Boatmen sail past Esks in Eastern Semi-Final | CFL.ca | Official Site of the Canadian Football League
 
ESF Recap: Edmonton 26, Toronto 42
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CFL.ca Staff

TORONTO -- Ricky Ray threw two touchdown passes and ran for another, as a 31-point second quarter paced the Toronto Argonauts to an impressive 42-26 win over the Edmonton Eskimos on Sunday afternoon at the Rogers Centre.

Sparked by a game-changing punt return touchdown by Chad Owens, the Argos will now head to Montreal to take on the Alouettes at Olympic Stadium in the Eastern Final next Sunday.

After Head Coach Kavis Reed put an emphasis on a quick start out of the gate for his offence, Kerry Joseph and the Esks did just that on the game’s opening drive.

Related: Eastern Semi-Final


» Video: Toronto 42, Edmonton 26
» Images: EDM at TOR
» View Game Stats
» Ray gets redemption over old team
» Owens picks his spot with huge TD
» Joseph on Nichols: 'He will be back'
» Video: Owens' 59-Yard Return TD
» Video: Koch Reels in 11-Yard TD Pass
» Video: Kackert's 12-Yard First Half Major
» Video: Maurice Mann's 11-Yard TD
» Video: Ray Calls His Own Number
» Video: Kackert Notches His Second TD
» Eastern Semi-Final Playoff Centre
» Preview: Edmonton at Toronto
» Tickets: Eastern Final in Montreal

Hugh Charles and Joseph paired up for two straight first downs, before Charles broke a long run to set the Esks up inside the Toronto 15-yard-line.

Cary Koch did the rest on a second-down play, catching an 11-yard touchdown pass from Joseph to give the Double E a 7-0 lead.

The nine-play, 91-yard drive marked the first time this season the Eskimos scored on their first possession, silencing the Rogers Centre gathering just five minutes into the game.

From there the defences started to settle in, and with the Argos offence struggling to move the ball, the Double Blue would get a big play with the final seconds of the first quarter ticking off.

On second-and-two Joseph handed the ball off to former Argonaut Cory Boyd, but the 27-year-old was hit immediately at the line of scrimmage, losing control of the football. Ronald Flemons recovered the loose pigskin, giving the Argos possession at the Edmonton 27-yard-line.

After a close call on an interception that was challenged and reversed in the end zone, Ray took advantage of a second chance and hit Chad Kackert for an 12-yard touchdown on second down, tying the ball game at seven apiece.

Ray’s first touchdown pass of the playoffs capped off an abbreviated five-play drive that took two minutes off the clock.

The momentum soon swung further in the Argos’ direction.

After a quick two-and-out on defence, Grant Shaw punted to Owens from deep in his own end. The East Division’s finalist for Most Outstanding Player caught the ball on the run at the Argos’ 51-yard-line, before weaving through tacklers for a 59-yard punt return touchdown.

It was Owens’ first punt return touchdown in his post-season career, and his first on special teams since Oct. 10, 2011 against Montreal.

Down 14-7, the Eskimos looked to fire back quickly. On a second-down play, Fred Stamps got away from cover man Evan McCullough and Joseph hit him over the top for a 46-yard gain.

But on the very next play, the Argos opportunistic defence struck again, as Marcus Ball jumped an attempted Joseph shovel pass to Charles, returning the interception 53 yards to set the Argos offence up in convenient field position once again.

After two first downs running the ball, Ray turned to the air, hitting Maurice Mann on a swing pass for an 11-yard touchdown pass.

Ray’s second touchdown pass of the game capped off a 6-play, 29-yard scoring drive, giving the Argos a 21-7 lead with just over 5 minutes remaining in the half.

Following a 34-yard field goal from Swayze Waters, the Boatmen added on to the lead heading into halftime with just two seconds remaining, when Ray called his own number for a 7-yard touchdown.

That gave the Argos a 31-7 lead through 30 minutes, capping off a run of 31 unanswered points. That broke a CFL playoff record for points in a single quarter, breaking a mark of 29 points that was set back on Nov. 10, 1979.

Kackert helps carry
Argos to Montreal


Chad Kackert helped lead the Argos offence with 139 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns as the Argos head to Montreal to face the Alouettes next Sunday in the Eastern Final.

» View Full Game Stats

Down but not out, the Eskimos turned to young pivot Matt Nichols in the second half, with plenty of time to erase a 24-point deficit and needing a spark on offence.

After a quick Argos two-and-out to start the half, Nichols hooked up with Charles on a 30-yard scamper off a screen pass, eventually setting up a 36-yard field goal from Shaw to make it 31-10.

The Esks would look to keep it going on the next offensive series, but on second and long and facing pressure, Nichols’ pass was overthrown. On the same play things turned worse for the Green and Gold, as the young pivot had his leg rolled on by a crowd of defenders.

Nichols stayed on the turf and needed help off the field by a stretcher as teammates kneeled around him.

The Boatmen went ahead by four scoring plays on the very next drive, after Kackert took a screen pass from Ray for a 28-yard gain, eventually setting up Waters’ second field goal of the game from 38 yards out.

The nine-play, 60-yard drive took 4:45 off the clock, giving the Argos a 35-10 lead with 6:15 remaining in the fourth quarter.

With their season winding down, Joseph and the Esks battled back in a hurry, thanks to some slick running from the veteran pivot. The 39-year-old first scampered for a 14-yard run on second down, while drawing a 15-yard penalty for a late hit out of bounds on Robert McCune.

On the very next play, Joseph found another seam and charged into the end zone from 16 yards out. The veteran made good on the two-point conversion, putting the Green and Gold within 17 points following the quick six-play, 75-yard scoring drive.

But the Eskimos couldn’t make good on the onside kick, giving the Argos excellent field position and a chance to put one final exclamation point on the afternoon.

After converting a first down on the drive, Kackert finished the drive off with a quick burst along the sideline for the score before the Eskimos would add a late touchdown with 24 seconds left.

With the win, the Argos are set to travel to Montreal for the Eastern Final, as head coach Scott Milanovich prepares to battle his former team.

Fan Comments
GoTi-Cats
Best wishes for Matt Nichols' recovery. It's too bad he didn't have more of a chance to play. The Argos O did its job but I think you can chalk this win up to the Argos D overwhelming the Esks' O line. Not even the best ballslingers can be successful if they are harassed on nearly every play.
November 12, 2012 - 12:05pm
 
tabbiefanmcb
This account of this game reminds me a bit of the Esks/Ticats game in September where the Esks got off to a fast start but an fumble returned for a TD completely turned the Ticats game around and they didn't look back, keeping Esks scoreless for the rest of the game.
November 12, 2012 - 10:58am
 
TJTHEDJ60
Toronto took the game completely over in the second quarter even setting a CFL record for most points scored in a quarter by any team,then after Edmonton looked to be gaining momentum with the young Nichols at the helm for them in the third quarter but when he went down you could see the faces of not just the whole Edmonton team but the Argos as well has they just about realized that his injury would knock him out of the game for sure and while Joseph appeared to be competing well for the Esks that half time lead really was too much to overcome and even though they did end up with 26pts it was really not as close as that score made it appear Congratulations to Toronto who now return to the Eastern Final and have a great opportunity to make the Grey Cup game in their own building a reality for themselves
November 11, 2012 - 10:55pm
 
als rule
senator david braley gets his wish a team in each conference final!! east final montreal ruins braley's fixing and defeats the argos in a close hard fought game in sprite of braley, the refs and why the CFL stll has it's bush league games!! TO goes home and montreal faces braley's other team the lions in toronto in the 100th GC game!! GO ALS GO!!
November 11, 2012 - 9:39pm
argofan4life31
must be great for you.....next week is a sure win, as if als win you can gloat like you always do, and if argos win its a fix......what a complete joke!!
November 12, 2012 - 7:59pm
als rule
you are really amazing!! you missed the point completely!! miles over your head!! and as for a joke your it!! gloat no!! not my fault you don't understand the english language!!
November 12, 2012 - 10:10pm
argofan4life31
i guess "sprite" is now part of the english language.........please let me bow in front of a true linguist....joke
November 13, 2012 - 8:14pm
 
BggDdyCool
praying Nichols recovers
November 11, 2012 - 7:47pm
 
Maxim Solomennikov
Great win! Hats down to Esks, they fought until the end.
November 11, 2012 - 5:31pm