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Tuesday, July 26, 2016

ARGONAUTS 30 ALOUETTES 17, RICKY RAY INJURED

Canadian Press
TORONTO - The Toronto Argonauts' first regular-season win at BMO Field might've have come at a terrible price.

Quarterback Ricky Ray threw three TD passes to lead Toronto past the Montreal Alouettes 30-17 on Monday night. But dampening the Argos' enthusiasm about the historic win was Ray leaving the game in the fourth quarter with a suspected sprained left medial collateral ligament.

Toronto will know for sure Tuesday and if that's indeed the case, Logan Kilgore will start Sunday when the Argos visit the Ottawa Redblacks. Ray, 36, missed most of last season recovering from off-season shoulder surgery.

Ray left at 10:16 of the fourth quarter after Montreal defensive lineman Vaughn Martin rolled into his left knee. He finished the game 29-of-34 passing for 235 yards and the three TD strikes gave him 80 over his Toronto tenure, leaving him alone in second all-time to Condredge Holloway (97).

Ray felt Martin's hit was a late one.

"It felt late,'' Ray said. "It felt like I was standing there for about two seconds watching the play and I got rolled into.

"Hopefully, it's not as bad as it felt out there.''

Toronto head coach Scott Milanovich is hoping for the best but said if Ray can't play then Kilgore will be the next man up.

"That's why Logan is here,'' Milanovich said. "It's time for him to stand up and shine.''

Kilgore was 1-of-3 passing for 15 yards with an interception versus Montreal. But after watching the likes of Zach Collaros (now in Hamilton), Trevor Harris (Ottawa) and Mitchell Gale (Saskatchewan) all patiently wait for their chance to play in Toronto, Kilgore is anxious for his opportunity.

"All of those guys continually prepared themselves and that's what I picked up from those guys,'' he said. "You never know when, or if, it's going to happen.

"That's what pro football players prepare for.''

Ray's 13-yard touchdown strike to Phil Bates and two-point conversion to Kenny Shaw put Toronto ahead 30-16 just 15 seconds into the fourth. That allowed the BMO Field gathering of 16,048 to exhale after Montreal's Kevin Glenn hit Duron Carter on a 61-yard touchdown pass at 3:33 of the third cut the Argos' lead to 21-16.

Then after Montreal recovered Anthony Coombs' fumble, Glenn drove the offence to the Toronto six-yard line before being intercepted by T.J. Heath, who returned it to the Alouettes' 54-yard line at 7:15. But Lirim Hajrullahu missed from 49 yards out for the single at 10:18, giving the Argos a precarious 22-16 advantage.

"I'm not the first and won't be the last to do something like that,'' said Glenn, who left the game briefly in the second half before returning. "You've just got to make sure you get it out of your system, get it out of your head.

"We can't carry any of this mentally over into the next game (Friday night hosting Saskatchewan). We've got to get rid of it.''

Toronto (3-2) earned the victory after dropping its first two games at its new stadium. The Argos became the first East Division team to win at home this season and moved into a second-place tie with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats (3-2).

Monday's attendance was a dramatic improvement from the 12,373 fans who attended Toronto's 30-20 home loss to Ottawa on July 13. Over 24,000 spectators watched the Argos drop a season-opening 42-20 loss to Hamilton in the first regular-season game at BMO Field.

CFL road teams are still a dominant 14-5-1 this year.

Montreal (1-3) suffered its third straight loss and first in two road games. But head coach/GM Jim Popp said the Alouettes were their own worst enemy with 13 penalties for 130 yards, three turnovers and four sacks allowed.

Glenn finished 24-of-28 passing for 285 yards with a TD and interception. Carter had six catches for 124 yards.

"We shot ourselves in the foot,'' he said. "You can't squander opportunities when you have a chance, you can't do that.

"It was the missed opportunities tonight. We thought we should've won that football game ... but too many mistakes.''

Kicker Boris Bede didn't help Montreal's plight, missing all three field goals he tried (from 40, 36 and 43 yards out). Popp said the Als will have new kickers in camp this week.

"We're going to bring some other people in,'' Popp said. "Whether Boris continues kicking or not there'll be some competition.''

(The Canadian Press)

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