First place up for grabs as Tiger-Cats and Argonauts clash in Toronto

First place in the Canadian Football League‘s East Division is on the line when the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Toronto Argonauts meet Friday night at BMO Field.

Toronto can lock up the top spot in the division, as well as a first round bye in the playoffs, with a win or a tie at home.

A victory by the Ticats would pull them into a first place tie with their arch rivals at 8-5 and even the season series at two wins apiece, but thanks to a lopsided win on Labour Day, Hamilton would claim the tie-breaker based on points for and against.

CHML’s coverage of Friday’s game begins with the pregame show at 6:30 p.m., kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. After the game, catch The 5th Quarter on CHML, 900chml.com and on CHML’s Facebook page.

Read more: Hamilton Tiger-Cats legend Angelo Mosca dead at 84

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Injuries continue to dog the Tiger-Cats, who will be without red hot running back Don Jackson on Friday night after he suffered a groin injury at practice earlier this week.

Jackson has compiled a CFL best 200 rushing yards over the last two starts, rumbling for 120 yards in Hamilton’s 39-23 win over Edmonton two weeks ago and another 80 yards last week in a 26-18 victory against the B.C. Lions.

Canadian Sean Thomas Erlington, who has carried the ball 58 times this year for 298 yards and four touchdowns, is tabbed to start in Jackson’s place.

Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Hamilton Tiger-Cats

The Argonauts are undefeated on home turf in 2021, an unblemished mark that includes a dramatic 17-16 nail-biting victory on Sept. 10, a loss Ticats fans would rather forget.

Erlington scored on a 21-yard touchdown run with 1:31 to play in regulation at BMO Field only to watch kicker Michael Domagala’s extra-point attempt clang off the upright and the Argos hold on to win.

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Read more: Playoff ticket punched, Hamilton Tiger-Cats beat B.C. for third straight win

Argos running back John White has been added to the team’s six-game injured list with a knee injury and will be replaced by D.J. Foster.

Both clubs have already locked down a playoff spot but the importance of finishing in first place in the division is not lost on either of these two teams.

According to the CFL stats department, 18 of the last 24 teams that have finished in first place in their division since 2008 have played in the Grey Cup final.

Toronto Argonauts. Toronto Argonauts

Friday’s meeting between the Tiger-Cats and Argonauts will be the 240th all-time clash.

Hamilton holds a decisive edge in their long-standing rivalry with the Boatmen, with a record of 139 wins, 98 losses and two ties.

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