Redblacks continue to limp toward season’s end with tenth straight loss

For the teams out of playoff contention in the CFL, the last few weeks of the season tend to act as a tryout of sorts for players looking to secure their spots on next year’s roster. The Toronto Argonauts left a better impression than their East Division counterparts with a 39-9 victory over the reeling Ottawa Redblacks. With a tenth straight defeat, Ottawa has now set a record for the worst losing streak in Redblacks history.

Three different quarterbacks led the Toronto offence and still managed to outgain the Redblacks 450 to 261 in total yards. McLeod Bethel-Thompson started the game at quarterback and threw two touchdowns for Toronto in the first half. Then came quarterbacks Dakota Prukop and Orleans-native Michael O’Connor.

Prukop completed six of eight of his pass attempts with two touchdowns. For O’Connor, it was the first CFL action for the Canadian rookie out of the University of British Columbia. He threw a touchdown as well and looked sharp in his bid to become the Argonauts quarterback of the future.

Receiver Armanti Edwards was the favourite target of the three Toronto signal-callers. He caught six passes for 126 yards and a touchdown. Fellow receive Rodney Smith delivered too, catching a touchdown pass from both Prukop and O’Connor.

Despite the final score, Redblacks quarterback Will Arndt improved from his performance a week ago. He completed 65% of his attempts for nearly 200 yards, a touchdown and no interceptions.

He faced a tough task however in matching up against an Argonauts defence that was on its game Saturday night. Toronto tallied four sacks of Arndt, recovered an Ottawa fumble and forced 10 punts.

Despite the relative meaninglessness of the game, two big milestones were reached by receivers on opposite sidelines. Ottawa pass-catcher Brad Sinopoli caught his 445th career pass as a Redblack, passing CFL hall of famer Tony Gabriel for the most in franchise history.

Toronto receiver, and future CFL hall of famer, SJ Green passed 1000 yards in a season for the seventh time in his career. There was a cool moment that took place for Green, who recently passed 10,000 career receiving yards. The Argonauts surprised him by flying in his family to celebrate his achievement.

Quick Notes:

  • Toronto defender Nakas Onyeka picked up two sacks. He was playing against cousin Kene Onyeka, who is in his first season as a Redblacks defensive lineman
  • Dominique Rhymes only caught one pass but what a catch it was. He fought off a Toronto defender to pull-in the ball and fall into the endzone for Ottawa’s only touchdown of the game

The Redblacks will finish their season next Friday night, when they host the playoff-bound Montreal Alouettes at TD Place.