Realty One

Saturday, August 19, 2017


TORONTO - Ricky Ray showed Saturday just how valuable he is to the Toronto Argonauts.

Ray returned from a shoulder injury to throw four first-half TD strikes as Toronto snapped a three-game losing streak with a 38-6 victory over the Montreal Alouettes. Ray now has 100 touchdown passes for his Argonauts tenure, breaking Condredge Holloway's club record (98) before a season-high BMO Field gathering of 16,326.

Ray missed last week's 21-9 loss in Montreal with a shoulder injury suffered in a 41-24 home loss to Calgary on Aug. 3. With Ray sidelined, Jeff Mathews and Cody Fajadro were a combined 18-of-28 passing for 142 yards versus the Als.

Ray finished 35-of-43 passing for 377 yards on Saturday, the seventh time this year he's surpassed the 300-yard plateau. The only blemish on his performance was Montreal's Dominique Tovell returning a Ray deflection 61 yards for the TD to end the third.

But Ray started impressively, going five-for-five passing for 65 yards in anchoring Toronto's 76-yard, nine-play opening march. He capped the drive with a 16-yard TD strike to S.J. Green.

"You don't replace a guy like Ricky Ray,'' said Green, who had nine catches for 145 yards and two TDs. "It was good to get back out there with Ricky and throw it around a little bit.

"You see a guy with his capabilities what we can do.''

Ray was 21-of-23 passing for 260 yards and the four TD passes in staking Toronto to a commanding 35-0 half-time lead. Two were to Green, who finished with nine catches for 145 yards after registering just four receptions for 32 yards in his first game against his former team.

"It definitely helps when you come out and play like we did from the get-go,'' Ray said. "It just gets you off to a good start, gets some good confidence going.

"One drive doesn't mean anything but if you're able to focus and keep putting together good plays after another and you're able to score touchdowns ... it just puts you in a good position all game long.''

Toronto (4-5) moved atop the East Division while improving to 4-1 within the conference. The Argos and Als meet again Sept. 23 at BMO Field to decide the season series.

"Ricky had a great game and found his guys,'' Montreal head coach Jacques Chapdelaine said. "He did a good job with the run game with his zone reads, which definitely was an issue for us.

"They maintained long drives, a lot of them over seven plays. We got kicked in the pants.''

Toronto head coach Marc Trestman was pleased with Ray's performance but also pointed out his team only managed a field goal in the second half.

"We saw a glimpse tonight of the type of team we want to become,'' Trestman said. "I thought (Ray) did an excellent job, as I said I thought he had a very efficient week of practice.

"We knew this was our mid-term exam. It was an important game, it was a fork in the road for our team.''

Green didn't feel he earned a measure of redemption against Montreal, the team he played with for 10 seasons before being dealt in the off-season to Toronto. Green missed most of the 2016 campaign with a serious knee injury.

"It's not about me,'' he said. "It's 44 guys that dress on game day and I'm just one of them.

"Most important thing was getting this win. We wanted to get back into first place. We didn't feel like we played our best game last week against this team.''

Ray is the only player in CFL history to have 100 TD passes or more with two franchises. Ray played his first nine seasons in Canada with Edmonton, throwing 210 touchdown strikes.

"That's pretty cool,'' Ray said. "I've been lucky, obviously, in my career to play with two really good franchises ... teams with a lot of history.''

Montreal (3-5) fell to second in the East, one point ahead of the Ottawa Redblacks (2-6-1). Starter Darian Durant was 14-of-27 passing for 93 yards and an interception as the Alouettes fell to 0-4 on the road.

"I felt we came back from the win against Toronto and were in a favourable position as far as our record,'' Chapdelaine said. "It felt like we took that for granted.''

Slotback Nik Lewis had six catches for 42 yards to boost his career total to 1,020 receptions. He moved past Ben Cahoon (1,017) into second all-time and needs just 10 grabs to surpass overall leader Geroy Simon (1,029).

Declan Cross, Justin Tuggle and Armanti Edwards had Toronto's other touchdowns. Lirim Hajrullahu booted five converts and a field goal.

(Canadian Press)


Anonymous said...

All the Durant lovers - where are you? *crickets*

Anonymous said...

97 yards???? 97 YARDS!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

At his player salary, Darian Durant pathetic.

Anonymous said...

Give Ray a little time in the pocket and he fires darts to his receivers all day. He played a great game.
Durant looked awful to say the least.

Anonymous said...

"The population of Toronto (2017) is 2,826,497. This makes Toronto the largest city in Canada and the fourth largest city in North America".In other news "a season-high BMO Field gathering of 16,326" attended the CFL game in Toronto.They forgot to mention the 46 people in Toronto who watched part of the game on TV.
Sad really that the city with the largest population in the country, the home of TV sports and self proclaimed "Centre of the Universe" can't even muster 20,000 fans to see an exciting brand of football. Oh wait wasn't there a NFL preseason game on TV? There you go.

3RD and 1 said...

Yup Darian had games like this one every now and then here in SK as well. A real egg! A smashed egg at that. Every QB that plays a significant amount of time in the CFL is going to lay an egg here and there. Glen did exactly that in BC. Jennings did the same thing in SK.
Usually the whole team around the QB is playing terrible when you have this kind of outcome.
I for one am a Darian Durant fan. With that being said I do agree with Jones that a guaranteed salary of $400k whether you play or not is absurd. As a GM I don't think I would take that kind of chance on any CFL QB other than Bo and he dosent even make that kind of money.
I'm just hoping the Riders go into Edmonton with the same type of energy that Toronto had in this game as well as their own energy level they had at Mosaic against BC.
Go Riders

Anonymous said...

Would Montreal be better off had they kept KG and their young qbs and saved money rather than spending it all on DD and DW? It seems that they out smarted themselves.

Anonymous said...

For once I agree with 3RD and 1 except he forgot about the bad mouthing Jones had to dish out.
What makes me chuckle though is the fact that Toronto is going to win the east and they were every bit as bad as the Riders last year.
Trestman and Popp are in year one of their rebuild while Jones/Jones and Jones are in year two.
It's amazing what happens when you 'coach up' what you inherited instead of 'blow up' what you have and then have 40-some minicamps and are still searching two years later.

Anonymous said...

Durant did not look good! The questions have no doubt already started in Montreal regarding his paycheck versus production. That is a big hit to the team's salary cap that Kavis will be held responsible for and you can expect some shake up if it continues. Like to see Drew Willy get the opportunity to play.

Anonymous said...

Darian! The football gods are not happy! Elite quarterbacks making big paychecks score touchdowns and win games! Get with the program!

Anonymous said...

"For once I agree with 3RD and 1 except he forgot about the bad mouthing Jones had to dish out.
What makes me chuckle though is the fact that Toronto is going to win the east and they were every bit as bad as the Riders last year.
Trestman and Popp are in year one of their rebuild while Jones/Jones and Jones are in year two.
It's amazing what happens when you 'coach up' what you inherited instead of 'blow up' what you have and then have 40-some minicamps and are still searching two years later."

1. Ricky Ray was injured most of last year, so it goes to show you how important a starting QB is
2. The Riders beat Toronto already this year
3. The approach to rebuild the teams has been drastically different. Toronto traded for and signed veteran CFL players, the Riders have for the most part tried to find recently graduated from college players who didn't stick in the NFL, which is why the Riders are one of the youngest teams in terms of avg. age

Anonymous said...

You do realize they are number one in the east and we beat the crap out of them...right?

Anonymous said...

The whole league starting to turn on Durant, Bombers play by play guy Bob Irving even tweeted if this continues, we're going to see Drew Willy come in for the Alouettes.

Anonymous said...

Any coach that would inherit a Ricky Ray is one lucky coach!

Anonymous said...

Right here buddy! Dont u wprry about DD, he'll bounce back bigtime. Always has, always will!

Anonymous said...

I would suspect that if Durant's poor performance continues, he will not be the starting QB when they later play at Mosaic. After his childish antics following the first game with the Riders....I'm ok with that!

Anonymous said...

Ricky Ray.....the gentleman quarterback! Never enjoyed watching him beat the Riders during his career but he has my respect for his talent and class both on and off the field.

Anonymous said...

Free Willy! Let him play! Durant is expensive old news!

Anonymous said...

Have to agree with 3rd &1. We had 34 yards offence in 1st half in Calgary. We laid an egg in Vancouver. All the angst about losing Durant when he was traded to Mtl had given way to ridicule. Too many so called Rider fans treat them like superstars when they're here & deride them as bums when they leave. See it with Durant, seeing it with Chick now he's traded. All because the unconditional love of Jones trumps all. Get a reality check The Riders, like Chick, Durant, Dressler etc to date have left a far bigger mark on thr organization than Jones, The way the West is now there is no guarantee Jones will ever bring a Cup to Regina - too many good clubs & good coaches.

Anonymous said...

BREAKING NEWS: Riders announce west side water fountain to be renamed "Darian Durant Memorial Trough"

Anonymous said...

Anon #2 after 3rd and 1. The best club in the CFL right now has a younger club than the Riders at almost every position when you look at the regular starters. The Rider OL averages over 30 years with 3 30 or plus. Your DB's average close to 29 with Butler & Johnson 30 or plus. Receivers almost 2 year avg older. Youngest Riders are Carter & Holley @ 26. Zylstra, Williams & Mitchell are all just 24. Chick will now bring the DL average higher, if he plays. The fact that Edmonton is winning with a lot of players who are younger than the Riders puts the Jones rebuild in perspective. You might want to rethink the "youngest" statement when you compare them to Toronto. We have 13 players 30 or over on the active roster & 6 game. Nowadays all the clubs are changing quite a bit year to year. It's not just the Riders - but they're not bringing in 100's of players with short auditions & constantly churning positions like QB for instance where there is constant looking over the shoulder on who's coming next. Hard environment to develop under.

Anonymous said...

Ech .. I was always a Durant fan until the last few years. He got slow in a hurry. He could never throw a screen pass and threw his share of picKS but he used to be able to scramble move the pocket keep defences at bay and could give thunderous hits.. tough as nails .. then he lost his legs every hit hurt him used to play so banged up you'd think he was the second coming of bret favre often hurting his team by playing hurt and being so "tough" .. 2009 Durant was the man in my books he always found a way to win . Later on with no o line he crumbled .. now I get he was at the helm when Korey sheets and Co won us a cup and I felt vindicated for rooting for Durant but I kinda gave up on him after he made a million bucks to basically sit at home and and show up from time to time ..he valiantly takes a 50 grand pay cut to play bunk football and expect to be payed the same ? I say good riddance. Thank you for the cup and making me believe at one point but I say now I'm not a Durant hater but I'm certainly not a Durant believer.. Jones made the right decision here guys. Bravo man. Now here's hoping we can keep old Glenn upright for this season and find the "next one" . Onward we go! Go Riders!


Anonymous said...

And suspect the saviour Franklin gets dealt to Montreal or signs there in the off-season:( awe don't be too sad rider fans lol

Anonymous said...

The worse Durant plays, Hamilton plays,Ottawa plays, the more the Franklin sweepstakes amp up.

Anonymous said...

Agree 100% Franklin's stock will rise...which I assume is why Jones paid a but more for Adams. Better to have a decent young prospect under contract just in case Franklin goes East.