Fajardo’s late TD run earns Argos furious East final win over Riders
November 23, 2017 - Finding Carter
TORONTO — It was selected Ricky Ray.
After struggling for three-plus quarters, Ray rallied Toronto to a furious 25-21 East Division victory over Saskatchewan on Sunday afternoon. With a Argonauts trailing 21-18 and going against a unbending 54 kilometre-an-hour wind, Ray marched his offence 67 yards to a Roughriders’ one-yard line, environment adult Cody Fajardo’s winning one-yard TD run with 23 seconds left.
“To be put in that conditions and see a guys go out and govern unequivocally good . . . and go down and score, it feels awesome right now,” Ray said. “It feels unequivocally awesome.
“They (game-winning drives) are all special though usually being in this impulse right now, man, with all that was on a line, this one feels flattering good.”
Ray kept a expostulate alive with a clutch 22-yard execution to using behind James Wilder Jr. on a third-and-five gamble. That put Toronto during a Saskatchewan 18 with 1:08 remaining.
“We got good coverage, he ran a good track and finished a large locate to keep that expostulate going,” Ray said.
Saskatchewan’s counterclaim had finished good to that indicate containing Ray, who finished 28-of-39 flitting for 266 yards with a TD and interception. Christion Jones put a Riders forward 19-18 with 2:45 remaining with a 79-yard punt lapse touchdown before Canadian Brandon Bridge strike Duron Carter on a two-point convert.
“It’s tough when we remove a ballgame of this bulk though on tip of that when you play good counterclaim all day and it’s right there when we need it and we usually can’t get a stop,” Saskatchewan conduct coach/GM Chris Jones said. “We got some shots on (Ray) though he’s a tough guy, he got right behind adult and finished a play when he indispensable to.
“Yeah, he finished a ideal chuck there to Wilder when he had to have it. That’s vintage Ricky Ray.”
Christion Jones, notwithstanding induction a game’s biggest play to that point, certified he didn’t feel gentle when Toronto took possession.
“You get a man like Ricky Ray and those good receivers and that good using behind (Wilder) and they’ll make we sweat,” he said. “They executed and did what they indispensable to do.
Toronto cemented a win when Akwasi Owusu-Ansah recovered Carter’s attempted lateral. The Argos lapse to the Grey Cup for a initial time given winning in 2012 and will face a Calgary Stampeders on Sunday at Ottawa’s TD Place.
Both offences struggled, committing a total 7 turnovers (four interceptions, dual fumbles, once on downs). But Toronto was opportunistic, scoring 17 points off a Riders’ miscues, delighting the enthusiastic gathering of 24,929, a Argos’ largest throng ever at BMO Field.
Among those attending were Toronto Maple Leafs forwards Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner and head coach Mike Babcock, who donned his Riders’ attire sitting subsequent to Argos owner Larry Tanenbaum, who’s also a authority of Maple Leafs Sports Entertainment, that owns the Leafs.
“We didn’t do most offensively until a final expostulate of a game,” Toronto conduct manager Marc Trestman said. “We did adequate to win.
“We’ve had a series of end-the-game drives either we’ve won or lost. Vintage Ricky Ray. You can put quotes around anything we want. He’s a man who’s driven this whole thing by a whole year.”
It’s positively been a turnaround year for Toronto after blank a playoffs in 2016 with a 5-13 mark. GM Jim Barker was dismissed before head manager Scott Milanovich quiescent to join the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars.
On Feb. 28, Toronto hired Jim Popp as GM and Trestman as conduct coach. The two had worked together in Montreal, leading a Alouettes to three Grey Cup appearances (two wins) from 2007-12 before Trestman left to became conduct manager of a NFL’s Chicago Bears.
Ray’s destiny in Toronto was also in doubt after injuries had singular him to 12 regular-season appearances over a prior dual years. When Trestman was hired, he resolutely named Ray his starter.
Ray positively over that confidence. He started 17 regular-season games and surpassed the 5,000-yard flitting symbol for a initial time given ’08 and fourth time overall, fasten Hall of Famers Anthony Calvillo and Doug Flutie as a usually players to do so.
That warranted Ray his third nomination as a finalist for the CFL’s superb actor endowment opposite Edmonton’s Mike Reilly. It’s one of a few awards Ray, a three-time Grey Cup champion, hasn’t won over his shining 15-year career in Canada.
Saskatchewan was attempting to turn a initial crossover group to strech a Grey Cup given a order was adopted in 1996. The Riders were 2-0 contra Toronto this year and degraded a defending-champion Ottawa Redblacks 31-20 in final weekend’s East Division semifinal.
Saskatchewan won a toss and deferred, opting to have a wind in the fourth. And it roughly paid off as when the Riders got a round with 12 mins left during their 17-yard line, they trailed 18-3.
Bridge of Mississauga, Ont., cut a necessity to 18-10, finding Carter on an 11-yard TD pass during 5:57, a first playoff touchdown pass by a Canadian given Ottawa’s Russ Jackson did so in a ’69 Grey Cup game. Saskatchewan pulled to within 18-13 on Tyler Crapigna’s 28-yard margin idea with 4:44 remaining before going forward on Jones’ TD. Bridge afterwards strike Naaman Roosevelt for a two-point modify and three-point lead.
It was a unsatisfactory finish to a deteriorate for Saskatchewan starter Kevin Glenn, a 17-year maestro still in hunt of his initial Grey Cup victory. Glenn threw three first-half interceptions — one that was returned for a TD — before being transposed for good to start a second half by Bridge.
Terrance Plummer, on a 39-yard interception return, and DeVier Posey had Toronto’s other touchdowns. Lirim Hajrullahu combined a translates and two field goals.
Crapigna booted dual margin goals and a convert.
Dan Ralph, The Canadian Press