Week 7 of the CFL season concluded with the Toronto Argonauts besting the Saskatchewan Roughriders 31-21 at home. The final score doesn’t even begin to tell the story of this mistake-filled game at Mosaic Stadium. The Argos overcame countless miscues and rallied late to surge ahead of the Riders.
The Saskatchewan Roughriders fall to 4-3 and will stay home to face the 4-1 BC Lions this Friday. The 3-2 Toronto Argonauts head back to the Six and will host the winless Ottawa Redblacks at BMO Field next Sunday.
Toronto outgained a rag-tag Saskatchewan team 496-174. But had to sweat and scratch and claw to overcome themselves and win. It was one of the more bizarre CFL games in recent memory.
CFL Week 7 Roughriders-Argonauts Recap
A depleted Saskatchewan team, due to injuries, and illness, missing several key starters, including star quarterback Cody Fajardo, rode an opportunistic defense and big plays on special teams to a near unorthodox victory over Toronto at home.
The Argos played their part in this wacky affair with questionable coaching decisions, costly penalties, turning the football over five times, and poor special teams’ play. The Boatmen coaches and players contributed with various miscues at Mosaic Stadium.
Toronto found a way to overcome their sloppy start and play to sweep their back-to-back series with Saskatchewan.
The game started with Toronto’s defense flustering first-time starting quarterback Jake Dolegala in the early going. But the CFL novice settled down somewhat as the game wore on.
The Argonauts, after a sluggish start, appeared to be taking control of the game when they took an 11-3 lead after a 70-yard touchdown pass by McLeod Bethel-Thompson to Kurleigh Gittens. And it was followed by a single achieved by Boris Bede on the ensuing kickoff. Toronto was riding the legs and hands of Andrew Harris, who accumulated over a hundred yards in the first half. Harris would finish the game with 188 total yards. And would go over 10,000 rushing yards for his career.
But the Riders battled back in the second quarter with a score of their own, a 10-yard touchdown pass by Dolegala to Tevin Jones to make the game 11-9. The two CFL newbies were sharing their first league scores.
The game’s momentum would shift at the end of the half when Argos head coach Ryan Dinwiddie opted to attempt a 61-yard field goal. The decision would prove disastrous for Toronto, as Bede’s kick fell short and was returned by Mario Alford 112 yards to give the Riders a 15-11 lead going into the second half.
Injuries would begin to pile up for Toronto as the game progressed. The team lost starting LT Isiah Cage late in the week. And during this contest lost both of their starting tackles, Trevon Tate and Dejon Allen, for long stretches of the game. The Riders’ defense, led by former Argo Charleston Hughes, would take advantage of the Argonauts’ wounded offensive line by shutting down Toronto for almost the entire third quarter. The Boatmen were limited to a short Boris Bede field goal. And the Argos miscues continued as they turned the football over on a botched snap and downs.
Thanks to two Brett Lauther field goals, the Riders would extend their lead to 21-14 as the third quarter ended.
Toronto appeared to be on the ropes and down and out when they would fail to convert a 3rd and 1 QB sneak at Saskatchewan’s 33-yard line. Ryan Dinwiddie challenged the spot but was unable to overturn the call.
However, the Argos’ defense would keep their offense alive by keeping the deficit at 21-14. Finally, Toronto would mount their best drive of the game, driving 79 yards on nine plays, culminating with a Cam Phillips touchdown grab from five yards out to tie the game at 21. The beleaguered and battered McLeod Bethel-Thompson would finish the game with 336 passing yards and two scores.
The Argos defense would force another Saskatchewan three and out and get their offense the ball back with under three minutes remaining.
Riding the legs of a determined Andrew Harris, the Argos would drive down deep in the red zone. But Toronto would fail to get into the end zone after Mike Edem sacked McLeod Bethel-Thompson. The Argos would have to settle for a 29-yard field goal by Boris Bede. However, Toronto would take a 24-21 lead with 47 seconds left in the game.
On the ensuing kickoff, Toronto’s special teams would get a measure of revenge as Robbie Smith would force a Mario Alford fumble, and rookie linebacker Enoch Penny-Laryea would recover the loose ball and return it for the score to seal a bizarre 31-21 victory by the Boatmen.
CFL Week 7 Toronto-Saskatchewan Box Score
|GITTENS JR., Kurleigh||8||8||152||92||19.0||70||1|
FG MISSED RETURNS
FG MISSED RETURNS