Toronto Argonauts overcome Roughriders in entertaining Touchdown Atlantic

McLeod Bethel-Thompson #4 of the Toronto Argonauts looks to pass. (Photo by John E. Sokolowski/Getty Images)
McLeod Bethel-Thompson #4 of the Toronto Argonauts looks to pass. (Photo by John E. Sokolowski/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Argonauts and Saskatchewan Roughriders didn’t disappoint a packed house for Touchdown Atlantic with a competitive back-and-forth game.

It was clear before the opening kickoff happened that the Toronto Argonauts and Saskatchewan Roughriders were going to be engaged in an emotional battle.

During warmup Roughriders receiver Duke Williams and Argos defensive back Shaq Richardson getting into an altercation on the field which led to a helmet being thrown at Richardson. It was an incident head coach Ryan Dinwiddie thought should have been dealt with before the game even started.

"“Shaq went to say something to him and he got spit in his face … and he (Williams) throws his own helmet at his face,” Dinwiddie said to the media after the game. “How is that not the dirtiest play I’ve ever been around? … I don’t know how you don’t get ejected for throwing a helmet at the other guy’s head.“I almost took it in the ear trying to break it up. He (Richardson) has got to get away from it and respond to it better (but) you can’t spit in a man’s face and they can deny it all they want and it happened. And it happened two years ago, the same guy … it’s been going on for a while now.”"

The play on the field did not disappoint especially for those who made the trip to Wolfville, Nova Scotia as Toronto came away with a 30-24 victory. It was their second win of the season and one they needed to get considering the East Division is very much up for grabs.

It was also an impressive effort given they found ways to produce against the CFL’s top defence.  McLeod Bethel-Thompson threw for 276 yards and two touchdowns and an interception.

Many Argos fans were likely relieved to see Cam Phillips find a way past the secondary for a 40-yard touchdown considering the issues the team has had with the deep ball. DaVaris Daniel also made an impressive grab in the endzone to get the Argos on the board.

The story of the game on offence was Andrew Harris reaching a milestone as he passed Milt Stegall for fourth on the CFL’s all-time yards from scrimmage list. Next on the list is trying to become the first Canadian reach 10,000 career rushing yards.

Toronto Argonauts defence was the star of the game

If the Argos loss to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers taught us anything, it’s that the defence can give this team a chance to compete with the best in the league. In the second half of that game, they only allowed the defending Grey Cup Champions to score six points.

In this game, the Roughriders were able to pick up yards and kept the game close but couldn’t overcome the three interceptions thrown by Cody Fajardo who was sacked five times.

There were questions about a play involving Shawn Oakman who was taken down by an offensive lineman (who received a holding penalty) and tried to neutralize Fajardo by holding onto his lower leg. The Roughriders quarterback has been dealing with a knee injury this season and there were questions as to why there wasn’t a penalty even after it was challenged.

If you look back at the play, Fajardo’s attempt to break loose from Oakman appeared to cause more harm given the Argos player had a good grip on him.

It’s unfortunate that Fajardo’s status going forward is in jeopardy but you can tell it wasn’t Oakman’s intention to hurt the quarterback. However, given what has happened this season, it might be time for the league to figure out how to protect their quarterbacks more.

Next week’s game against the Roughriders should be an interesting one especially in a hostile environment in Saskatchewan.