In the final game of Week 6, the Toronto Argonauts prevented the Ottawa Redblacks from gaining their first home win of the season. In a game that was highlighted by the starting quarterbacks coming in, it was the defence that allowed the Argos prevail to a win.
Argos Prevail By Causing Multiple Ottawa Turnovers to Beat Redblacks 23-20
Boatmen Crash 105th Grey Cup Announcement Party to Take Lead in East
With the help of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the RCMP, the CFL announced officially that Ottawa would play host to the 105th Grey Cup Championship Game in 2017. The pre-game ceremony was a celebration of return of the cherished event to the Nation’s Capital for the the first time since 2004. After all the hurdles the football fans of Ottawa have gone through over the years, this Grey Cup Announcement was the culmination of all the hard work the Ottawa Redblacks ownership group had gone through in bringing the game back to Ottawa. Unfortunately for the Redblacks the Toronto Argonauts – the host of this year’s Grey Cup – weren’t all that interested in celebrating another teams accomplishments and got to work party crashing. In the end the Argos prevailed winning 23-20, denying Ottawa their first home win of 2016.
Fight Night: Kilgore vs Burris
Logan Kilgore came out on top in his first ever start in the CFL subbing in for the injured Ricky Ray, going 25/42 for 322 yards, 1 touchdown pass and 2 interceptions in the game. Kilgore didn’t appear to let nerves get the best of him in the game though and his teammates helped him out in taking down the Redblacks for his first win as a starter.
— TSN (@TSN_Sports) August 1, 2016
In his first game back from injury Henry Burris proved to still be winning his battle with Father Time. However, the Argos defence did a number on him on the field. Burris went 20/34 passing for 218 yards, 1 touchdown, and 2 interceptions. There were a couple of other key misplays that had calls overturned in his favour. In particular the play late in the fourth quarter where Burris fumbled the hand-off on a sweep outside to Chris Williams. Initially the fumble was returned by Shawn Lemon for an Argos touchdown putting the Boatmen up 26-17 with 2:43 remaining. Luckily for Burris it was called back, because upon video review the quarterback “made a forward shovel pass”. The call saved the drive as Ottawa drew the score even with a 55-yard field goal from Chris Milo two plays later. After falling behind on a late Argos field goals Burris was unable to come back and get another score after being picked off by A.J. Jefferson with 1:06 remaining sealing the win for Toronto.
Bend Don’t Break
The Argos defence just had to hold on in this one and they did. The win in Ottawa was the result of players stepping up and making plays at key moments. In the end they kept their composure and opponent off the scoreboard just enough to pull out the win. With 1 sack, 1 forced fumble and 3 picks the defence showed up to play ball.
Jefferson and T.T. Heath proved to be the difference makers causing multiple turnovers in the secondary. In the turnover game the Double Blue were +2. First Heath picked off Burris during Ottawa’s second possession of the game. Jefferson later picked off Ottawa’s Danny O’Brien on a fake field goal when Ottawa was at Toronto’s 5-yard line late in the first half. Finally Jefferson iced the game when he picked off Burris late in the fourth giving Kilgore the chance to assume the victory formation.
— Toronto Argonauts (@TorontoArgos) August 1, 2016
The Redblacks defensive effort was on par with their opponents, never giving up and making plays of their own. With 2 sacks and 2 interceptions, the Redblacks defence certainly wasn’t M.I.A.. It just didn’t go their way this time around giving up field goals and field position in different inopportune moments. Defensiveback Imoan Claiborne was a hawk in the game for the Redblacks getting 7 tackles in total.
A Good Old Fashion Kicking Duel
The fourth quarter of this game came right down to the wire, with a game of HORSE seemingly being played out before the spectators eyes as the kickers from both teams went shot for shot trying to upstage one another. In total there were 5 field goals and attempted made during the fourth quarter as Ottawa’s Milo and Toronto’s Lirim Hajrullahu duked it out in front of the 24,894 spectators.
After making his first two kicks earlier in the game Hajrullahu in the fourth first nailed a 37-yarder to put the Double Blue up 17-14 at 12:51. Milo countered at 9:32 with a 50-yarder to tie it at 17 a piece. Hajrullahu responded nonchalantly with a 25-yarder to take back the lead with a bullet, 20-17 Argos at this point.
Milo then tied the game again with a 55-yard bomb at 2:28, to make it 20-20. Just over a minute later Hajrullahu nailed a 53-yarder with 1:20 remaining in what would be the final score of the game finishing 5/5. Milo went 2/2 with both kicks 50 yards or greater. The kickers definitely stole the show in this match-up and it was fun to watch unfold, even Ottawa punter Zack Medeiros improvised for a big play early in the game.
— CFL on TSN (@CFLonTSN) August 1, 2016
With the win, the Argos take sole control of first place in the East Division standings at 4-2-0. Since the Argos have a bye for Week 7, Ottawa (3-2-1) and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats (3-2-0) both have opportunities to pull even in the standings with games against West Division opponents. Hamilton hits the road to play the Winnipeg Blue Bombers on Wednesday and Ottawa will take on the Edmonton Eskimos Saturday. Toronto will return to the gridiron in Week 8 with a Friday night game against Winnipeg August 12th at BMO Field.