Argos defence dethrones streaking Lions

Toronto intercepts Vernon Adams Jr. six times

Robertson Daniel carrying one of his team-high three interceptions. Daniel and the Argos defence forced six picks on their way to a 45-24 win on Monday.(Carter Smith/Toronto Observer) 

The Toronto Argonauts’ defence was dominant against the B.C. Lions on Monday night, totaling six interceptions and propelling the team to a 45-24 win, leaving the Double Blue the CFL’s lone unbeaten team.

Robertson Daniel was the catalyst on defence, having a hat trick of picks including one returned for a late touchdown, while Johnathan Jones stepped up big in replacement of Jordan Williams, earning a sack and an interception of his own.

“B.C. talked all week that they’re the best defence in the league, they have the best secondary. I don’t know, I think our secondary played pretty well,” said Argos head coach Ryan Dinwiddie post game. “Great day by Rob, he had a mistake early on and he just battled back, he was solid.”

The Argos (3-0) started off slow, trailing 7-0 early on and suffering a couple of two and outs, but were catapulted by punt returner, Javon Leake, who went 91-yards to the end zone late in the first quarter to tie the game at seven.

“My return team opened up a lane, I caught it, seen it, and hit it, let my speed do the rest,” Leake said after the game. “Not going to lie, you can’t get tackled by the kicker, I almost tripped up but was happy to keep my balance and take it to the house.”

Chad Kelly was efficient in just his fourth CFL start, going 23/29 for 248 yards and a touchdown pass, but has much of his success to thank the defence for, with 34 points coming off of turnovers.

Cam Phillips led the way for the Argos receiving core, catching six balls for 76 yards, and DaVaris Daniels hauled in the only receiving touchdown, a 17-yard grab where he seemed to disappear in the end zone, only to be found by Kelly

The run game came alive for Toronto in the second half with both AJ Ouellette and Andrew Harris getting more carries than they saw in the first. Ouellette finished his night off with 70 yards on 14 carries and a touchdown.

Vernon Adams Jr. had an abysmal showing for the Lions (3-1), going 24/39 for 388 yards and 3 touchdowns, a good outing ruined by six interceptions.

The miscues from Adams allowed the Argos to hang in the game when their offence couldn’t get much going until they eventually pulled away in the second half.

Keon Hatcher and Mathieu Betts were bright spots for the Lions; Hatcher had 104 yards receiving and a touchdown in his season debut, while Betts continues his reign of dominance with two sacks, extending his league lead to seven.

Dominique Rhymes had a pair of touchdown catches himself after missing last week with a foot injury and now leads the CFL in touchdown catches with five.

NOTES: Former Argos Damon Allen and Derrell Mitchell were named all-time Argos during the first quarter in front of the 12,473 fans at BMO Field. Allen ranks second all-time in CFL passing yards and Mitchell 10th in receiving yards … The pair of former Argos were 25th and 26th players to receive the honour … Argos head into a bye-week after starting 3-0 for the first time since 1991 … Lions turn their attention to the Montreal Alouettes who they will host on July 9 … This is the only time the Argos and Lions will play each other this season.

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Posted: Jul 4 2023 2:54 pm
Filed under: CFL Football Sports