Argonauts rally in final quarter to defeat short-handed Roughriders
The short-handed Saskatchewan Roughriders had been no match for tailback Andrew Harris because the Toronto Argonauts registered a 31-21 CFL victory on Sunday.
The 35-year-old Harris gained 143 yards on 26 carries because the Argos (3-2) overcame a 21-14 deficit with 17 factors within the ultimate 4:30 of the sport. The victory was the second in a row for the Argos over the Riders (4-3) following a 30-24 win on July 16 in Wolfville, Nova Scotia as a part of the Landing Atlantic marketing campaign.
Harris is in his eleventh CFL season, breaking in with the B.C. Lions for 5 seasons earlier than becoming a member of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers for 5 seasons. He signed with the Argos throughout the low season and Sunday’s recreation allowed him to construct on his legacy as he eclipsed the ten,000-yard speeding mark for his profession.
He could be solely 5 video games into his stint with the Argos however Harris admitted this recreation was particular.
“I have not had too many video games as an Argonaut however this one is unquestionably going to stay out for a lot of causes. However on the finish of the day, I assumed our crew caught collectively as an entire. Private accomplishments are nice however as we speak I am actually happy with my crew and the way we responded to sure conditions,” mentioned Harris.
Argos quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson, who completed 30 of 38 passing for 336 yards with two touchdowns and one interception, could not say sufficient about Harris’s impression.
“He brings a stage of toughness to our crew. He brings a stage of toughness to our workplace. He takes on 4 or 5 guys on each play, I can not think about the defence desires to go in opposition to him,” mentioned Bethel-Thompson. “He is a corridor of famer, he is a champion. We’re fortunate to have him.”
WATCH | Argos defeat Roughriders in back-to-back weeks:
Harris’s profession complete is now 10,068 yards which is nice for sixth spot on the all-time speeding listing. Charles Roberts occupies fifth place with 10,285 yards. Mike Pringle is the CFL’s all-time speeding chief with 16,425 yards.
The Riders, with 10 regulars out of the lineup resulting from COVID-19 publicity, entered the sport as underdogs however got here near incomes a victory earlier than Toronto took over the sport late within the fourth quarter.
The ultimate quarter splurge allowed the Argos to beat a 21-14 deficit. Kurleigh Gittens, who scored on a 70-yard cross and run play within the second quarter, hauled in a five-yard landing cross that tied the sport 21-21 with 4:28 remaining.
Boris Bede kicked the game-winning area aim, a 29-yarder, with 47 seconds left within the recreation. Toronto sealed the deal on the following kickoff when Enoch Penney-Laryea scooped up a fumble by returner Mario Alford and scored a 10-yard landing.
The profitable area aim was arrange by a 35-yard punt return by Brandon Banks that put the Argos on the Saskatchewan 50-yard line with 3:30 remaining.
It was the one punt return of the sport for Banks and when he took his place on the sector, Harris knew one thing good was about to occur for the Argos.
“I used to be excited. As quickly as I noticed him get on the market I used to be like, `Oh, right here we go.’ He simply has a knack for hitting the opening. He set us as much as chew the clock out and get that area aim to seal the sport,” mentioned Harris.
Gittens additionally had a robust recreation, catching eight passes for 152 yards and two touchdowns. His 70-yarder within the second quarter was a formidable effort as he caught the ball on the Saskatchewan 47-yard-line after which proceeded to run away from the Riders’ defence for the landing.
It was the mixture of massive performs and turnovers that allowed Saskatchewan to maintain the sport shut till the late levels. The Riders capitalized on 5 Toronto turnovers — the Argos misplaced three fumbles, had been stopped on one third down gamble and had been intercepted as soon as.
The Riders gathered momentum by scoring two touchdowns within the ultimate 1:39 of the second quarter. Rookie quarterback Jake Dolegala, making his first CFL begin, hit Tevin Jones with a 10-yard scoring cross to chop the Argos result in 11-10.
Then with 26 seconds left within the half, Alford scored an electrical 112-yard landing on a return of a missed 61-yard area aim try by Bede. Alford caught the ball to the left of the uprights however labored his means throughout the sector and down the fitting sideline into the Toronto finish zone to present Saskatchewan a 15-11 halftime lead.
The Argos’ offence managed the primary half statistically, accumulating 15 first downs with 19:52 time of possession in comparison with Saskatchewan’s 5 first downs and 10:08 of possession.
The six-foot-seven, 242-pound Dolegala was filling in for starter Cody Fajardo, who was in COVID protocol this week whereas additionally nursing a knee harm. Mason Advantageous, who completed COVID protocol on Friday, served because the backup quarterback.
Darnell Sankey had an interception whereas Rolan Milligan, Anthony Lanier and Charleston Hughes had fumble recoveries for the Riders. Hughes, DeMarcus Christmas and Mike Edem registered sacks for Saskatchewan which leads the CFL with 26 sacks.