Toronto Argonauts: Dakota Prukop and Michael O’Connor impress vs. Redblacks

Dakota Prukop #9 of the Oregon Ducks throws the ball against the Virginia Cavaliers at Autzen Stadium on September 10, 2016. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Dakota Prukop #9 of the Oregon Ducks throws the ball against the Virginia Cavaliers at Autzen Stadium on September 10, 2016. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Argonauts used all three quarterbacks on Saturday night, defeating the Ottawa Redblacks for the third time this season.

The Toronto Argonauts ended their home schedule on a positive note Saturday, defeating the Ottawa Redblacks 39-9.

The win was a significant one for the Argos, who have now assured that they will not finish in last place. Instead, that will be the Ottawa Redblacks, who lost all three games to Toronto this season and were not successful in stopping any of the three quarterbacks the Argonauts used throughout the game.

The 4-13 Argonauts now have the opportunity to do something that seemed impossible just a few weeks ago – with a win next week, Toronto would improve on their record from last year.

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For some in the organization, this late-season success is bittersweet, though it leaves the team hopeful for the future.

"“I know some guys in that room feel like we’re just getting going.” Coach Chamblin said post game. “It’s frustrating that it comes now [at the end].”"

Chamblin lauded the performance of his players, who he said to a man, have not phoned in the final weeks of the season.

"“They know what they’re playing for,” Chamblin said. “And it’s not just the 2019 Toronto Argonauts. [For] some it’s the 2020 Toronto Argonauts, for others it’s just their 2020 careers.”"

It’s a telling statement that sheds light on a complicated situation, one that the quarterbacks have handled with class and professionalism.

Before the game, word spread that all three quarterbacks were going to get some playing time, no matter what the game situation was. That rumour proved true, Mcleod Bethel-Thompson was given the first half, Dakota Prukop the third quarter, and Michael O’Connor the fourth.

Usually, that kind of musical chairs mentality at the quarterback position can add some unwanted friction in the locker room, but not with this team. Prukop and O’Connor both made a point of saying how Bethel-Thompson’s leadership and support all week helped them perform the way they did.

"“It’s fun to watch them play,” Bethel-Thompson said of his younger counterparts. “The greatest part is they’ve put the work in. All year, they’ve put the work in. So to see them perform well, it’s awesome. They deserve every moment of it. “"

Bethel-Thompson joked that this year has felt like “five nightmares in one”, but feels these last few weeks have gone a long way in showing the fight and determination of the team.

"“It’s good to have some fun here at the end. It’s been a tough season, but the good thing is the men in this locker room are all coming together.”"

That comradery was clearest Saturday night when Prukop and O’Connor threw for the first TDs of their CFL careers. Both were mobbed on and off the field by their teammates in celebration, showing that the men in the locker room were well aware of the milestones.

"“It’s been three years waiting for that,” Prukop said post-game. “It was the first time I’ve been nervous in a long time. Butterflies, stuff like that. First time I felt that in years, and I’m just happy we went out and executed.”"

It was a long time coming for Prukop, who has spent a lot of time on special teams throughout his years with the Argos.

"“I love football. I love it to the core. I don’t mind playing special teams, but to finally get my shot at quarterback was really, really cool.”"

The Argos now go to Hamilton for their final game of the season.

Next. A.J. Ouellette excited to make first CFL start. dark

What impressed you about the Argos’ final home game from the season? which quarterback impressed you the most? Let us know in the comments below.