Argos is run over by Stanback and the Als to fall in a draw for the first time in the East

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The Argos could have done themselves a huge favor in a battle for first place against host Montreal Alouettes on Friday night.


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Instead, they messed up the CFL East Division after a dismal performance in what was their biggest game of the season.

A victory and the Argos would have unofficially finished first in the East and with it a move to the divisional final.

But with their 37-16 beating, the Argos have staged a three-team race that also includes Hamilton, the host team for this year’s Gray Cup.

The Als and Argos have 6-4 records, but Montreal has the tiebreaker because they beat the Argos in their two-game season series. The Als have games left against Saskatchewan, twice against Winnipeg and conclude the season with a game against Ottawa. The Argos close their last four with dates against BC, Ottawa, Hamilton and Edmonton.


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The way they played Friday night, the Argos would be hard-pressed to beat either team.

QB McLeod Bethel-Thompson was not good, throwing four interceptions, one on the last play of the game that the Als returned for a pick-six, and delivering the ball with a fumble, but he wasn’t the only culprit.

Since quarterback Matthew Shiltz was given too much time in his pocket, the Argos couldn’t stop the run – William Stanback rumbled for 203 yards on the ground – and his secondary was quite suspicious.

There was no running game to talk about for the Argos, whose only option was to air it out, playing directly into the hands of Montreal.

Toronto scored first on a Boris Bede field goal, but once again left too many plays on the field in the opening period of the game.


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Slowly but surely, the Als began to take control of the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball.

The second quarter was the ruin of Toronto.

Kurleigh Gittens Jr. continues to come of age, as the Canadian sophomore catcher was one of the few bright spots for the Argos, whose three-game winning streak came to an abrupt end.

For Montreal, the victory was its fourth in a row.

Since Chris Jones joined the Argos as their de facto defensive adviser and coordinator, they have shown a knack for forcing turnovers. Against Montreal, no turnovers were forced.

Once the Als survived Toronto’s opening salvo, Montreal emerged as the top team.

Antonio Pipkin, a former Montreal quarterback, ran for Toronto’s two majors.


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After his second career touchdown, MBT was eliminated when Argos attempted a two-point conversion when they simply should have kicked the extra point.

It became moot given how easily Stanback tore apart the Argos’ ground defense and how embattled MBT was running an offense that was quite vulgar.

The Argos started the night well winning the field position battle.
The Toronto problem was producing points. All the visitors could muster in the first 15 minutes of the game was a field goal when the Argos could have easily scored 10 points.

Their lack of completion came back to haunt them in a wild second quarter that would see the Als score three touchdowns.

Montreal’s first major came when Eugene Lewis threw Treston Decoud to the ground in the end zone pulling the hair of Toronto’s defensive back.
Inexplicably, the Argos did not launch a defiance flag.


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“We missed that one,” head coach Ryan Dinwiddie told TSN during an interview just before the start of the second half.

Clearly, Lewis interfered with Decoud, who sports dreadlocks.

There would be three lead changes in the fourth, but the game changed when the Toronto secondary gave up big plays over basic miscommunication.

Once the Als passing game was established, he allowed Stanback to unleash himself. He scored the third major of Montreal’s fourth when he converted to third-and-one.


Arjen Colquhoun became the last Argo to suffer an injury in a season marked by too many. The veteran Canadian full-back injured his left leg on special teams three minutes from the end of the first quarter.


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The Windsor native needed to be transported on a stretcher.

Unfortunately, injuries have plagued Colquhoun during his four years in the CFL. He appeared in 24 games over a three-year span in Edmonton before signing as a free agent in Toronto.

The Argos had two backups at the back, Colquhoun and Canadian rookie Josh Haggerty, who has started at free safety as an injury replacement.

Two weeks ago, veteran Jake Reinhart injured his elbow on a gruesome play.

Argos entered the night with 18 players on the disabled list.


To no one’s surprise, Nick Arbuckle was removed from the roster in the hours leading up to the match. Argos’ first-year QB hasn’t played in over a month.

He has appeared in five games, making four starts and leading the team to two wins.

Arbuckle has thrown more interceptions (6) than touchdowns (5).

His last outing was in Regina when the Argos lost to the Riders on September 17.

Speaking of interceptions, MBT was intercepted in the second quarter by Als defensive back Monshadrik Hunter in a knockdown.

The Als seized the pick on a touchdown to take a 7-3 lead.

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