bined 11 TD passes. He fin­ished 21-of-30 pass­ing for 338 yards with two in­ter­cep­tions, sur­pass­ing the 300-yard mark in all three games and for a CFL-best 11th time this sea­son. Luke Tasker and Bran­don Banks again both came up big for Hamil­ton.

Banks had eight catches for 178 yards and a TD, while Tasker reg­is­tered four re­cep­tions for 63 yards and a ca­reer-best three touch­downs.

Toronto, the 10th CFL team since ‘58 to win the Grey Cup then miss the play­offs the next year, suf­fered its sev­enth straight loss.

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