Toronto clinches playoff birth by holding off the Roughriders
Regina, SK (Sports Network) - Ricky Ray threw four touchdown passes as the Toronto Argonauts held off the Saskatchewan Roughriders for a 31-26 victory at Mosaic Stadium.
The victory clinched second place in the East Division and a home playoff game for Toronto (8-9), which ended a three-game losing slide. Ray finished 24-of-30 for 305 yards with only one interception. Chad Owens finished with 104 receiving yards and a touchdown on five receptions and also added 74 additional yards on special teams returns. Owens now trails the CFL's single-season total yardage record set by Mike Clemons in 1997 by just 105 yards. Maurice Mann made a team-high seven catches for 101 yards and a major while Andre Durie caught two touchdown passes.
Darian Durant paced Saskatchewan (8-9) by completing 24-of-38 passes for 252 yards with a touchdown and interception. Kory Sheets rushed for a game-high 86 yards and a score on just 11 carries and also generated 49 yards on four receptions. Taj Smith made seven catches for a team-high 99 yards for the Roughriders, who now lead Edmonton by a single game for third place in the Western Conference standings.
Ray put Toronto on front with an 18-yard pass to Mann for a major just under five minutes after the opening kickoff. The Argonauts added another touchdown as Ray found Durie for a seven-yard touchdown pass.
Saskatchewan showed signs of life in the second period as Sandro DeAngelis connected on a 38-yard field goal for the home team's first three points. Sheets rushed 24-yard touchdown and DeAngelis added another field goal, this one from 27 yards out, to make it 14-13 with just over five minutes left before halftime.
Toronto put an end to the run as Ray completed a seven-yard pass to Durie, who broke a tackle and fell into the end zone.
DeAngelis chipped in a 36-yard field goal with just 10 seconds left in the second quarter to send the game into halftime with Toronto on top, 21-16.
DeAngelis added a single in the opening stages of the third frame. Toronto responded as Ray completed a 60-yard pass to Owens for a touchdown at the 12:01 mark of the third period which gave the Argonauts a double-digit lead once again.
The Roughriders inched back with a 27-yard field goal by DeAngelis which made it an eight-point affair heading into the final frame.
Saskatchewan had a chance to tie after Durant completed a 10-yard touchdown pass to Dressler with 12:08 left to play. However, Durant's pass sailed incomplete on the two-point conversion try, which kept Toronto ahead, 28-26.
The Argonauts added some insurance points as Swayze Waters connected on a 29- yard field goal.
The Roughriders' hopes of a comeback ended when Durant was intercepted by Evan McCollough in the final minute of play.
Edmonton holds the tie-breaker with Saskatchewan and can send the Roughriders into the East Division Semi-Final at either Toronto or Hamilton by winning on Sunday...Owens stepped closer to becoming the first player in CFL history to lead the league in kick return yards and receiving in the same season by out- gaining Weston Dressler by 87 receiving yards in the contest...Toronto suffered a 36-10 setback to Saskatchewan on Oct. 8 in the first meeting between these teams...Toronto closes out its season on Thursday when it hosts Hamilton...The Roughriders will British Columbia on the road on Saturday in their season finale.
10/27 20:15:03 ET