HAMILTON — Zach Collaros threw four TD strikes to lead the Hamilton Tiger-Cats to a 42-12 win over the Toronto Argonauts on a hot, breezy Monday afternoon.
Collaros finished 26-of-38 passes for 400 yards as Hamilton (7-3) improved to 4-1 this season at Tim Hortons Field and rebounded from its 26-23 loss to Montreal on Aug. 27 that snapped its 10-game home win streak. The Ticats assumed sole possession of first in the East Division and clinched the season series with Toronto (6-4) after winning the opener 34-18 on Aug. 3.
Hamilton also continued its Labour Day domination of Toronto, improving to 31-13-1 all-time. The Ticats won't have much time to relish the win, though, as they'll visit the Argos on Friday night at Rogers Centre.
It was also the second straight one-sided loss for Toronto, which dropped a 38-15 decision in Edmonton on Aug. 28. Trevor Harris finished 24-of-34 passing for 211 yards with a TD and interception.
The game-time temperature was 30 C but the teams also had to deal with a stiff northerly wind before a season-high Tim Hortons Field sellout of 24,390. Hamilton and Toronto both wore their third jerseys — powder blue and white for the Argos, all black with gold numbers for the Ticats.
Hamilton regained its dominant form at home as its previous three wins at Tim Hortons Field were by 16, 30 and 30 points.
After a docile first half, tempers flared in the second. One melee with just over five minutes remaining in the third resulted in five flags, and yet another loud chant of "Argos Suck" from the crowd. And the energetic gathering voiced displeasure when Ticats Brandon Banks, Taylor Reed and Adrian Tracy were all flagged for unnecessary roughness.
A fan ran on to the field with 2:42 remaining and managed to elude security staff before Toronto defensive back Devin Smith and Hamilton receiver Terrence Toliver combined to make the tackle.
On the next play, Collaros hit Terrell Sinkfield on a 16-yard touchdown pass with 2:25 remaining. Sinkfield made a fabulous move inside the 10-yard line to score but Justin Medlock's convert was wide.
Jeff Matthews' one-yard TD run at 14:11 rounded out the scoring.
Sinkfield scored two TDs for Hamilton, with Toliver and Tiquan registering the others. Medlock kicked three field goals and four converts.
Kevin Elliott had Toronto's touchdown. Anthony Coombs added a two-point convert while Swayze Waters booted a field goal and single.
Collaros staked Hamilton to a lopsided 27-1 half-time lead with an 18-yard TD strike to a wide-open Sinkfield at 13:32 of the second quarter. It capped a dominant first half for Hamilton, which after outscoring Toronto 10-1 going into a brisk wind shut out the Argos 17-0 with the stiff breeze.
The Ticats were so dominant they didn't have to punt the entire first half and rolled up 304 net yards and 27 first downs. Hamilton's defence held Toronto to just 76 net yards and one first down.
Collaros certainly held the hot hand for Hamilton, completing 18-of-25 passes for 294 yards. Harris was good on 9-of-13 attempts for 75 yards and one interception for Toronto, which opened the scoring on Waters' 81-yard punt just 1:52 into the contest.
NOTES — Offensive linemen Scott Mitchell and Jarriel King didn't dress for Toronto. Hamilton's scratches were offensive lineman Joel Figueroa and linebacker David Caldwell . . . Quarterback Ricky Ray (shoulder) and slotback Chad Owens (ankle) both returned to Toronto's roster.
Dan Ralph, The Canadian Press