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Bethel-Thompson sharp in Argos' pre-season win over Ticats

James Franklin may have a slight edge to start the season as the Argonauts’ starting quarterback, but McLeod Bethel-Thompson showed on Thursday night in Hamilton he’s going to be pushing hard for the job, as well.

Bethel-Thompson engineered two long scoring drives in the first quarter and completed 11 of 17 pass attempts overall  for 222 yards and a touchdown as the Boatmen wrapped up their pre-season schedule 2-0 with a 30-23 win over the Ticats at Tim Hortons Field. The Ticats went 1-1.

Both teams will now huddle at the management and coaching levels to finalize their respective opening-game rosters by the league-mandated deadline of 10 p.m. on Saturday.

The Argos also got a solid performance from third-stringer Dakota Prukup, who came on in the third quarter and went 5-for-7 for 82 yards and a touchdown.

Franklin didn’t dress for the game.

The Ticats struck first when Masoli hit Bralon Addison with an 11-yard touchdown strike on a 10-play opening drive.

Bethel-Thompson then put together two long drives for the Argos, resulting in a field goal by Drew Brown and a three-yard touchdown run by James Wilder Jr., to give the visitors a 10-7 lead after the first quarter.

A Masoli sneak for a second-quarter major, plus a Liam Hajrullahu field goal put the Tabbies back up 20-11. But the Boatmen responded with a 75-yard bomb from Bethel-Thompson to Derel Walker, their big off-season free-agent signing, and another Brown field goal to tie it 20-20 at halftime.

After another Hajrullahu field goal in the third quarter, Prukup connected on a 43-yard TD strike to Cole Watson to put the Argos back on top 27-23 with 7:52 to play.

Donald De La Haye wrapped up the scoring with a late field goal.

Meanwhile, the Argos announced Thursday they had released Canadian wide receiver Anthony Coombs, who had been with the team since 2014, but played in only two games last season because of injury.

— Staff