Argonauts Survive Against Redblacks 24-19
FiredUp Network Sports Writer
Saturday, September 10, 2022
This CFL East battle in the nation’s capital looked like it was teetering towards a blowout early, but Ottawa clawed back late to get the game much closer by the time the clock hit zeroes.
Scoring got started with a Boris Bede field goal, as it tends to in Argonaut games, but this one was a special one. The 51-yard make was Bede’s 200th career CFL field goal make.
Damonte Coxie had the first quarter’s biggest play of the first frame on a 39-yard catch and run. Coxie caught a slant from McLeod Bethel-Thompson before fighting through contact and taking off down the left sideline, being knocked out at the two-yard line. AJ Ouellette would pound the ball in for a touchdown two plays later to give the Argos a 10-0 lead just before quarter number one came to a close.
The score would get all the way to 13-6 by the end of the first half thanks to a trio of field goals. Bede connected on a 17-yard attempt first before Lewis Ward connected on kicks of 48 and 47-yards.
Toronto had a good push to start the second half but settled for yet another Bede field goal attempt, this one from 47.
The kicker battle would continue as Lewis Ward made a 35-yarder on Ottawa’s next possession and Bede missed a 46-yard attempt wide right for a single.
Trailing 17-9, the Redblacks took over looking to cut into the deficit, but would be stuck attempting yet another field goal. Ward lined up to kick the 21-yard attempt and hit the right upright for a miss and no points.
Kurleigh Gittens Jr. and McLeod Bethel-Thompson would capitalize on this momentum shift, leading a drive that culminated in Gittens’ third major score of the year on a 12-yard reception. Bede’s convert extended the Double Blue lead to 24-9.
Having failed to do much on offense earlier, this is where Ottawa fans were bracing for a blowout. It’s been nearly a year since the Redblacks won at home, so trailing in the second half is not an uncommon sight.
Despite this, the Redblacks drove down the field with a methodical drive that culminated in a Caleb Evans rushing touchdown from two yards out. The Lewis Ward conversion brought the score to 24-16. With just one possession separating the two teams, anything could happen.
Toronto took over on their own 38-yard line following the kickoff, but the drive wound up being just one play long. McLeod Bethel-Thompson took a deep shot right away, but the ball hung in the air long enough for Damon Webb to get underneath it and pick it off.
Unfortunately for Ottawa fans, the offense would be left with just three points on the resulting drive as they stalled out at Toronto’s 24-yard line.
These three points would prove to be the last either side would score, but the drama was far from over. Ottawa would get as close as the Toronto 10-yard line, but they needed a touchdown and came up short on a couple of 3rd and long situations. Nick Arbuckle tried to make magic happen on Ottawa’s first attempt to take the lead, scrambling around and eventually taking off for a 12-yard gain on a 3rd and 17 to give the Argos the ball back inside their own five.
After losing three yards on the first play the Boatmen tried to take a deep shot to Kurleigh Gittens Jr. after snapping the ball at their own two. Gittens got loose from the coverage, but Ottawa had sent just enough pressure to impact Bethel-Thompson’s throw. That led to an incompletion and a punt on the next play.
Lining up at the 35-yard line with 1:21 left, the Redblacks still had a very real chance to win as they trailed by just five points. However, an incompletion, a four-yard loss, and a deep incompletion in traffic gave the ball back to the Double Blue and allowed them to waste the rest of the clock.
Both of these squads will now have plenty of time to prepare for their next battle. They play one another in their next game, but not until September 24 at 7:00 PM ET.