Argos Squeak Past Stamps in Home Opener
TORONTO – A game that started out with the new Argonauts offence finally clicking ended up with a sloppy yet exciting fourth quarter that was the CFL at its wackiest and finest. It all ended with a last-second field goal by Noel Prefontaine – his sixth of the game – to cap a crazy 39-36 Argonauts victory over Calgary before 20,682 rocking fans celebrating the Argos home opener.
It didn’t start out well for the Argos, who allowed Calgary to score on the opening possession of the game. The tide turned quickly, however, when Stampeders quarterback Drew Tate injured his shoulder on the next series. Once Kevin Glenn took over, the Stampeders looked lost on offence. With the defense taking care of Glenn, Ray and his receivers went to work and took care of the rest in the first half. Ricky Ray connected with rookie wideout Dontrelle Inman on a 56-yard touchdown, the first of Inman’s career, in the second quarter.
Calgary fought back, however, with a 20-yard touchdown pass from Glenn to Nik Lewis in the third quarter, cutting the Argos lead to eight at 29-21, and forced the Argos into their first two-and-out in the 4th quarter. Calgary completed the comeback when Prefontaine missed a 36-yard field goal, and Larry Taylor took advantage, ripping off a 125-yard return for a touchdown that led to the game-tying two-point conversion. Taylor’s run was the third-longest return in Stampeders history.
Perhaps the story of the day for the Argos was Dontrelle Inman. The undrafted rookie from Virginia hauled in a 56-yard touchdown grab for his first CFL touchdown midway through the second quarter, giving the Argos a 17-14 lead. He then brought home a second touchdown with just over three minutes to go. It should have been the winner, but Larry Taylor then stole the show on special teams again, this time spinning out a 64-yard punt return with just over a minute to go in the game. That set up a game-tying 20-yard connection from Glenn to Lewis on the very next play.
Luckily for the Argonauts, they hauled in a prized acquisition this off-season in Ricky Ray. The veteran was his usual calm self under pressure as he led the Argonauts on a 42-yard drive in just four plays over a one-minute span, setting up Prefontaine for the winning field goal. Ray threw for a total of 407 yards, the seventh 400-yard game of his career, and added two touchdowns.
Perhaps the story of the game for the Argonauts was Inman, playing in just his second career CFL game out of the University of Virginia. Although his name might not resonate with Argos fans, his performance today – two touchdowns, including a 56-yard beauty in the second quarter – showed that he’s a name to watch as this season rolls along.
Despite the defensive collapse in the fourth quarter, the Argonauts recorded four sacks and also had two interceptions, one each by Jasper Simmons and Patrick Watkins. Ray also threw two interceptions to Calgary, including a first-quarter pick that was returned for a touchdown by Eric Fraser.
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