STREAMING PPV: Hamilton Tiger-Cats @ Toronto Argonauts, Nov. 13, 01:30 CET (1:30 am, 7:30 pm Nov. 12 ET)

TORONTO — Friday night’s contest between the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Toronto Argonauts is sure to see sparks fly at BMO Field.

The rivalry between the Double Blue and the Black and Gold needs no introduction; simply put these two teams do not like one another. Friday’s matchup will add another layer to the classic rivalry as this week’s game holds playoff implications.

If the Argos win the game, they will secure first place in the East and will host the Eastern Final on Dec. 5. If the Ticats win, they lock up a home playoff date and move into first in the division.

While finishing first may seem minute in the grand scheme of making the playoffs, it has proven to be incredibly advantageous for CFL teams. Since 2014, 11 of the last 12 teams to place first in their division have reached the Grey Cup.

» Depth Charts: HAM | TOR
» Hamilton, Toronto Injury Reports: Stay up to date
» Power Rankings: Where did Hamilton and Toronto land?

The Argos will be looking to finish atop of the East standings which is a feat they haven’t accomplished since 2017. That’s the same year that they eventually went on to win the Grey Cup.

The Boatmen enter their Week 15 matchup after narrowly escaping the Ottawa REDBLACKS. Ottawa was leading 20-12 heading into the final quarter, but a late surge from Toronto’s offence and incredible defensive play in the fourth helped them to edge an important 23-20 victory.

Toronto quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson threw for a touchdown and nearly reached the 300-yard mark, hitting on 28 of his 44 passing in the win. However, the Argos signal caller was responsible for three interceptions, marking just his second multi-interception game of the season.

As the Argos look to cement their hold on the East, they will be forced to do so without running back John White, who was left off of the depth chart following an injury suffered in the game against Ottawa. Losing White is a significant blow for the Toronto rushing attack as the veteran is sixth in the league with 450 rush yards and has carried the ball 92 times on the season, the most by any Argo.

White provides aggressive downhill running that has proven to be difficult for opposing defences to handle. It has also allowed the Toronto passing attack to open significantly, teams are being forced to key on White and the Toronto run game, leaving opportunities for the Boatmen to gash teams through the air.

The loss of White for the Toronto ground attack doesn’t put it out of commission entirely. Following the injury that forced White out of the game in Week 14, ball carrying duties were delegated to, A.J. Ouellette. Prior to their game against the REDBLACKS, the second-year back had not carried the ball more than three times through 2021 and had not rushed for more than 14 yards in a single game.

Ouellette relished the opportunity and thrived against Ottawa, carrying the ball 14 times while racking up 107 yards on the ground. That made him the third Toronto ball carrier to break the hundred-yard mark this season.

D.J. Foster was listed as the team’s starting running back this week, providing some added optimism for the Boatmen offensive unit. Foster has been a dual threat back for Toronto this season and has proven to be just as effective in the pass game as he has been on the ground. The rookie has notched two scores and 285 rush yards on 64 carries, additionally posting 295 receiving yards and two touchdowns on 30 receptions.

Foster has provided Toronto with 580 all-purpose yards and four majors on the season, proving to be a not-so-secret weapon for the Argos. The combination of Ouellette’s power and Foster’s elusiveness could pose a problem for the Hamilton defence.

The Ticats have won three of their last four games and have been playing stout defensively as of late, especially in the opening quarter.

The Black and Gold have been one of the most difficult teams to score against after the opening kickoff, allowing just 21 first quarter points on the season for an average of 1.75 points surrendered per first quarter. The Argos have allowed just two first quarter touchdowns all season.

As good as the Tabbies defence has been when starting games, the dominant play of their defence doesn’t end with the first quarter. The Ticats are giving up just 17.5 points per game, the second fewest points allowed among any team.

They have also proven to be a tough team to throw against and have a knack for being aggressive when the ball is in the air. In coverage, Hamilton has deflected a league-leading 56 passing attempts and have forced 14 interceptions, second most through the regular season.

Offensively for the Ticats, when putting the ball in the air they have matched particularly well against their cross-town rivals, especially with Jeremiah Masoli is under centre. The veteran quarterback has won six of his eight career matchups with the Argos and has thrown 22 of his 79 career passing touchdowns against Toronto.

Breaking down the matchup even further, when playing against a Bethel-Thompson lead Argos team, Masoli has won two of their three meetings and has produced eye-popping stat lines.

In his three games against Bethel-Thompson, the Hamilton pivot has completed 68 of his passing attempts, throwing for 1,053 yards and nine passing touchdowns.

What’s even more impressive are the efficiency numbers. Masoli averages 351 passing yards, three touchdowns and 31 attempts per game when playing Bethel-Thompson. He completes 73 per cent of his passes and has thrown just one interception through those three games.

No matter the circumstance, be it Mark’s Labour Day Weekend, a regular season game, or a game with playoff implications, Masoli simply finds another gear and plays at an elite level when facing off against the Argonauts.

With first place in the East on the line on Friday night, Hamilton will once again be leaning on Masoli to find that extra gear in order to solidify the top spot and a home field playoff game.

AFI, Visaic and the CFL

American Football International is collaborating with Visaic and the Canadian Football League to present 2021 CFL games live. This is more than a livestream. This is a stream of the top flight TSN network television broadcast.

Watch the game live here. Hamilton Tiger-Cats @ Toronto Argonauts, Nov. 13, 01:30 CET (1:30 am, 7:30 pm Nov. 12 ET)

Today's CFL is more than just our great game of football. It's fans sharing their excitement for what they see on the field, and what they experience off it. Stay up to date on all the non-stop action at