Toronto Argonauts receiver S.J. Green came into Friday’s home matchup versus the Ottawa Redblacks within reach of two meaningful accomplishments.
The veteran needed 90 yards receiving to reach 10,000 and eight receptions to reach 700 for his CFL career.
Green eclipsed both with a 10 catch, 170-yard performance as the Argonauts (3-12) snapped a four-game losing streak with a 28-21 victory against the Redblacks (3-12).
In a week that saw the legendary Michael “Pinball” Clemons take over as the club’s new general manager, Green’s impending quest to surpass both benchmarks had been a secondary story.
Taking centre stage on Friday, however, the receiver came ready to meet both goals, and that meant letting things work out how they might, including not having any pre-game conversations with quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson.
“I couldn’t have [broken the record] like that,” said Green, in his post-game media availability. “When you do that, it takes away from the game. You have to let the quarterback think clearly — let him have personal space.
“The game has to come to you, it has to flow and if it doesn’t flow it’s not right.”
Green would surpass the 10,000-yard mark on a 20-yard reception just before the half, and needed only one more catch for 700 in his career, as Toronto led 17-10 midway through the third quarter.
Bethel-Thompson then stepped into the pocket and launched a high arcing pass down the field to a diving Green for 42 yards.
Green shifted the focus away from the catch as well as his performance Friday, and instead highlighted the men that have surrounded him throughout his 13-year CFL career.
“[S.J.’s] message to the team after the game was that ‘he couldn’t do it on his own,’ ” said Argos head coach Corey Chamblin, in his post-game press conference.
“There’s a lot of guys we have on our team whose career’s are still growing, and for them to see the consistent work that you have to every single day is a good thing.
“It shows the team what consistency can lead to.”
Bethel-Thompson who made his first start in two weeks after being benched for James Franklin, could not contain his excitement post-game.
“That was awesome,” said the 31-year-old, who threw for 300 yards, two touchdowns and an interception in his ninth start under centre this season. “SJ is a great player but a better man—it was great to be a part of that tonight.
“The closer you get to SJ, the closer you get to greatness.”
The Boatmen will travel down the 401 East next week to face the Montreal Alouettes (8-6) before their final home contest against the Redblacks again, in what will likely determine who will claim the league’s worst record.