CFL Game Summary - Montreal at Toronto
(Friday, November 1st)
Final Score: Montreal 23, Toronto 20
Toronto, ON (SportsNetwork.com) - Troy Smith led the way with three touchdown
passes as the Montreal Alouettes rallied late to down the Toronto Argonauts,
23-20, in the regular season finale for both Eastern Conference teams at
Smith completed 14-of-27 pass attempts for 197 yards and was intercepted once
while under center for Montreal (8-10), which will play Hamilton at Alumni
Stadium in Guelph in the playoff semifinals.
"You can't get enough reps, you can't get enough football as a quarterback,"
said Smith, who was making just the third start of his CFL career. "I don't
like throwing interceptions they leave a bad taste in my mouth."
Duron Carter made three receptions for 93 yards and a major while Arland Bruce
chimed in with six catches for 77 yards and one touchdown. Tyrell Sutton paced
the Alouettes on the ground with 52 yards on nine attempts. Chip Cox anchored
the defense with five tackles and two sacks. Cox's performance gave him a
total of 114 tackles on the season to set a new club record. Montreal head
coach and general manager Jim Popp noted the importance of keeping Smith with
the team's playoff fate already determined.
"We didn't start with any momentum," said Popp. "I kept Smith in there because
we need him in there to gain momentum for next week."
Toronto (11-7) played without starting quarterback Ricky Ray, who was held out
of action by coach Scott Milanovich to avoid any injuries before it hosts the
winner of the Montreal-Hamilton matchup in the Eastern Conference final on
"I was just fortunate to get lots of young players game experience, which is
good when you are a playoff team," said Milanovich. "It was a hard played game
by both teams. They made more plays at the end."
Trevor Harris, Zach Collaros and Mitchell Gale all saw time under center
for the Argonauts. Harris accounted for 110 of the trio's combined 210 passing
yards on 6-of-9 efficiency. Jerious Norwood rushed eight times for 102 yards
and also made four receptions for 62 yards. John Chiles also reeled in four
passes for a team-high total of 78 yards.
The Argonauts' defense made an early statement as Matt Black picked off Smith
and returned the interception 62 yards for a major that gave the hosts a 7-0
lead less than four minutes after the opening kickoff. Montreal could not get
anything going offensively in the early going as Smith's last four pass
attempts of the first quarter fell incomplete. Quinn Sharp drilled a 42-yard
field goal attempt at the 1:42 mark of the opening period to send Toronto into
the second frame with a 10-0 lead.
Smith finally put Montreal on the scoreboard as he completed a 71-yard
touchdown pass to Carter with just under 13 minutes remaining before the
The Argonauts' offense did not get a chance to respond because Branden Smith
fumbled on the ensuing kickoff and Nicola Boulay pounced on the loose ball to
give the Alouettes a short field. Smith took advantage of the excellent
starting position and put Montreal ahead with a three-yard touchdown pass to
Bo Bowling. Sean Whyte's successful extra point attempt gave the Alouettes a
narrow 14-10 edge with 9:22 left to play in the first half.
Toronto ended the run on its next possession as Sharp registered a single with
a 43-yard punt to finish off its next drive. Montreal added a single of its
own after Whyte missed a 47-yard field goal try at the conclusion of its next
drive. Neither side managed to post anymore points before the break, which
gave the Alouettes a 15-11 lead after two quarters of play.
The Argonauts took the lead back in the third quarter as Harris completed an
11-yard touchdown pass to Darvin Adams just before the midway point of the
period. Sharp had his extra point attempt blocked, which left Toronto with a
Toronto added three more points in the fourth frame as Montreal's Burke Dales
conceded a safety and Sharp recorded a single with a missed 49-yard field goal
The Alouettes refused to go away and jumped back in front with just under
three minutes left in regulation when Smith connected with Bruce on a 37-yard
pass for a major. Smith then rushed two yards across the goal line for a
successful two-point conversion that gave Montreal a 23-20 lead. Toronto could
not rally to tie the score and turned the ball over on downs after Mitchell
Gale had three pass attempts fall incomplete on its final drive.
Despite the loss, Toronto outgained Montreal, 333-304, in total yards.
Ray finished the campaign with the highest single-season mark for completion
percentage (.777) in CFL history, formerly held by Dave Dickenson at 73.98
percent... Cox entered the contest two tackles shy of Tracy Gravely's team
record of 110 that had stood since 1996...Harris's touchdown pass was his
first of the season...The major scored by Adams was the first of his
career...Montreal now owns a 110-85-3 advantage in regular-season matchups
dating back to 1946.
11/02 01:43:41 ET
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