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Saturday, June 27, 2015

ARGONAUTS 26 ESKIMOS 11

FORT MCMURRAY, Alta. (CP) - Toronto Argonauts quarterback Trevor Harris used Ricky Ray's advice to perform like his mentor in a 26-11 victory over the Edmonton Eskimos on Saturday.

Harris completed 24 of 27 pass attempts for 347 yards in Toronto's home-opener far from home in Fort McMurray, Alta.

The 29-year-old threw touchdown passes to Brandon Whitaker, Vidal Hazelton and Tori Gurley, as well as a two-point convert throw to Chad Owens.

Harris will be Toronto's starter for the near future. Ray, a three-time Grey Cup champion, began this season on the six-game injured list rehabilitating from off-season shoulder surgery.

Harris said he'd asked for Ray's input prior to just the second start of his CFL career.

Saturday's game was the first regular-season CFL game played at the new SMS Equipment Stadium in Fort McMurray, although the Eskimos played a pre-season game there earlier this month.

That game and Saturday's have been billed as the most northerly CFL games ever played.

Scheduling issues at Rogers Centre and the Pan American Games in Toronto in July will keep the Argonauts on the road. Their first home game isn't until Aug. 8.

Edmonton quarterback Mike Reilly was 16-for-28 in passing for 170 yards and was intercepted once. He threw a touchdown pass to Kenny Stafford in the opening quarter, but left the game with just over three minutes remaining with an apparent knee injury.

Backup Matt Nichols completed one of six pass attempts in relief. Eskimos kicker Grant Shaw kicked a field goal and a pair of punt singles.

The temperature for mid-afternoon kickoff was 31. In a nod to the Argos as the home team, the end zones featured Toronto's logo and their player introductions were accompanied by fireworks.

The stadium has 4,354 permanent seats with temporary stands expanding capacity to 15,000 for Saturday's game.

The extra room wasn't required as attendance of 4,900 was well off the 11,800 who came for the pre-season game between Edmonton and the Saskatchewan Roughriders on June 13.

"We were told there wasn't going to be that many people here, so I wasn't concerned about it being a crowd-noise factor against us,'' Argonauts head coach Scott Milanovich said.

"It was nice because we had a charter (flight), our cheerleaders got to come, we got the nicer locker room here. Parts of it did feel maybe like a home game. For the most part it was another road game, just some place we'd never been before.''

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Should be a much noisier crowd for the Argos to contend with in Regina next Sunday. It will also be Welcome Back Ricky Foley Day.

Anonymous said...

Stupid bush league idea to open a so called professional football season at such venue. Federal gov't, showboating "look what we built". Who's on the hook for the huge revenue gate loss for a pathetic gate attendance?

Anonymous said...

For sure it felt like a home game for the Argos with only 5000 fans in attendance...