Jimmy Newman starts with the Hamilton Tiger Cats against the Toronto Argonauts

Hamilton – Rookie Jimmy Newman will make his CFL debut on the biggest stage of the Tiger-Cats Hamilton.

Newman will be under center when Hamilton hosts archrivals the Toronto Argonauts in Monday’s annual Labor Day game at Tim Hortons Field. The Ticats need a victory not only to keep up with the very tight eastern squad but also to try to salvage the season’s streak.

“I’m so excited (but) honestly right now I feel like I’m so locked up,” Newman said. “I’m in my area trying to think of what I can do to help my team win.

“Of course, it’s a big Labor Day game but I’m going to treat this game like another. Every match for me is a big game…The first thing is to protect the ball and just be me. Play for free and have fun.”

Incumbent Dane Evans (shoulder) is listed as the No. 3 quarterback behind Newman and sophomore Galen Morton. Hamilton (3-8) usually wears his midfielders every game and Techats coach Orlondo Steinor wasn’t optimistic about Evans’ chances of seeing the field on Monday.

“I wouldn’t say there’s a zero percent chance, but if he (Evans) can really play, he’ll be up,” Steinauer said.

Toronto (5-5) has made two of its three regular seasons this season, including a 37-20 decision at BMO Field on August 26. Hamilton must beat Argos by at least 25 points on Monday to seal the season streak. And break the tie.

The thing that can work for Newman is familiarity. Toronto and Hamilton will meet for the fourth time in five weeks.

“The thing about it is that we just have to go out and be ourselves,” Newman said. “Or of course, it’s about Toronto…but the main thing is to be the best version of ourselves.”

Hamilton will have history on his side. The Ticats not only starred 36-13-1 against Toronto on Labor Day, but they were undefeated (7-0) on Labor Day at Tim Hortons Field.

But Newman came in after throwing two passes (both completed for four yards) in eight games. The six-foot-4, 230-pound Newman lunged 10 times for 56 yards and three touchdowns.

Steinauer isn’t concerned that the game will become too big for Neumann.

“I would expect all the emotions you want to evoke to be tense, excited, stimulating, and that is normal,” he said. Is it the most important site on the field in my opinion? surely.

Does he touch the ball in every game? Yes. Will the offense continue as he goes? Sure. These are known facts, so let’s not focus on that. Let’s focus on the play call. The message is, ‘Be yourself.’ You’re not there alone, we’ll get around it.”

Toronto dropped nine of Hamilton’s last 10 Labor Day competitions, their last winning being in 2012. The teams did not play in 2013.

But Hamilton lost more than a game to Toronto the last time he went out. Veteran Matthew Shilts suffered a wrist injury in the competition and was included in the injured six-game list.

Shelts started Hamilton’s 34-27 win over Toronto on August 12 in place of the injured Evans. Shiltz completed 14 of 19 passes for 176 yards with a TD and interception.

Newman’s two completions also came in the competition where he ran seven times for 55 yards and touchdowns.

Toronto is on top of the Eastern Division, two points ahead of Montreal Alouette (4-7, who lost 38-24 Friday night to Ottawa). Hamilton and Ottawa (3-8) tied for third.

Ottawa’s next matches will be at home against Toronto on September 10 and 24. After hosting the Argos team, Hamilton will make his home in Winnipeg on September 17 before visiting Montreal on September 23.

Evans 2-0 against Toronto on Labor Day. But Argos defensive linebacker Jamal Peterson intercepted Evans three times – one off for TD – in the two teams’ last meeting.

Evans also lost confusion in that contest. He’s thrown 13 interceptions this season, stumbled seven times, and lost six — all tops in the CFL.

But Evans threw 690 yards and four TDs at the previous Labor Day start. He had the best 442 yards of his career in the ’19 competition, rallying the Ticats to a 38-27 win.

Toronto rookie MacLeod Bethel Thompson is looking for his first Labor Day win on his third attempt. Bethel-Thompson was 19 of 32 passing for 258 yards and three TDs one last time against Hamilton.

Toronto receiver Brandon Banks will also make his first Labor Day visitor to Tim Hortons Field. The nine-year CFL veteran is on his first campaign with Argos after playing eight seasons with the Ticats.

Banks, the CFL’s top player in 2019, has had 23 catch points for 352 yards and three touchdowns this season.

In 2022, the team that played best in the second half won the matches.

Toronto beat Hamilton 28-6 and 27-4 after the end of the first half in their victories, while Techat had 20-6 in the second half when he won 34-27 on August 12.

The team that won in the last quarter has earned 17 of the last 19 working days. Last year, though, Argos outperformed the Ticats 15-7 in the final quarter but still slipped a 32-19 decision.

This report was first published by The Canadian Press on September 4, 2022.