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Toronto Argonauts Game Recap/Highlights: The Blue Bombers Sink The Boatmen 20-7

The Toronto Argonauts got bombarded early by Winnipeg’s red-hot defense. They couldn’t recover, even with Nick Arbuckle coming off the bench to overcome the defending Grey Cup champion Blue Bombers on the road.

A first-half filled with penalties and mistakes in front of a raucous Winnipeg crowd killed several Argos’ opportunities early. Glen Young’s defence held strong for as long as they could. But the defence wore down as the game went on, and Winnipeg’s defence stymied Toronto’s offence all night long to earn the 20-7 victory.

The Argonauts (1-1) and Blue Bombers (2-0) will meet again in week three as Toronto plays their home opener next Saturday night at BMO Field.

Toronto Argonauts-Winnipeg Blue Bombers Game Recap

The game began with Toronto’s defence forcing a two and out. Crezdon Butler nearly picked off Zach Collaros on the opening series. The Argos offense got off to a great start on their first play of scrimmage when John White broke free for thirteen years running, but the drive would stall on a blown opportunity downfield. As a result of a miscommunication between McLeod Bethel-Thompson and DeVaris Daniels.

On the Bombers’ second possession, Winnipeg would drive to midfield, but a significant foul penalty would stall their drive, and they would punt the ball deep into Argos territory. The poor field position would lead to Bethel-Thompson nearly throwing an interception down the middle of the field from his own end zone. Toronto would be forced to punt from their own end.

The excellent field position for the Bombers’ paid dividends on their third offensive series as the Argos sent a blitz up the middle that Winnipeg picked up. Zach Collaros burned the blitz by finding Rashad Bailey for 35 yards and the game’s first touchdown. The Bombers took the early 7-0 lead.

The Argos offence would continue its lull on their next series, failing to move the football. However, the Boatmen’s defence would keep the Bombers at Bay, leading to another punt from Winnipeg. Thanks to a big hit in the open field by Jeff Richards.

Starting with lousy field position again inside their own ten-yard line. Thanks to a Ricky Collins block, John White would provide another quality run that freed up his teammate for 22 yards. An illegal contact penalty against Winnipeg defensive back Deatrick Nichols would help extend Toronto’s offensive drive. But as the second quarter arrived, the crowd noise in Winnipeg would cause the Argos to commit two offsides penalties, one that negated a first-down completion to DeVaris Daniels. As a result, the Argos would once again punt.

Up 7-0, Winnipeg would take over on offence. But despite some near heroics in the pocket where Zach Collaros ran around and avoided three sacks, to complete a pass to Nic Demski in one of the most exciting six-yard gains maybe ever. The Argonauts’ defence was able to hold the Bombers’ offence and force them to punt.

The Argonauts continued their struggles on offence and once again punted the football away on their next series. McLeod Bethel-Thompson just missed a wide-open DeVaris Daniels down the middle of the field.

Midway through the second quarter, with all the momentum on their side and Winnipeg driving into Toronto territory. The Argos defence delivered a big play when Eli Harold forced a Nic Demski fumble. The turnover would lead to Toronto’s best play of the day as MBT connected with Ricky Collins for 29 yards into Bombers territory.

But a miscue-filled first half for the Argos that would include ten penalties in the early going would continue as Boris Bede’s 51-yard field goal would hit the uprights and keep the Boatmen scoreless. The missed field goal would extend the Bombers’ defensive streak to 20 consecutive possessions without allowing a point.

Another streak on the opposite side of the ball for Winnipeg continued as Zach Collaros would lead his team deep into Argos’ red zone with five straight completions. Bring Zack’s completion streak to 11 before finally throwing an incomplete pass.

With time running out in the first half and Winnipeg inside the Toronto 10 yard line. Glen Young’s defence would hold as Sam Backer Chris Edwards would sack Collaros to force a short 22-yard Tyler Crapigna field goal. The Bombers would take a 10-0 lead into the second half.

The Toronto Argonauts would get the football to start the second half. The miscues for the Boatmen’s offence would continue. A timing error on the first play from scrimmage with Llevi Noel bumping into his own teammate John White would negate a potential first-down run. The next play would be an incomplete pass by Bethel-Thompson would lead to a two and out on the series.

The Argos’ defence would hold again and get their offence the football back. The next Argonauts drive would start on their 14-yard line. Toronto’s offence would pick up two first downs on completions to DeVaris Daniels and Daniel Braverman, but the drive would stall as Richie Hall’s defence continued to dominate.

Toronto’s 15-yard kick interference penalty on the ensuing punt would set up Winnipeg with good field position on their next drive. The Bombers would get cooking on offence and drive into Argos territory quickly on three straight first downs. The Argos defence would start wearing down, being on the field so long. Starting DT, Kony Ealy would leave the game with an arm injury.

However, the Argonauts’ defence would once again make a big play to try and keep their team’s hopes alive when Jamal Peters picked off a Collaros lob into the end zone. Peters making the start for the injured Robertson Daniel makes the big play to keep the Boatmen’s ship afloat temporarily.

The night of errors for Toronto would continue as McLeod Bethel-Thompson would overthrow a wide-open DeVaris Daniels for a would-be touchdown that could’ve tied the game.

The Argos’ D would hold up their end of the bargain once again and force a two and out on the Bombers’ next offensive series.

With the game late in the third quarter and the Argos down 10-0. Ryan Dinwiddie would bench McLeod Bethel-Thompson and insert Nick Arbuckle into the game at quarterback. MBT was 10/20 for 70 yards.

Nick Arbuckle would complete his first four passes, moving the football inside the Bombers 30-yard line. One play later, John White would break free for a thirty-yard touchdown run to finally get the Argos on the scoring board for the first time. The switch at quarterback paid off immediately, with the Bombers lead cut to 10-7.

The 4th quarter would arrive with Winnipeg’s offence looking to stem the tide of momentum against the Boatmen on their next offensive series. A holding penalty would set the Bombers back, and the Toronto defence would get their offence the football back by limiting Winnipeg to a two and out.

With the momentum shifting to the Argonauts’. The game would turn back in the Bombers’ favor as Jesse Briggs would force a John White fumble. The turnover recovered by Deatrick Nichols would lead to a quick scoring strike by Zach Collaros to Nic Demski, who beat Jeff Richards into the corner of the end zone. The play would give the Bombers a 17-7 lead.

Toronto’s offence failed to respond to Winnipeg’s score on their next series and punted the football away. Left Tackle Dejon Allen would go down to a left knee injury.

With 6:56 left in the game. The Argonauts would get the ball back after their defence held. But once again, The Bombers’ defence would force a two and out. Charles Nelson would return Boris Bede’s punt 32 yards to give the Bombers good field position at midfield. But Toronto’s defence would answer the call yet again after a Henoc Muamba sack would net the Argos’ offence another shot to stay in the game.

But to no avail, as on their next series with a little over four minutes left in the game. Nick Arbuckle would throw an ill-advised interception to former XFL player Deatrick Nichols. The Bombers would take over in Argonauts territory with a ten-point lead, looking to ice the game. Mission accomplished as the Bombers took some time off the clock and netted a 22 field goal by Tyler Crapigna to extend their lead to 20-7.

With only two minutes left in the game, down two scores, and Toronto’s offence in desperation mode. The Argos would attempt to move down the field quickly but would suffer another critical injury as Juwan Brescasin would go down to a knee injury. A few plays later, Jackson Jeffcoat would sack and force an Arbuckle fumble to seal the victory for Winnipeg.

Final Score: Winnipeg Blue Bombers 20 Toronto Argonauts 7

Passing Leaders

  • Zach Collaros: 32/40 292 yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 interception
  • Nick Abruckle: 10/19 96 yards, 0 touchdowns, 1 interception

Rushing Leaders

  • John White: 12 carries,111 yards, 1 touchdown and 1 fumble lost
  • Brady Olivera: 13 carries, 29 yards

Receiving Leaders

  • Kenny Lawler: 10 receptions, 99 yards
  • Nic Demski: 8 receptions, 68 yards, 1 touchdown
  • Daniel Braverman: 8 receptions, 50 yards
  • Eric Rogers: 5 receptions, 49 yards

Defensive Leaders

  • Jamal Peters: 9 tackles, 1 interception
  • Jeff Richards: 7 tackles
  • Henoc Muamba: 4 tackles, 1 sack
  • Nicholas Taylor: 6 tackles
  • Deatrick Nichols: 4 tackles, 1 interception, 1 fumble recovery

The complete 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
Nick ArbuckleQuarterback101996000000000
Mcleod Bethel-ThompsonQuarterback102070000000000
John White IVRunning back000000010830
AJ OuelletteRunning back000000000000
Daniel BravermanWide receiver0000000005080
Eric RogersWide receiver0000000004950
Ricky Collins Jr.Wide receiver0000000002910
Juwan BrescacinWide receiver0000000001110
DaVaris DanielsWide receiver0000000001110
Llevi NoelWide receiver000000000810
Total 2039166000010166200


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
Zach CollarosQuarterback3240292200000000
Brady OliveiraRunning back000000000320
Kenny LawlerWide receiver00000000099100
Nic DemskiWide receiver0000000006881
Charles NelsonWide receiver000000000000
Sean McGuireQuarterback000000000000
Rasheed BaileyWide receiver0000000005741
Drew WolitarskyWide receiver0000000004550
Kelvin McKnightWide receiver0000000002030
Mike MillerFull back000000000000
Total 3240292200000292322

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Mike Mitchell Reporter
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