(Photo credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports)
The resurgent Hamilton Tiger-Cats will try to defeat a first-place team for the second consecutive week Saturday night when they visit the Toronto Argonauts.
The Tiger-Cats (6-7) beat the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, who lead the West Division, 29-23 last Saturday in Hamilton.
They have won three of their past four games but have lost three times this season to the Argonauts (11-1), who lead the East Division.
"A lot of people want to say we beat Ottawa (Redblacks) three times and haven't beaten anyone significant other than B.C. (Lions)," said Tiger-Cats safety Stavros Katsantonis, who had an interception and a sack against Winnipeg. "But that's the statement we've made."
In his past four starts, Hamilton's rookie quarterback Taylor Powell is 89-for-123 passing (72.4 percent) for 1,080 yards with eight touchdowns and two interceptions.
The 24-year-old was 20-for-26 for 236 yards with a TD and an interception against Winnipeg last week.
"I just try to get better each day and try to find something to improve upon," Powell said. "Whether it's knowing my hots (hot reads), knowing how to move in the pocket."
"I think he's more confident," Tiger-Cats coach Orlondo Steinauer said. "I think he's more confident reading coverages, the expectations of each individual player. The continuity has really helped."
The Argonauts have clinched first in the division and will have a bye in the first round of the playoffs. They will be at home in the Eastern final on Nov. 11.
The Argonauts still feel the rest of the schedule is important.
"Each game is intricate to the success we want to have in the postseason," Argonauts defensive back Adarius Pickett said. "You want to go into the playoffs spiraling up and making sure we're going in the right direction.
"In these games, there's always room for improvement and things we can be better on."
Pickett led the team with 13 tackles against the Montreal Alouettes in a 23-20 road victory on Sept. 15.
Hamilton defensive linemen Mohamed Diallo (knee) and Anthony Federico (knee), offensive lineman Joel Figueroa (shoulder) and quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell (leg) will not play Saturday.
Toronto running backs Andrew Harris (knee) and AJ Ouellette (healthy scratch) were ruled out for Saturday.
--Field Level Media