Argonauts Fall to Redblacks 23-13

Andrew Dixon
FiredUp Network Sports Writer


Sunday, July 31, 2022

The first quarter of this matchup between the Toronto Argonauts and Ottawa Redblacks was far from a barnburner. Ottawa opened the scoring with a 46-yard Lewis Ward field goal about five minutes into the opening frame before Toronto responded with a Boris Bede from 42. The Redblacks would end the quarter with a 6-3 lead following another Ward field goal that was knocked through with under a minute remaining in the first. 


Offensive scoring picked up a bit in the second. The game’s first touchdown was a 29-yard pass from McLeod Bethel-Thompson to Brandon Banks, with the extra point granting Toronto a 10-6 lead. After an Ottawa punt, the Boatmen would hold control of the ball for about four and a half minutes, finishing the drive with a 32-yard Bede field goal to extend their advantage.


Despite the clock having less than a minute remaining, Ottawa put the pedal down and pushed the ball down the field and scored a 30-yard touchdown on a Caleb Evans pass to Jaelon Acklin. 


Ottawa would start the second half with the ball and would score on their opening possession. It took over five minutes off the clock and they scored three points courtesy of a 21-yard Ward field goal. 


No other scoring would take place in the third quarter, but Lorenzo Mauldin would force a fumble on Andrew Harris that Patrick Levels would recover to give possession back to the Redblacks. 


Quarter number four would start relatively uneventful until Ottawa put together a touchdown drive to extend their lead. On the 10th play of the Redblacks’ second fourth quarter possession Caleb Evans would Nate Behar from seven yards out, giving Ottawa a 23-13 lead after the extra point.


The Argonauts would continue their comeback attempt with just under three minutes left. They would move the ball as far as the Ottawa 41-yard line, but wouldn’t make it any further. Kene Onyeka would drop McLeod Bethel-Thompson for a six yard loss following an incompletion to set up a 3rd and 16. Bethel-Thompson would attempt to find Brandon Banks on the key down, but a drop would give the ball back to Ottawa. 


Toronto would use their final timeout to try and preserve some clock and get the ball back, but the Redblacks’ run game was effective enough to pick up new sets of downs and kill the clock. 


This 23-13 win was Ottawa’s first of the year.


McLeod Bethel-Thompson threw for 340 yards and one major on 26/40. Andrew Harris led a woeful ground game for the Double Blue with just 17 yards on nine carries while both Markieth Ambles and Kurleigh Gittens had 84 receiving yards. 


The most impressive performance on Ottawa’s side was Jaelon Acklin’s 7/144/1 receiving line on 10 targets. William Powell’s 11 carries for 50 yards led the rushing attack while Caleb Evans finished an efficient 24/29 for 286 yards and a pair of passing scores. 


Ottawa will host the Stampeders on August 5th at 7:30pm Eastern while Toronto will stay at home to battle against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on August 6th at 7:00pm Eastern.