Hamilton Tiger-Cats lose star receiver during loss in Toronto


Published August 6, 2022 at 10:30 pm

Hamilton Tiger-Cats slotback Bralon Addison. (file photo)

A serious injury to slotback Bralon Addison is likely a longer-term setback to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats than their 34-20 defeat against the archrival Toronto Argonauts.

Addison, who was a 1,200-yard receiver in 2019 when the CFL last played a full 18-game schedule, was hurt after being tackled by Toronto’s Tarvarus McFadden following a 13-yard pass reception. In front of a hushed over BMO Field, the game was delayed for six minutes while the Tiger-Cats’ medical staff treated the left knee and leg of Addison. The 28-year-old Oregon Ducks grad was taken off the field on an injury cart, with teammates coming up to offer support.

The Tiger-Cats (2-6), who will host Toronto (4-3) at Tim Hortons Field on Friday (Aug. 12) to complete a home-and-home series, saw another second-half lead slip away. The Argonauts kept Hamilton and quarterback Dane Evans out of the end zone in the final 30 minutes. The Argonauts’ two decisive touchdowns during that 28-6 second-half surge came while QB McLeod Bethel-Thompson and his offensive teammates were on the sidelines.

With 2:08 left and Hamilton trailing by seven points while facing third-and-10 on its 30-yard line, Hamilton head coach Orlondo Steinauer elected to have Evans and Co. try for a first down. With a pass rusher closing in, Evans threw a pass toward slotback Tim White that Toronto’s Chris Edwards intercepted and returned 40 yards for the backbreaking touchdown.

Toronto went ahead for good on a special teams touchdown with 12:32 left. Tiger-Cats punter Michael Domagala, a St. Catharines native, had a punt blocked by Toronto’s Trevor Hoyte, a former teammate at Carleton University. Toronto’s Benoit Marion returned the ball 24 yards for a touchdown and a 24-17 lead.

While Steinauer gambled when Hamilton was deep in its zone, he opted against it when the Tiger-Cats had a chance to tie the score or go ahead with 6½ minutes remaining. The Tiger-Cats had third-and-eight at the Toronto 10-yard line after a drive that was sustained by a successful coach’s challenge for defensive pass interference. Ultimately, Seth Small kicked a short field goal to draw Hamilton within four.

Toronto quickly got the three points back, with Bethel-Thompson connecting with Darvaris Daniels for two good-size receptions.

Evans was 28-of-42 passing for 302 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Don Jackson scored Hamilton’s only touchdown, in the first quarter, on his way to a game-most 114 receiving-rushing yards.

Steven Dunbar was the Tiger-Cats’ top receiver with 71 yards, catching 7-of-13 targets. Small was 4-of-4 on field goals — none longer than 28 yards — and kicked one convert. Domagala added a punt single.

On the Toronto side, Bethel-Thonmpson was an interception-free 17-of-27 for 230 yards with one touchdown. Cameron Phillips had a game-high 85 receiving yards, catching 4-of-7 targets and scoring Toronto’s lone offensive TD.

Veteran slotback Brandon (Speedy B) Banks, who joined Toronto last winter after starring in Hamilton as a receiver and return threat, had one reception for 15 yards. Banks was targeted three times.

Andrew Harris, who was a problem for the Tiger-Cats in the 2019 and ’21 Grey Cups with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, was held under 3.5 yards per rush. In 14 attempts, Harris gained 47 yards, while also catching a pass for a two-point convert.

Toronto kicker Boris Bede was 3-of-4 on field goals and added one single and two converts.

The 28-year-old Addison gained 52 yards by catching all three of his targets from Evans before he was injured.

Coincidentally, wide receiver Tyler Ternowski also had a 3-for-3 statline when he suffered a shoulder injury during the Tiger-Cats’ previous game on July 28. Ternowski and another Canadian offensive starter, tackle Chris Van Zeyl, are both on the injured list.

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