REGINA, SK – October 21, 2023 – The Toronto Argonauts staged a comeback in the final two minutes of regulation to beat the Saskatchewan Roughriders 29-26 at Mosaic Stadium on Saturday.
Chad Kelly finished with another productive day under centre, completing 18 of 25 passes for 275 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. Cameron Dukes came in to end the game and helped secure the victory by completing 10 of 15 passes for 113 yards.
Dan Adeboboye had the best game of his CFL career to date, rushing for 109 yards on nine carries while adding the game-winning touchdown. Damonte Coxie reeled in five passes for 105 yards and a touchdown, while DaVaris Daniels had 84 yards on six catches.
The Argos got a pair of interceptions from Qwan’tez Stiggers and Mason Pierce while Wynton McManis ended with four tackles and a forced fumble. Pierce also had the lone sack for Toronto on the afternoon.
Saskatchewan opened the game with the ball, but the Argos’ defence nearly opened the game with a massive play. A forced fumble by Royce Metchie was overturned, and Jake Dolegala connected twice with Kian Schaffer-Baker – the second of which went for a touchdown. The hosts jumped out to an early 7-0 lead.
But Toronto had a quick answer. Kelly found DaVaris Daniels on a 40-yard completion to march the Argos into the red zone. After AJ Ouellette got down to the 3-yard line, he punched in his eighth touchdown of the year on the next play. Alfredo Gachuz Lozada’s point-after knotted things up at seven.
The Roughriders hopped back into the lead on a Brett Lauther 31-yard field goal. And the Roughriders kept the momentum going with Dolegala airing it out for a 35-yard touchdown connection with Samuel Emilus down the right sideline to put Toronto in a 10-point hole with just over 10 minutes to play in the first half.
Toronto made a push down the field, but Kelly’s deep pass down the middle to Damonte Coxie was undercut by Nick Marshall and returned past midfield into Toronto territory. But the Argos’ defence was able to stand tall and force a punt.
Javon Leake set the Argos up near midfield, and behind a strong rushing attack from both Ouellette and Dan Adeboboye, the Argos pushed down to the Saskatchewan 17-yard line but had to settle for a field goal. Gachuz Lozada knocked the kick through the uprights for the first converted field goal of his CFL career.
Lauther looked to answer on the next drive, but his 46-yarder went wide, giving the Argos a chance to tie things up. Adeboboye and David Ungerer helped move Toronto past midfield. From there, Damonte Coxie got open down the right side, and Kelly floated a ball over the top of the defence for the 50-yard touchdown.
However, the point-after would veer wide, leaving the Argos down 17-16 heading into halftime.
Getting the ball to open the second half, Toronto opened the third quarter with a bang, as Adeboboye took the hand-off on the first play and rumbled 60 yards down the left side to set the Argos up in Roughriders territory. That set the table for the second field goal of the afternoon for Gachuz Lozado, who put Toronto in the lead for the first time in the game.
However, that lead was short-lived. Saskatchewan put together a 10-play drive, with Antonio Pipkin punching the ball in on the goal line to make it a 23-19 game – a two-point conversion by the Riders was broken up by the defence.
That score would hold heading into the fourth quarter. But a fumble at the end of the third quarter by the Riders gave the Argos a chance at points.
Dukes entered the game in the fourth, relieving Kelly. After completing his first pass of the game, Gachuz Lozado converted a 33-yard field goal to make it a one-point game once again.
But once again, Lauther answered with a field goal – this time from 48 yards out. Saskatchewan widened the gap to 26-22 with 11:36 left in regulation.
The teams spent the middle portion of the fourth playing the field position battle with punts. With 4:30 left, the Argos took a chance and went for it on fourth down in Saskatchewan territory. A pass to Deonta McMahon was incomplete, and the turnover on downs gave the Roughriders a chance to kill down the clock.
But Toronto’s defence came up with a big stop. Starting on their own 13-yard line, Dukes showed composure in the pocket, gaining a first down on his opening pass of the drive to Tommy Nield and then gaining six yards with his legs on the next play. Toronto needed a play on 3-and-10, and once again, the first-year man found Richie Sindani down the seam for a 27-yard gain. After a penalty on Saskatchewan pushed the Argos up to the 29-yard line, Dukes put a ball up for Coxie, who made an acrobatic grab down the sideline for a 24-yard gain down to the 5-yard line. Adeboboye muscled his way to pay dirt a play later to put Toronto in front.
The PAT put the Argos up 29-26 with 57 seconds left in the fourth. Dolegala tried to push the field on his first pass to open the last-ditch effort for the Riders, but Mason Pierce read the Saskatchewan quarterback and flew in for the interception to seal the victory for the Argos.
It was a record-setting night for the Argos. Kelly surpassed the 4,000 passing-yard mark for the season, Ouellette hit the 1,000 rushing-yard plateau, and Daniels hit 1,000 receiving yards for the first time in his CFL career.
With the victory, the Argonauts are now 15-2 on the season. They’ll finish the regular season on the road in Ottawa on Oct 28.