Thursday, June 8, 2017
ARGONAUTS 24 ALOUETTES 20
Neither squad was especially sharp offensively before a sparse BMO Field gathering estimated at about 2,000 spectators. Then again, both teams didn't dress a number of their starters.
The contest was Marc Trestman's first as Toronto head coach. Trestman spent five years on Montreal's sideline (2008-12), winning two Grey Cups before becoming the Chicago Bears' head coach.
Receiver Jimmy Ralph, a free-agent rookie from Alberta, had Toronto's lone offensive TD, a 10-yard catch from sophomore quarterback Cody Fajardo at 2:07 of the fourth quarter. That put the Argos ahead 24-9 after Montreal pulled to within 18-9 following Boris Bede field goals of 46 and 23 yards in the third.
After having a five-yard TD run nullified by penalty earlier in the fourth, Montreal rookie quarterback Matthew Shiltz hit George Johnson on a 13-yard touchdown pass at 13:07. The two then hooked up on the two-point convert, cutting the Alouettes' deficit to 24-20.
Surprisingly, Montreal kicked off deep, giving Toronto the ball with 1:44 remaining at its 31-yard line. The Argos were able to run out the clock.
Ricky Ray started at quarterback for Toronto, completing all three passes he threw for 26 yards on his only series before giving way to Drew Willy, who was 8-of-12 passing for 58 yards. Jeff Mathews completed 8-of-15 tosses for 110 yards and an interception before Fajardo finished 8-of-10 for 76 yards and the touchdown.
Vernon Adams Jr. played most of the opening half for Montreal, completing 4-of-12 passes for 64 yards with two interceptions. Jacoy Harris was 9-of-15 for 110 yards and an interception before Shiltz came on in the fourth, going 6-of-10 for 69 yards.
Toronto's Lirim Hajrullahu booted two converts, a single and field goal.
Bede had four field goals for Montreal.
Bede's 49-yard boot on the final play of the second cut Toronto's half-time advantage to 18-3. Adams and Harris were a combined 6-of-14 passing for 89 yards with three interceptions.
The Toronto trio of Ray, Willy and Matthews was 16-of-25 through the air for 127 yards with Mathews throwing a pick.
Owusu-Ansah opened the scoring at 4:41 of the first, returning an Adams interception 41 yards for the TD before Hajrullahu connected from 29 yards out at 13:10. Hajrullahu missed a 31-yard attempt for the single at 7:22 of the second.
Berry returned Harris's first pass 80 yards for the TD at 12:18.
(The Canadian Press)