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(Wednesday, July 18th)
Final Score: Toronto 25, Winnipeg 22
Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - Ricky Ray threw for 325 yards and three touchdowns, including the 37-yard go-ahead score late in the fourth quarter to lift the Argonauts to a 25-22 victory over East Division-rival Winnipeg on Wednesday night.
The Blue Bombers (0-4) took a 19-18 lead in the fourth quarter on Justin Palardy's 38-yard field goal and Palardy buried his fifth field goal of the night -- a 45-yarder -- later in the frame to give Winnipeg a four-point edge.
Toronto (2-2) converted a big 3rd-and-1 on its next drive before Ray found a wide-open Jason Barnes for the 37-yard touchdown and a 25-22 Argonauts lead.
A 45-yard return from Demond Washington on the ensuing kickoff provided Winnipeg with outstanding field position, but the Blue Bombers would do nothing with it as Alex Brink fired two incomplete passes before falling a yard short on a 3rd-and-10 play.
"I don't care where we're playing, whether we're home or way we have to win," remarked Winnipeg head coach Paul LaPolice about his team played their first four games on the road. "We made too many mistakes tonight."
Brink connected on just 9-of-34 passes and threw for 185 and two interceptions in place of starter Buck Pierce, who is out indefinitely with a left foot injury. Clarence Denmark caught four balls for 115 yards for the Blue Bombers, who remain the only winless team in the CFL after finishing runner-up in the Grey Cup last season.
"They make it hard to throw the ball down field and they take away the intermediate routes," said Brink of the Toronto defense. "I still have to get better."
Ray completed 23-of-34 passes with an interception, while Andre Durie hauled in five passes for 91 yards to lead Toronto to the victory.
"The whole second half we couldn't get it in gear," said Ray. "The defense kept us in the game."
Toronto got off to a quick start as Ray found Cory Boyd for a seven-yard major on their second drive of the game.
Winnipeg countered on it's next possession with a 40-yard field goal from Palardy, but a Swayze Waters single gave the Argonauts an 8-3 lead.
Toronto grabbed an eight-point lead on an 18-yard field goal from Waters on their first drive of the second quarter.
Winnipeg battled back in the latter stages of the second as Brink found Denmark for a 55-yard completion down to the Toronto one-yard line before Brink finished things off with a one-yard sneak to bring the Blue Bombers within 11-10.
After an un sportsmanlike penalty forced a quick two-and-out from the Argonauts, Winnipeg worked its way down the field and got a 30-yard field goal from Palardy to take their first lead of the season, 13-11.
The Blue Bombers had not held a lead over their first 13-plus quarters, spanning 208 minutes and 24 seconds to open the season.
After the teams exchanged turnovers, Ray connected with Chad Owens on a 37- yard major with under a minute left until halftime to give the Argonauts an 18-13 lead heading into the locker room.
"It's been a long time," said Owens, who caught his first touchdown in 22 games. "I don't care, we put it in there. We got the lead at halftime. That's what we were trying to do."
The defenses stood tall in the third quarter as the only score of the frame came on Palardy's 22-yard field that was set up by an interception from Dustin Doe to send the Blue Bombers into the fourth trailing, 18-16.
The Blue Bombers took a 19-18 advantage off another Toronto miscue to take the lead early in the fourth when Owens fumbled a punt and Jovon Johnson pounced on it.
Palardy extended the lead later in the frame with his fifth field goal of the game.
The last team in CFL history to play four straight games on the road was the 1953 Blue Bombers, who played the last four games of season on the road...Waters was signed after kicker Noel Prefontaine landed on the IR with a hip injury...Ray and Barnes are both products of Sacramento State University...The home team is 12-1 in the CFL this season.
07/18 23:53:21 ET
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