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Toronto-Ottawa Game Recap: The Argos Storm Back In The Second Half To Beat Redblacks

In front of their home crowd, on a night where the Toronto Argonauts celebrated the 30th anniversary of their legendary 1991 championship team. The Boatmen overcame a sluggish first half and stormed back in the second half to score 27 unanswered points to defeat the Ottawa Redblacks 35-16.

The Argos (5-3) trailed Ottawa 9-8 at the half. But in the third quarter, Toronto scored four majors on two pick-sixes, and two McLeod Bethel-Thompson touchdown passes.

The 27 point outburst helped the Boatmen smoothly sail to victory. An important victory, as Toronto now has a one-game lead in the East at 5-3 and improved to 3-1 in the division. The Argos will head to Hamilton to play the 4-4 Ti-Cats this coming Monday afternoon.

Toronto is still undefeated at home at 4-0. Their next two games will come on the road against divisional opponents in Hamilton and then Montreal 11 days later.

Week 10 Ottawa Redblacks @ Toronto Argonauts Game Recap/Highlights

1st Quarter

The Argonauts started the game on offense. Toronto drove the ball into Ottawa territory, but a five-yard loss in the backfield on a shovel pass from Antonio Pipkin to Ricky Collins stalled the team’s opening drive. Facing a 3rd and long from the Ottawa 44, Toronto chose to punt the ball away rather than attempt a 54-yard field goal.

The Argos would pass on attempting to score three, but Boris Bede’s punt into the end zone would net Toronto its first points of the game on a 54-yard single. It would be the first of many unique scoring plays by the Boatmen on this evening.

Caleb Evans would respond on Ottawa’s opening drive, making two big plays with his legs and arm. The first, a 22-yard scamper on first down. Followed immediately by an 18 yard hookup with Ryan Davis. The Redblacks would pick up one more first down in Toronto territory before the Argos defense was able to hold Ottawa to a field goal attempt. Thanks to a big Jamal Peters pass breakup on 2nd down. Lewis Ward would come on to connect on a 28-yard field goal to give Ottawa an early 3-1 lead.

On the Argos’ second offensive possession, McLeod Bethel-Thompson would again lead the offense into Ottawa territory. But Toronto would face a key third and one at the 40. Antonio Pipkin came on to try and convert, but Ottawa’s defense held strong, forcing the Boatmen to turn it over on downs.

Despite having excellent position to start their second drive. Toronto’s defense would force Ottawa to punt the ball away on their second possession of the game.

However, with the Argos offense pinned back on their own end. Toronto once again failed to convert a first down in short yardage. This time, McLeod Bethel-Thompson failed to pick up a second and one on a QB sneak.

Ottawa would get the football after a Boris Bede punt and start their next drive at midfield, as the first quarter came to a close.

2nd Quarter

Caleb Evans would lead the Redblacks deep into enemy territory with a 28-yard completion to RJ Harris. But Toronto would once again hold Ottawa to a short field goal attempt. Lewis Ward would come on and connect again from 28-yards out to give the Redblacks a 6-1 lead.

The Argonauts would fail to respond to Ottawa’s score with a quick two and out. But a 52-yard punt by Bede and a great open-field tackle by Eli Mencer on the deadly Devonte Dedmon for a two-yard loss would help flip field position.

Backed up in their own territory, Ottawa’s offense would go two and punt. A struggling Argos offense would do the same on their next possession. Both teams’ offenses would stall for the majority of the second quarter, trading multiple punts back and forth.

The next score would come on special teams. As the Redblacks prepared to punt the ball away for the third consecutive time in the quarter, Ottawa punter Richie Leone’s punt would be blocked by rookie fullback Dion Pellerin. Fellow rookie WR Dejon Brissett would scoop up the football and race into the end zone to give Toronto its first major of the day and its first lead of the game. Boris Bede would convert the extra point to give Toronto an 8-6 lead over Ottawa.

Ottawa would respond to the potential momentum-shifting punt block with an 8-play drive. Led by Caleb Evans throwing and running, the Redblacks would march down to Toronto’s 24-yard line. But once again, the Argos defense would stiffen up and hold Ottawa to a field goal. Lewis Ward would kick his third field goal of the half from 32 yards out to give Ottawa a 9-8 lead going into halftime.

3rd Quarter

Ottawa would get the ball up by one to start the second half, but Toronto’s defense would force a quick two and out.

An illegal block in the back on Arjen Colqhoun would push the Argos offense back to start their drive. But three plays later, a sleepwalking Argonauts’ offense would finally show some life. As McLeod Bethel-Thompson would find an open DJ Foster on a screen at the 44, and he would race downfield for a 63-yard score. The quick-strike would give the Argos a 14-9 lead. Toronto’s attempt at a two-point conversion would fail when Dandridge picked off MBT.

The Argos defense would force another punt by the Redblacks. But Toronto would do the same on their next possession as former Boatmen Cleyon Laing would sack Bethel-Thompson on second and long.

DeVonte Dedmon would set up Ottawa nicely on their third second-half possession with a 16-yard punt return to Toronto’s 41-yard line. But Toronto’s defense would immediately erase Ottawa’s field position advantage when Caleb Evans’s pass on first down was deflected by Cordarro Law and intercepted by Dexter McCoil. He would race 73 yards down the field for the score.

The big play by Law and McCoil would give Toronto a 21-9 lead.

Toronto’s defense would force Ottawa to punt the football away after the huge pick-six in the Six with momentum entirely on their side.

Toronto’s offense would continue the team’s avalanche on the Redblacks. It would take only five plays for the Boatmen to sail into the end zone again. This time, McLeod Bethel-Thompson would find Damion Jeanpiere for a 21-yard strike for a touchdown. The score would extend Toronto’s lead to 28-9.

The Redblacks second-half collapse would continue in the third quarter. Caleb Evans would lead the Ottawa offense into Toronto territory, but he was picked off again. Chris Edwards would intercept Evans and return the football 82 yards for the touchdown. Extending the Boatmen’s lead to 35-9.

The Argos second defensive touchdown in this game. Marked the first time it has happened for Toronto in a game since September 4th, 2006.

The Boatmen would sail into the fourth quarter with a commanding 35-9 lead.

4th Quarter

On this special night in Toronto. Ottawa would finally stop the bleeding in the second half with a big play of their own on special teams.

A Boris Bede punt would be blocked by Brendan Gillanders and picked up by Frederic Chagnon in the end zone for the touchdown. The special teams score would cut Toronto’s lead to 35-16.

The ensuing kickoff was fumbled by Chandler Worthy. Ottawa would recover, but their offense would fail to capitalize on the potential momentum swing. Toronto’s defense would stand tall and force Ottawa to punt.

After an Argos punt on their next possession. Ottawa would get another opportunity to rally. The Redblacks would drive into the red zone. But once again, Toronto’s defense would come up big with another turnover. This time, Eli Mencer would intercept Caleb Evans at the Argos 18-yard line.

Up by 19, the Argos offense would stall, but the game would reach the three-minute warning as they kicked the ball back to Ottawa.

With time working against them. The Redblacks we’re unable to get anything going in the final minutes to mount a rally. The Argos would hold on to their 19 point victory at home.

Final Score: Toronto Argonauts 35 Ottawa Redblacks 16

Boxscore

OTT

Player Position Pass. CMP Pass. ATT Pass. YDS Pass. TD Pass. INT Rush. ATT Rush. YDS Rush. TD Rec. Rec. Targets Rec. YDS Rec. TD
Caleb EvansQuarterback23413340365400000
Timothy FlandersRunning back0000061601130
Taryn ChristionQuarterback000001100000
Brendan GillandersRunning back000001100000
Ryan DavisWide receiver000000008131040
R.J. HarrisWide receiver0000000048840
Kenny StaffordWide receiver0000000035750
Anthony CoombsWide receiver0000000039600
DeVonte DedmonWide receiver000000001150
Nate BeharWide receiver000000001130
Total 2341334031472021383340

TOR

Player Position Pass. CMP Pass. ATT Pass. YDS Pass. TD Pass. INT Rush. ATT Rush. YDS Rush. TD Rec. Rec. Targets Rec. YDS Rec. TD
Mcleod Bethel-ThompsonQuarterback1521181211100000
D.J. FosterRunning back000001865056791
Chandler WorthyWide receiver000001500000
Antonio PipkinQuarterback000002100000
DaVaris DanielsWide receiver0000000022390
Damion JeanpiereWide receiver0000000023261
Ricky Collins Jr.Wide receiver0000000045200
Kurleigh Gittens Jr.Wide receiver000000001490
Declan CrossFull back000000001180
Total 1521181212272015211812

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. David Tress

    October 7, 2021 at 11:45 am

    Toronto only had 6000 fans out to their game. They need to bring in someone like Dez Bryant or Johnny Manziel and fill those seats.

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