GUELPH, Ont – Quarterbacks Tyree Adams and Daniel Crum excelled as the Ottawa Redblacks upset the Toronto Argonauts 34-23 in exhibition action Thursday night, leaving the defending Grey-Cup champions winless in the pre-season.
Adams threw a perfect 4/4 for 139 yards and one touchdown, as well as earning a rushing touchdown of his own. The Western Carolina pivot showed off his impressive arm talent with a 57-yard completion to Siaosi Mariner in the endzone during the first quarter.
Dustin Crum replaced Adams and proved to be similarly dynamic, throwing 12/18 for 83 yards and a touchdown. Crum also took advantage of a stagnant Toronto defensive line and rushed for 73 yards and a touchdown.
Toronto struggled to maintain momentum despite the packed home crowd at Alumni Stadium in Guelph. The Argos fell behind once their starters were benched and an underperforming defensive secondary kept the Redblacks in rhythm, something that head coach Ryan Dinwiddie took notice of.
“They’re young, and we’re really high on them, but they showed their inexperience tonight,” said the Argo boss in a post-game press conference. “They didn’t play as well as we thought they would, and we’ll look at the film to see if they are correctable mistakes”.
On the Argos offence, B.J Byrd continued to impress with a lengthy punt-return touchdown for his third of the preseason. Byrd quickly made a name in both returning and receiving, something he hopes makes an impression on management.
“I feel like I left it out on the field and gave it my all and my best,” said the receiver post-game. “I just hope that the coaches liked it and are willing to keep me on the team.”
Chad Kelly also stood out as the quarterback looked comfortable completing 4/5 passes for 105 yards, including a 46-yard connection to Dejon Brissett. Heading into his first full season as starter, Kelly is eager to start sooner rather than later.
“The champs obviously want to play week one,” said Kelly after the loss. “But it does also give us more time to get ready”
The Argonauts head into a bye-week for week one, before opening their season at home against Hamilton on the June 18, while the Redblacks head to Montréal to face the Alouettes week one.