Toronto Argonauts fast start wasn’t enough in loss to Roughriders

REGINA, SK - JULY 26: Rod Williams
REGINA, SK - JULY 26: Rod Williams /

A strong first half wasn’t enough as the visiting Saskatchewan Roughriders spoil the playoff-clinching party for the Toronto Argonauts.

In what was a back and forth battle, but an 18-yard field goal in the dying seconds secured the win for the Saskatchewan Roughriders 27-24 the Toronto Argonauts at BMO Field in front of 15,102.

The Argonauts had seized control in the game with a 16-3 lead on Saskatchewan up until the midway point of the second quarter.

It wasn’t until the Roughriders made the switch at the quarterback bringing in Brandon Bridge for starter Kevin Gkenn, that the momentum started to shift.

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Bridge finished the game with 292 yards in the air on and two touchdowns as the Argos defence struggled to make the adjustment to mobile quarterback’s style.

Toronto also had a chance to secure a playoff spot with a win against Saskatchewan, as well as first place in the Eastern division if the Ottawa Redblacks loss to B.C. on Saturday. The Redblacks were able to comeback against the Lions and keep pace with the Argos in the East.

Speaking to the media post-game, Argonauts head coach Marc Trestman echoed the disappointing outcome.

“We had a chance to get off to a fast start tonight. Offensively, we limited ourselves with a couple of redzone opportunities that we didn’t get touchdowns out of which really disappointed us,” said Trestman.

“When the time came for us to make a play on second down, we just couldn’t do it. [Saskatchewan] are deserving winners, our locker room certainly is disappointed. We go back to work on Monday, make corrections, and get back to work for Edmonton.”

One moment in the game that had some fans turning their heads came late in the fourth quarter when a holding call was made against Saskatchewan, deep into Toronto’s territory, was accepted by the Argonauts and the second down on the play was repeated.

Fans questioned whether the Argonauts should have declined it to give themselves a bit more time on the clock, regardless of whether the Roughriders scored or not, and give themselves a better chance to win.

Trestman, however, defended the team’s decision to accept the penalty.

“We had to take them out of field goal range. It was second down, and we pushed them back for a better opportunity for us to stop them and take the points off the board and have a chance to run it out if [Tyler Crapigna] missed it.”

Eventually, the Roughriders found a way to put themselves in great field goal position to seal the victory.

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The Argonauts look ahead now to week 17 as they head on the road to Edmonton and take on the Eskimos, who are seeking revenge against Toronto after a tough loss in week 13.