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HAMILTON – For a team that has lost just one game all season, it’s easy to assume that each and every play comes naturally.
But the Toronto Argonauts had to ground themselves and stay level, even after scoring 17 first quarter points, as they went into Tim Hortons Field and secured a win against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on OK Tire Labour Day Weekend.
Chad Kelly threw for two touchdowns under centre and also rushed in another himself, but also threw two early touchdowns, and knew that he and his teammates needed to settle and find their rhythm.
“In the first half, we were kind of stressing for the big play, not focusing on one play at a time, thinking about the big play or the touchdown rather than taking it one play at a time,” Kelly told TSN’s Matthew Scianitti after the win.
“We regrouped at halftime and had a 1-and-0 mindset, each play we have to win.”
The Argos would indeed make each play count in the second half, scoring 24 second-half points after going scoreless in the second quarter, including a trick play that saw running back AJ Ouellette under centre for a pass to Dejon Brissett for 26 yards.
Some thought the celebrations were too much – resulting in an excessive celebration penalty even, but it was the culmination of how the Argos had worked together to become a much more solid team offensively in the second half.
“He’s a fantastic player, he runs hard, he’s a team player, I’m gonna have to make sure I take care of that fine for him, but otherwise we saw something we liked and we executed it,” said Kelly.
One win away from a double-digit marker, the Argos still have their sights set on the next game only, and the one play at a time mentality rings true no matter the opponent.
Heading home to face off against the Montreal Alouettes next weekend, the Argos and Kelly know there is always work to be done.
“We just have to focus, I think at the end of the day we did that today but there’s so much more we have to clean up, including myself,” said Kelly.
“Another fantastic job by the whole line, wide receivers, we all just have to make sure we’re on the same page and be precise, it’s about fundamentals and technique each and every down and we’ll continue to get better.”