Toronto Argonauts rally behind their fearless leader Ricky Ray

TORONTO, CANADA - JULY 05: Ricky Ray /

It as a memorable victory for the Toronto Argonauts as quarterback Ricky Ray reached new high points in his career while providing inspiration to his teammates.

It was a memorable night at BMO Field for the Toronto Argonauts for more reasons than one as Ricky Ray set a couple of milestones with a performance to remember against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

At the end of last season, there was some doubt as to whether the veteran quarterback would return. Those doubts have been silenced as Ray has led the Argos from the basement of the CFL to the top team in the East Division.

After playing only 12 games combined in the past two seasons, Ray has only missed one game in what has been his best season statistically in Toronto. He has passed for 5,205 yards which is the first time that he has done that with the Argos and the fourth time he has accomplished that in his career.

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The last time the 15-year veteran reached the 5,000 passing yard mark was back in 2008 with the Edmonton Eskimos when he threw for 5,663 yards. It would be tough to expect Ray to pass for over 450 yards against the B.C. Lions in the final regular season game but Ray only needs 305 yards to beat the mark he set in 2005 when he had 5510.

Ray also became just the fourth quarterback in CFL history to throw for 60,000 career yards putting him in company with Anthony Calvillo, Damon Allen and Henry Burris.

On Sunday Ray turned 38, but age appears to only be a number for Ray who continues to take hits in order to make plays and lead his team to victory. His work ethic both on and off the field has not gone unnoticed as Marc Trestman pointed out after the game Saturday.

"“Ricky sets the example for anybody who wants to watch how he takes care of himself, how he prepares, the detail in which he works, the emotional intelligence that he has of never being too high or too low. I look at Ricky and I just can’t believe that I have the privilege to coach him. He and AC (Anthony Calvillo are so similar usually you got a little difference of person but they are so similar.”Marc Trestman."

When it was announced during the game that Ray hit the 60,000 passing mark, teammates on the field took to the time to acknowledge it which shows the respect the Argos have for their quarterback. One player who is never shy to pay a compliment to his quarterback is rookie James Wilder Jr. who has brought new life to this Argos offence.

“He’s the greatest of all time, he’s the goat.” said Wilder Jr. after the game Saturday. “I’m playing with a Hall of Famer so they are going to respect the pass. Including the offensive line’s blocking, that’s the only reason why I’m getting so many good runs because they have to back off and respect the pass. You see what he can do even when they don’t respect it. He’ll put it in the right place so it’s kind of like a lose-lose situation going against our offence.”

There were times in the game where the Argos looked to be in a tough spot but Ray showed great composure to make a big throw. With the team pinned deep in their own end Ray threw a perfect ball up to DeVier Posey who took it for a 55-yard completion. Then with under four minutes to go on a second and long Ray found Jimmy Ralph for a big completion to put the Argos in a position to get the go ahead touchdown.

Next: Argonauts win a nail-biter against Winnipeg

Those types of plays are what make Ray a lock for the hall-of-fame and the leader behind the Argos turn around. While the team knows that there is a lot of work to be done, they remain confident as long as Ray is leading them on the field.