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Toronto Argonauts Game Recap/Highlights: The Argos Rally Late To Edge Out The Stampeders 23-20

The new-look Toronto Argonauts started hot and then rallied late to beat the Calgary Stampeders 23-20 in their season opener. The Boatmen‘s defence held the Stamps offence to four field goals and kept their offence in the game, who rallied late to score 11 points to pull off the upset victory on the road.

The game represented several firsts. The road victory by Toronto came in Ryan Dinwiddie’s first game as a head coach. The loss by Calgary is also the first time that Bo Levi Mitchell has ever lost to the Argonauts in the regular season.

The Argonauts, now 1-0, will keep their act on the road as they head to Winnipeg next Friday to face the reigning Grey Cup Champion Bombers, who are also coming off of a victory in week one. The Stampeders, now at 0-1, will stay home and face the 0-1 BC Lions this coming Thursday.

Toronto Argonauts- Calgary Stampeders Game Recap

You couldn’t have scripted a better start to the game for Toronto. The Argos defence forced the Stamps offence to a quick two and out. The Boatmen’s offensive attack led by McLeod Bethel-Thompson opened the game with a flawless 12-play 94-yard scoring drive capped off by a nine-yard touchdown pass to Juwan Brescasin. On the drive, Thompson completed all eight of his passes to five different receivers. The Argos would cash in with a John White run for the two-point conversion to give their team the early 8-0 lead.

Bo Levi Mitchell and the Stamps would respond on their second drive of the game. Calgary would go on a time-consuming drive of their own, but it would stall inside the Argonauts red zone, thanks to a big stop by Kony Ealy. But the drive would net the Stampeders their first points of the game with a 20-yard field goal by Rene Paredes.

With Toronto now up 8-3, with the game already in the second quarter. The Argos second drive would stall at midfield, but coach Ryan Dinwiddie opted to attempt a long 58-yard field goal. With the wind at his back, Boris Bede’s kick had the distance but would end up going wide left. The Stamps Sean Riley would return the missed field goal to his team’s 31-yard line.

The game’s momentum would shift in Calgary’s favor, as their offence, using a balanced attack on the ground and through the air, would go on a 12-play 79-yard scoring drive. Bo Levi Mitchell would find Kamar Jorden for an 8-yard scoring strike to take their first lead of the game. The Stamps would convert the two-point conversion on a Markeith Ambles completion to extend their lead to 11-8.

The Argonauts’ offence would go two and out on their next possession. A missed block by Jeff Richards would lead to Boris Bede’s punt being blocked by Charlie Moore. The special teams’ miscue would set up the Stamps at the Argos 19 yard line. The Boatmen’s defence would hold the Stampeders to a twenty-two-yard field goal by Rene Parades. The converted kick would give Calgary a 14-8 lead as the half was winding down.

Attempting to shift the momentum back in their favor. The Argos offence would drive into Calgary territory, but penalties would sidetrack them. Toronto’s punter Boris Bede would connect on a 77-yard punt in the end zone, but a contact penalty against the Stamps would give the Argos new life and a chance to kick a long field goal. Boris Bede would connect from 54 yards out to trim the Stamps lead to 14-11.

Toronto’s defence would force the Stamps to punt with under a minute left in the half. McLeod Bethel Thompson would keep the hot hand and complete four consecutive passes to drive the Argonauts down to the Calgary 20 yard line with two seconds left in the half. But Boris Bede would shockingly miss the chip shot field that would have tied the game at the half. The shanked kick would result in Toronto getting a single to cut the Stamps lead to 14-12.

The Argonauts would get the ball to start the second half. But they would disastrously open the third quarter when Ricky Collins would catch a bubble screen, sprint 81 yards down the field, but fumble the football into the end zone. On a beautiful play by Stampeders defensive star DaShaun Amos, who raced down the field and punched out the football.

The bizarre turn of events would continue on the ensuing Calgary drive. After a 49-yard completion by Mitchell to Kamar Jorden would help aid, a Stamps drive deep into the red zone. Calgary head coach Dave Dickenson would decide to go for it on 3rd and 3 inside the five-yard line. The gamble would temporarily pay off as Bo Levi Mitchell would find Kamar Jorden for his second touchdown of the day. Still, an offensive pass interference challenge by Ryan Dinwiddie would prevail as the replay showed that Calgary receiver Markeith Ambles did indeed interfere with a crackback block in the end zone.

However, a personal conduct penalty by the Argos’ Chris Edwards would allow Calgary to go for the touchdown attempt again. Bo Levi Mitchell’s pass would fall incomplete on the re-do. Stamps coach Dave Dickenson would challenge the play, but pass interference would not be called upon further review.

After taking over on downs, the Argonauts’ offence would stall and punt deep from their own end of the field. Calgary would capitalize on the field position and drive right back into the red zone again, but Toronto’s defence would hold Calgary to a 17-yard field goal by Rene Parades. The Stamps would extend their lead to 17-12.

With time running down in the third quarter, the Argonauts’ offence continued their struggles in their second half by punting the football away again. Ryan Dinwiddie would attempt to shift the momentum and extend his offense’s drive by challenging a second-down incompletion but to no avail.

The Argonauts’ defence would hold up their end of the bargain and keep their team in the game by forcing the Stamps to punt on their next drive as the third quarter came to a close.

Toronto’s offence would continue to struggle and would once again be forced to punt on their next possession to start the fourth quarter. Bo Levi Mitchell would connect on a 39-yard pass play to Colton Hunchak deep into Toronto territory. However, The Argos D would again hold the Stamps to another short field goal by Rene Parades( his fourth) to keep the game within one score as the Argos trailed 20-12.

Once again, the Argos offensive attack would punt, but their defence would keep them in the game when Charleston Hughes forced and recovered a Kadeem Carey fumble. Two plays later, McLeod Bethel-Thompson would cash in with a 27-yard touchdown pass to Kurleigh Gittens Jr.

On a Cover 0 blitz, Argos receiver Eric Rogers would make a key block to keep MBT upright to make the play. The quick score would cut the Stamps lead to two. The Argos would then tie the game with a gorgeous catch in the corner of the end zone by Eric Rogers to make it a 20-20 score.

Argonauts Quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson said this about the blitz pick up by Eric Rogers.

Eric Rogers is an amazing football player. That is all on Eric Rogers. He came in where he has to block a front side (line)backer, he scanned all the way back,”

“It was the best play of the game, hands down. For a receiver to make a play like that, at that time, to see the blitz, it was absolutely phenomenal. It was one of the best plays I’ve ever seen.”

With the game tied and the fourth quarter winding down. Calgary’s offence would drive near midfield, but the Boatmen’s defence would force the Stamps to punt. The Argos offence would take over on their own 26-yard line with under 4 minutes left. Toronto would pick up two first downs on the arm and legs of McLeod Bethel-Thompson.

The two plays would get Toronto at midfield with just over two minutes remaining. The Argos would continue to move the sticks with a first-down completion to Eric Rogers. Facing a second and long at the Calgary 40, McLeod Bethel-Thompson would elude pressure and connect for 20 yards with DeVaris Daniels to get the team inside the Stamps red zone.

CFL vet Shawn Lemon would beat CFL rookie Dejon Allen for the sack on a big second-down play. Boris Bede would come out for a 32-yard field goal attempt with 41 seconds left in the 4th quarter. Bede would connect on the field goal to give the Argos the go-ahead 23-20 score.

The Stampeders’ last attempt to drive down the field and tie the game was thwarted when Shaq Richardson picked off Bo Levi Mitchell to seal the game for the Argonauts.


Toronto Argonauts-Calgary Stampeders Stats Leaders

Passing Leaders

  • McLeod Bethel-Thompson: 26/37 70.3%, 354 yards passing, 2 touchdowns, 1 two point conversion and 24 yards rushing.
  • Bo Levi Mitchell: 23/35 65.75, 252 yards passing, 1 touchdown, 1 interception and 1 two-point conversions

Rushing Leaders

  • John White: 9 carries, 28 yards, 4 receptions 33 yards
  • Kadeem Carey: 18 carries, 75 yards, 1 fumble and 1 receptions for minus 2 yards

Receiving Leaders

  • Ricky Collins Jr.: 6 receptions, 126 yards, 1 fumble
  • Eric Rogers: 5 receptions, 55 yards, and a two point conversion
  • Daniel Braverman: 5 receptions, 42 yards
  • Kamar Jorden: 5 receptions, 85 yards and a touchdown
  • Josh Huff: 6 receptions, 53 yards

Defensive Leaders

  • Henoc Muamba/Dexter McCoil/Jeff Richards: 6 tackles
  • Charleston Hughes: 3 tackles, 1 forced fumble and fumble recovery
  • Jameer Thurman/Raheem Wilson: 5 tackles

The rest of the box score is available at this link.



Player Position Pass. CMP Pass. ATT Pass. YDS Pass. TD Pass. INT Rush. ATT Rush. YDS Rush. TD Rec. Targets Rec. YDS Rec. Rec. TD
Daniel BravermanWide receiver0000000004250
John White IVRunning back0000000003330
Eric RogersWide receiver0000000005550
Juwan BrescacinWide receiver000000000910
AJ OuelletteRunning back000000000000
DaVaris DanielsWide receiver0000000002920
Kurleigh Gittens Jr.Wide receiver0000000002820
Llevi NoelWide receiver0000000003220
Ricky Collins Jr.Wide receiver00000000012660
Mcleod Bethel-ThompsonQuarterback2637354200000000
Total 2637354200000354260


Player Position Pass. CMP Pass. ATT Pass. YDS Pass. TD Pass. INT Rush. ATT Rush. YDS Rush. TD Rec. Targets Rec. YDS Rec. Rec. TD
Tyson MiddlemostWide receiver000000000000
Hergy MayalaWide receiver0000000001620
Michael O’ConnorQuarterback000000000000
Markeith AmblesWide receiver0000000003030
Bo Levi MitchellQuarterback2335252100000000
Ante Milanovic-LitreRunning back0000000001830
Ka’Deem CareyRunning back000000000-210
Josh HuffWide receiver0000000005360
Richie SindaniWide receiver0000000001520
Kamar JordenSlotback0000000008551
Colton HunchakWide receiver0000000003710
Total 2335252100000252231

author avatar
Mike Mitchell Reporter
1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. David Tress

    August 8, 2021 at 10:18 am

    It was a solid performance by Shane Ray and Charleston Hughes. Bo didn’t have much time to set things up like he usually likes.

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