Week 4 of the 2022 CFL Regular Season concluded on Monday night with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers topping the Toronto Argonauts 23-22 in the Six to remain undefeated at 4-0. The Toronto Argonauts got a taste of their own medicine as Boris Bede would miss a game-tying extra point with 25 seconds left. A fitting end on a night where the Boatmen would shoot themselves in the foot on several occasions.
The story of the game was Toronto beating themselves early on. Falling behind 17-0, as they bickered with each other as frustrations grew. The Bombers’ offence did enough in the clutch to support their opportunistic defence.
Andrew Harris led the way against his former teammates with 111 yards rushing. McLeod Bethel-Thompson bounced back from a pitiful start, throwing for over 300 yards and two scores. The Double Blue’s defence kept their team in the game. But in the end, Toronto’s missteps all night caught up to them.
The reeling Argos fall to 1-2, but amazingly will stay in first place in the East division, as they sail towards a bye in Week 5 before returning in Week 6 to host the Saskatchewan Roughriders in 2022’s sold-out Touchdown Atlantic in Nova Scotia. The Bombers will head to B.C. to face the equally undefeated Leos this Saturday night.
CFL Week 4 Recap: Winnipeg Blue Bombers 23 Toronto Argonauts 22
The Argos opened the game with a defensive stop despite being fooled on an opening kick return reverse by the Bombers that almost went the distance. Josh Hagerty made a touchdown-saving tackle near midfield.
However, Toronto wouldn’t be able to avoid a quick six score on their first offensive possession. After a big drop downfield by Brandon Banks. One play later, McLeod Bethel Thompson would be picked off near the left sideline by Winston Rose. The veteran cornerback would undercut the route and take the ball 46 yards for an easy score to give the Bombers an early 7-0 lead.
McLeod Bethel-Thompson would be nearly picked off again on Toronto’s ensuing drive by Adam Bighill. The Argos would punt the ball back to Winnipeg. But Toronto’s defence would hold for a second time and get their beleaguered offence the ball back.
The struggles would continue for McLeod Bethel-Thompson in his third series. After fumbling the snap in the backfield, he would throw another ill-advised pass intercepted by Nick Taylor.
The Blue Bombers would capitalize on MBT’s miscue. Winnipeg’s Zach Collaros would lead his offence quickly down the field, aided by an Argos’ pass interference penalty, connecting twice with Drew Wolitarsky for significant gains. The latter, a 15-yard major over the middle of the field to give his team a 14-0 lead.
The comedy of errors would continue for the Boatmen. After an illegal blocking penalty on the ensuing kick return. McLeod Bethel Thompson would once again have a fumbled exchange in the backfield that Markeith Ambles recovered at the five-yard line. Facing a 2nd and forever, Toronto would punt the ball back to Winnipeg.
Winnipeg’s offence would threaten to score again as the first quarter closed. The Boatmen’s defence would hold the Bombers to a 15-yard field goal by Marc Liegghio, which extended the reigning CFL champs’ lead to 17-0.
The Argos would finally start to mount an impressive drive thanks to the running and receiving of Andrew Harris and AJ Ouellette. However, a 28-yard completion to Brandon Banks was called back due to a holding penalty. Facing a 3rd and 1 in Winnipeg territory, Andrew Harris would appear to convert the first down run, but the referees incompetently marked the ball two inches short. Ryan Dinwiddie would challenge, but the officials decided to stick with their nonsensical spot.
Both teams would trade multiple punts as the first half winded down. The Argos would finally score on their last possession of the second quarter. Thanks to a 52-yard field goal by Boris Bede.
Up 14, Winnipeg would drive into field goal range in the final seconds of the half. But Jamal Peters would intercept a Zach Collaros pass in the end zone to thwart the Bombers’ chance of adding to their lead.
McLeod Bethel-Thompson,,,, who started the game 1 of 5 with two interceptions and two fumbles, would ride a hot hand and get some luck on his first drive in the second half. After completing his tenth straight pass, MBT would take a shot down the field two plays later. The ball would appear to be intercepted by Demerio Houston at the one yard line. However, the ball would ricochet off his hand into the arms and in between the legs of Brandon Banks 45-yard score. Replay would show that Houston was unable to maintain possession as he fell to the ground.
The unlikely score would bring the Argos within seven points at 17-10. Double Blue’s defence would keep the momentum going by forcing Winnipeg to punt.
Toronto’s offense would fail to capitalize engineering a two and out on their next possession. However, the Argonauts defence would return the favor and get their team the ball back after forcing another Bombers two and out.
A nifty 19-yard catch and run by Kurleigh Gittens on Toronto’s third offensive series of the half would bring the Boatmen into Bombers territory. Facing a third and inches from the 39-yard line. The Argos would go for it and convert a QB sneak with Thompson. Andrew Harris would pick up two more first downs bulling over Bombers defenders.
Toronto would get the ball down to Winnipeg’s 11-yard line. But in a wacky turn of events. Brandon Banks would be hit by Winston Rose as he neared the goal line, the ball would pop up in the air and be picked off by Malcolm Thompson. The ball would be lateralled to Nick Taylor, who returned the turnover to midfield.
The game changing play would not only shift momentum back to Winnipeg. But it would lead to in-fighting on the Toronto sidelines. As Brandon Banks and his offensive teammates started arguing for several minutes on their bench after the big turnover. Players had to be separated as Banks can be seen in a shouting math with his members of the offensive line. Philip Blake and Banks exchanged words. General manager Pinball Clemons even had to step in into the fracas to calm the team down.
Meanwhile, Winnipeg’s offence would drive down into the red zone. Toronto’s defence would hold. But a Marc Liegghio field goal from 20 yards out would give his team a two-score lead as the fourth quarter started.
Despite the issues on the last series. The Argos offence would respond with a field goal drive of their own. Toronto would drive into Winnipeg territory but a second-down sack by Jake Thomas would lead to a 42-yard field goal by Boris Bede.
The Argos defence would step up and get their offence the ball back late in the 4th quarter. Down 20-13, Toronto would get into Winnipeg territory again. After a 23-yard pass play to Cam Phillips and a tacked-on roughing the passer penalty.
The Boatmen would get to Winnpeg’s 32, as Andrew Harris went over a hundred yards rushing in the game. But the drive would stall. Boris Bede would connect on his third field goal to cut Winnipeg’s lead to 20-16.
With 5 minutes left in the final quarter. Up by four, Winnipeg would pick up two key fist downs with Zach Collaros’s arm and legs. . The Bombers would drive into deep into Argos territory. But Toronto’s defence would hold Winnipeg to a field goal. The Bombers would go up by 7 with 1:38 left in the game.
Toronto would quickly mount a late drive deep all the way down inside the five-yard line. But a high snap on 1st and 4, would set the Argos back to the ten-yard line. Toronto would get a reprieve when Defensive pass interference was called on Donald Rutledge. The penalty would lead to a two yard touchdown pass from MBT to Markeith Ambles. However, with the game seemingly headed to overtime. Boris Bede would shank the extra point to the left. An onside kick attempt by Toronto would fail as the Argos lost the game.
Winnipeg Blue Bombers-Toronto Argonauts Individual Stats
FG MISSED RETURNS
|GITTENS JR., Kurleigh||5||5||67||26||13.4||24||0|
FG MISSED RETURNS