November 4, 2017

Hogan: Who’s got next?

Declan Cross (38) of the Toronto Argonauts during the game against the Ottawa RedBlacks at BMO Field in Toronto, ON., on Monday, July 24, 2017. (Photo: Johany Jutras)

Time for a quick playoff primer.

Friday night’s games didn’t determine a lot in terms of who the Argos may face in their playoff opener. What we’ll learn tonight when the Boatmen visit Vancouver is whether they will play in the East Semi-Final next Sunday at BMO Field, or in the East Final at BMO Field on Sunday, November 19th.

If the Argos win or tie, they clinch first place in the East and get a first-round bye. They’d meet the winner of Ottawa and whoever crosses over from the West.

Should they lose, they’d host the cross-over team in the first round. That means the Double Blue would host the loser of today’s Saskatchewan versus Edmonton game.

Here’s a look back on how the Argos did against their potential playoff opponent (or opponents) on their road to the Grey Cup final in Ottawa.



After Friday’s games, this is the team that would currently cross over and play either the Argos or Ottawa in the East Semifinal.

The first meeting between the two was in Week Six in Regina with the Riders winning 38-27. It turned out to be the Duron Carter show, as he hauled in nine catches for 131 yards, including a spectacular one-handed catch for a touchdown, in all likelihood the play of the year in the CFL.

Toronto led 24-20 after three quarters before letting it get away. The loss was no fault of Ricky Ray’s, who threw for 386 yards and three TDs without an interception. His counterpart, Kevin Glenn, threw four TD passes and racked up 340 yards through the air.

James Wilder Jr. was held to 35 rushing yards on 11 carries. Anthony Coombs was the leading receiver with nine catches for 97 yards.

The pair would meet again in Week 16 at BMO Field, with the Riders winning 27-24 on a Tyler Crapigna field goal with just seven seconds left in the game.

Ray was on point again in this game, finishing with 341 yards and a couple of majors. James Wilder Jr. was the leading rusher and receiver for the Double Blue, gaining 72 yards on the ground while adding 89 more on seven catches.

The Argos were shorthanded defensively in this game, playing without the likes of Bear Woods, Marcus Ball, Shawn Lemon, Cassius Vaughn and Akwasi Owusu-Ansah. Some of that slack was picked up by Akeem Jordan, who led all players with 10 tackles in his CFL debut.

The Riders will remember this game because of the play of one specific player. Kevin Glenn was ineffective and was replaced by Mississauga native Brandon Bridge, who proceeded to pick apart the depleted Argo D.

Bridge passed for 292 yards and a couple of touchdowns in his relief appearance, leading the Riders to their dramatic victory.



The Argos and Eskimos first met at BMO Field on September 16th. It would become a day James Wilder would remember well.

CFL fans got their first look at just how good the Tampa, Florida native could be as he rushed for 190 yards on just 11 carries, adding 67 more in the air in the Argos dominant 34-26 win. He had 167-yards total yards by halftime.

Toronto led 31-15 after three quarters.

The game couldn’t have started much worse for Toronto, as Ricky Ray had the ball stripped from his hands on the game’s second play. Edmonton recovered the fumble and scored a TD shortly thereafter.

But this game will be remembered for Wilder’s performance, highlighted by a 76-yard TD run.

The rematch was played at Commonwealth Stadium on October 14th. It was another nail-biter, as the Eskimos scored the winning points on a Derel Walker TD catch with just 57 seconds left in the fourth quarter.

The touchdown gave the Eskies a 30-27 lead. The Argos moved the ball downfield and were flirting with field-goal range when a Ray pass was deflected at the line of scrimmage and intercepted.

Mike Reilly had another strong game for the home side, throwing for 309 yards and the lone Walker TD.

The Argos played the game without Wilder and managed just 45 rushing yards on 14 carries.



Toronto’s games against the Redblacks were both decided by last-second kicks, with the Argos winning twice.

The first contest was played in Ottawa in Week Three with the Double Blue winning 26-25. The home side was up 11-1 at the half before the sleepy Argos offence awoke. Ray finished the game with 366 yards passing, hitting S.J. Green and DeVier Posey with TD passes. Green finished with a remarkable 210 receiving yards.

Rico Murray recovered a fumble in the end zone for the Argos other touchdown and Victor Butler sacked Trevor Harris three times.

The Redblacks had a chance to tie the game late, but Harris bobbled the snap on a convert attempt. Ottawa had a chance to win the game on the last play of the game, but Brett Maher missed a 59-yard FG attempt.

The rematch took place at BMO Field two week later, with the Argos winning 27-24.

Ray was outstanding, throwing for 367 yards and a pair of TDs, one to Anthony Coombs, the other to Declan Cross. The veteran QB spread the ball around, as seven different Argos had at least three catches.

The game was tied late in the fourth when Ray – perhaps channeling his inner Doug Flutie, who was added to the list of All-Time Argos at the game – led the Boatmen down the field, setting up Lirim Hajrullahu for a 34-yard FG on the game’s final play.

Toronto’s defence limited Harris to just 184-passing yards, with no receiver having more than three catches on 59 yards.

No matter which team the Argos draw in their first post-season game, it promises to be wildly entertaining if history repeats itself.