Saturday, July 5, 2014

Toronto mauls Riders by 33 in week two matchup









Toronto, ON. -- What a difference a week makes. After leading wire-to-wire in their season opener six days previous, the Saskatchewan Roughriders dug themselves a hole they couldn't climb out of, losing to the Toronto Argonauts 48-15 Saturday afternoon in front of 17,758 at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario.

After each team went 2 and out to open the game, Toronto moved from their own 34 down to the Rider 2, thanks in part to a scamper by Ricky Ray and a spectacular 36 yard reception by John Chiles. On first and goal, the Argos' Jason Barnes ran the ball to the one, where he fumbled it into the end zone. After initially being ruled a touchdown, the ball, after review, was spotted at the 1. Curtis Steel would follow the left tackle on the next play, getting the first major of the game, finishing up a 6 play, 76 yard drive. Swayze Waters kicked the convert and with 5:29 gone in the opening quarter, Toronto was up 7-0. Saskatchewan would take the ensuing possession at their own 31 and aided by a big run by Anthony Allen, quickly moved into scoring territory, but a Darian Durant pass intended for Brett Swain was picked off at the 1 on a diving grab by Antwaun Molden, snuffing the Rider drive just shy of the end zone.

The Argonauts, using big plays again, quickly moved into scoring position, after starting at their own 9 late in the opening quarter. After reaching the 12, Waters would come on to boot a 19 yard field goal 26 seconds into quarter number two, giving Toronto a 10-0 lead. After a first down run by Allen, Saskatchewan would turn the ball over on an Allen fumble at their own 49. Ray would slice up the Roughrider defence, finally flipping the ball out to Chad Owens, who tiptoed into the end zone from 14 yards out. Waters converted with 3:40 gone in the second and the Argos, who fell behind big early in week one at Winnipeg, found themselves up 17-0. Saskatchewan would finally get on the board on their next possession, getting a missed field goal single by Chris Milo from 35 yards out, cutting the deficit to 17-1, with 5:01 to play in the half.

Toronto would extend the lead early in the third, as Ray found Barnes in the back of the end zone from 14 yards out, at the end of an 8 play, 95 yard drive. Waters converted and the Argonauts were up 24-1, 5:37 into the third. Waters would boot a 48 yard punt single on Toronto's next turn with the ball with 5:23 left in the third, extending Double Blue's lead to 25-1. On the ensuing possession, it would take the Riders just 2 plays to go 74 yards, with Durant hooking up with Taj Smith for a 59 yard catch and run major. Milo's convert made it a 25-8 game, with 4:29 to play until three quarter time. Durant would find wide open receivers on the next possession, with Ryan Smith and Rob Bagg making big catches, setting up a Durant to Allen 9 yard touchdown play. The Milo convert cut further into the deficit, bringing Saskatchewan to within 10, at 25-15, with 1:36 to go in the third.

Toronto would get points to start the fourth, as Waters kicked a 40 yard field goal just 20 seconds into the period, upping the Argo lead to 28-15. Behind the surprising running ability of Ray, Toronto would extend the lead further, as Ray, who rushed for 21 yards on the drive, found Mike Bradwell in the left flat for a 5 yard major. The two point conversion was no good and at the end of a 6 play, 61 yard march, the Boatmen were up by 19, 34-15, with 8:26 to play in regulation time. Steel would rumble in from 16 yards out on the next possession, with the Waters convert extending the lead to 41-15, just 4:05 from the end. Saskatchewan kept competing to the end, but Molden picked off Durant near the goal line, returning the pick six 107 yards for the touchdown. Waters converted with 2:22 left and Toronto would go on to win by 33, 48-15.

 For the victorious Argonauts, Ricky Ray was 29-of-37 passing for 407 yards and 3 touchdowns. Curtis Steel rushed 8 times for 59 yards and 2 touchdowns and Chad Owens caught 11 passes for 159 yards and 1 touchdown. Swayze Waters kicked 2 field goals, 5 converts and a punt single, while punting 6 times for a 44.8 yard average. Defensively, Antwaun Molden had 6 tackles, 2 interceptions and 1 touchdown. For the Roughriders, Darian Durant was 18-of-30 passing for 311 yards, 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions, Tino Sunseri was 3-of-4 passing for 36 yards, Anthony Allen ran 9 times for 66 yards and caught 7 balls for 50 yards and a touchdown. Taj Smith caught 2 passes for 69 yards and a touchdown, Chris Milo kicked 2 converts and a missed field goal single, Josh Bartel punted 8 times for a 44 yard average and leading the Saskatchewan defence was Tyron Brackenridge, with 6 tackles.

Next up for the 1-1 Riders is a home date with the BC Lions next Saturday, July 12th. Kickoff on 620 CKRM, the Rider Radio Network and 620ckrm.com, with Rod Pedersen and Carm Carteri calling the action, is set for 9:30pm EDT. The game can be seen in Canada on TSN and in the U.S. online at ESPN3.com. Toronto, also 1-1, plays next Saturday, July 12th, at home against Calgary.

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