Saturday, October 27, 2012

Argos clinch playoff spot with win over Riders

Regina, SK. -- The Toronto Argonauts survived a late Saskatchewan drive and helped by a pair of missed field goals by Sandro DeAngelis, squeaked out a 31-26 win over the Roughriders Saturday at Mosaic Stadium in Regina, Saskatchewan.

Toronto opened the scoring on a Ricky Ray to Maurice Mann 16 yard touchdown pass. Swayze Waters converted and the Argos were up 7-0, with 4:40 gone in the opening quarter. They would double the lead on a 7 yard Ray to Andre Durie touchdown pass. Waters converted again, pushing the Toronto lead to 14-0, with 3:44 left in the first.

In the second, Sandro DeAngelis kicked a 38 yard field goal with 1:15 gone for the Riders, then Kory Sheets would bust over left tackle from the 23, then carry defenders the last 10 yards to paydirt. DeAngelis converted with 9:25 left, slicing the defict to 14-10. A DeAngelis 27 yarder with 5:20 to play made it a 1 point game at 14-13, before Ray found Durie from 7 yards again. The Waters convert with 1:12 to go, upped the Argo lead to 21-13. DeAngelis would then toe one through the uprights on the final play of the half from 36 yards out, making it a 21-16 game in favor of the Argos at two-quarter time.

Tristan Jackson ran the second half kickoff to the Toronto 13, but two plays netted just 4 yards. DeAngelis came on but missed a chip shot from the 16 1:30 in, leaving the Argonaut lead at 4, at 21-17 after the missed field goal single. Toronto would respond with a long pass by Ray to Chad Owens down the left sideline. Owens hauled it in, slipped a tackle at the 19, then ran it in the rest of the way for a 60 yard catch and run touchdown. Waters converted and the Argos found themselves on top by 11 at 28-17, with 10:54 to play in the third. Saskatchewan would shave three points off the lead late in the third, after having a drive stall at the Toronto 18. DeAngelis would come on to kick a 27 yard field goal with 46 seconds left in the quarter, climbing to within 8, at 28-20.

The Riders would make it a 2 point game early in the fourth. Keyed by a 42 yard catch and run to the 10 by Sheets, Durant would find Dressler over the middle for the 10 yard major on the very next play. They would go for 2, but a wide-open Dressler would drop the ball at the goal line, keeping the Argonauts on top at 28-26, with 11:11 to play in regulation time. After DeAngelis missed from 44 yards out, Waters would kick one through from 29 yards out with 1:25 left, upping the Toronto lead to 5, at 31-26. Needing a touchdown to win the game, Saskatchewan was turned away by an Evan McCullough interception, enabling the Argos to win the game, 31-26.

For Toronto, Ricky Ray was 24-of-30 passing for 305 yards, 4 touchdowns and 1 interception. Maurice Mann caught 7 balls for 101 yards and 1 touchdown, Andre Durie 6 for 46 and 2 majors and Chad Owens 5 for 104 yards and 1 touchdown. Chad Kackert rushed 11 times for 53 yards and Swayze Waters kicked a field goal and 4 converts. For the Roughriders, Darian Durant was 24-of-38 passing for 252 yards, 1 touchdown and 1 interception. Taj Smith caught 7 passes for 99 yards, Weston Dressler caught just 2 balls for 17 yards, but scored a touchdown. Kory Sheets rushed 11 times for 86 yards and a major and Sandro DeAngelis kicked 4 field goals, 1 convert and added a missed field goal single.

The Argos had 305 passing yards and ran for 66, for 364 total yards. They allowed one sack, turned the ball over once, gained 22 first downs, held the ball for 28:10 and were penalized 7 times for 45 yards. Saskatchewan passed for 252 yards and ran for 101, totaling 322 yards on the day. They allowed 4 sacks, turned the ball over once, picked up 19 first downs, held the ball for 31:50 and were penalized just 3 times for 15 yards.

Both teams are now 8-9 on the season, with one week left to go in the regular season. With the win, Toronto clinches second place in the East and will host a home playoff game for the first time since 2007. The Riders still are unsure if they'll stay in the West or cross-over to the East to open the playoffs. They currently lead Edmonton by 2 points in the standings, with one game to play. Edmonton has 2 games left.

Saskatchewan closes out their regular season schedule on Saturday, November 3rd in Vancouver against the BC Lions. Kickoff is set for 10:00pm EDT. You can hear the game on 620 CKRM and the Rider Radio Network, or via the listen link on the left side of this blog. The game can be seen in Canada on TSN and in the U.S. online at The Argonauts close out their regular season schedule on Thursday, November 1st at home against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, beginning at 7:30pm EDT.

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