Ticats top Argos; Ray reaches 50k yards
Hamilton, ON (SportsNetwork.com) - Zach Collaros passed for 317 yards and one touchdown against his former team, leading the Hamilton Tiger-Cats to a 13-12 win over the Toronto Argonauts in Monday's Labour Day Classic.
The Tiger-Cats (2-6) celebrated the delayed opening of Tim Hortons Field by snapping a three-game losing streak.
Collaros, who played for Toronto from 2012-13, returned from a concussion to complete 27 of his 38 passes without an interception, stealing some of the spotlight on Ricky Ray's historic day.
Ray, the Toronto quarterback, became the seventh player in CFL history to reach 50,000 yards passing in his career.
The Argonauts (3-7) had plenty of chances late but lost their third game in a row.
"Right now we're just not winning. We haven't had anything to feel good about," said Ray, who threw for 142 yards to reach 50,052 for his career. "We just have to keep working at it and not let it get us down."
The Tiger-Cats didn't get the OK for their new stadium until late Sunday night when they were issued a partial occupancy permit.
Certain amenities inside the stadium -- like working elevators and access to the club level -- were still not available, and the upper deck on one side is still under construction. That's where the press box will be. During Monday's game, journalists worked from a temporary press area in the stands.
"With all the hoopla over the stadium opening, I just wanted to win," said Collaros. "We needed to win bad. The new stadium, first game here -- that just made it more special."
After Collaros hit a wide-open Bakari Grant in the back of the end zone for a 9-yard touchdown in that gave Hamilton a 10-1 lead in the first quarter, many of the mini footballs the Tiger-Cats handed out as a giveaway to fans found their way onto the field and had to be quickly collected.
Grant smiled widely on the sideline after scoring the first touchdown at the new stadium and was heard on the TV broadcast asking, "What was he doing? -- presumably about Toronto linebacker Jamie Robinson, who was easily deked off the line by Grant.
The Argos' only points in the first quarter came on a single and a safety -- they tackled Mossis Madu in the end zone -- but they pulled within 13-10 at halftime after Ray's 20-yard touchdown pass to Trent Guy. Another safety in the third quarter got them within 13-12.
Later, Hamilton's Jeremiah Masoli fumbled the ball in front of the end zone with under 10 minutes remaining in the game as he tried to leap over a pile from the Toronto 1-yard line.
But the Argonauts couldn't capitalize despite Ray's 38-yard pass to Jason Barnes -- and it wasn't their only wasted opportunity.
After Tiger-Cats kicker Justin Medlock missed a 47-yard field goal attempt, Ray was intercepted with less than two minutes remaining.
Madu was then stripped by Delano Johnson as Hamilton tried to run out the clock, but the Argos only managed to just cross midfield before time ran out.
On coming back from a concussion, Collaros said, "I felt good, no problems." He likened the open south end of Tim Hortons Field to passing at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, where the wind comes off the Allegheny River. (Collaros played at the NFL stadium as a college quarterback for Cincinnati) ...The Tiger-Cats have a 24-19-1 record against the Argonauts in the Labour Day Classic and a 126-91-2 mark overall against them ... Anthony Cavillo, Damon Allen, Danny McManus, Henry Burris and Ron Lancaster are the other CFL QBs with at least 50,000 yards passing.
09/01 17:37:05 ET