Homeward Bound: Argos headed to 100th Grey Cup | CFL.ca | Official Site of the Canadian Football League
EF Recap: Toronto 27, Montreal 20

CFL.ca Staff

MONTREAL -- Ricky Ray threw for 399 yards and a touchdown, while Marcus Ball had two interceptions as the Toronto Argonauts advance to the 100th Grey Cup with a 27-20 win over the Montreal Alouettes on Sunday at Olympic Stadium.

Chad Owens had a game-high 207 receiving yards on 11 catches for the red-hot Argos offence, which also got some help from a defence that held the Als to just three points in the second half.

The Argos appeared to be on their way to a quick start, after Chad Owens followed up a solid opening return with a 24-yard catch-and-run over the middle, setting the Argos up in Alouettes territory.

But on the very next play, a bad handoff between Ricky Ray and Chad Kackert put the ball on the ground, with Ollie Ogbu coming up with the recovery for Montreal.

Related: Eastern Final

» Images: TOR at MTL
» View Game Stats
» Owens breaks new ground in Argos win
» Argos plan with Ray coming to fruition
» Close loss tough to swallow for Alouettes
» Video: Jennings Rumbles For Major
» Video: Montreal Alouettes Goal Line Stand
» Video: McPherson's Touchdown Plunge
» Video: Inman Evens The Score
» Video: Kackert Bolts 49 Yards for TD
» Eastern Final Playoff Centre
» Preview: Toronto at Montreal

Anthony Calvillo and the Als went to work quickly, with a first-down catch-and-run for Jamel Richardson, before a 25-yard run by running back Jennings to set Montreal up inside the 10.

Toronto’s red zone defence rose to the occasion after that though, forcing an incompletion followed by a Ronald Flemons sack to set-up a 25-yard field goal from Sean Whyte, putting the Als on the board first.

Another long return from Owens gave the Argos strong field position on the following drive, but after getting to third-and-one yardage, Head Coach Scott Milanovich elected to gamble to move the chains.

The Als defence rallied to stuff short-yardage quarterback Jarious Jackson, forcing the second straight turnover to open the game.

This time, the Alouettes made the Argos pay. After quick completions to Richardson and S.J. Green, the running game took care of the rest as Jennings powered his way to consecutive first down runs, including an 18-yard touchdown for the game’s first major.

That capped off a six-play, 60-yard drive over 3:51, giving the home team a 10-0 lead.

In an early hole, the Argos offence responded to the touchdown furiously, starting with a 15-yard run by Kackert. On the next play, Ray found Maurice Mann down the sideline for the import receiver’s second catch of the game, a 32-yard gain.

Ray would add a 17-yard completion to Andre Durie in the middle of the field, but that was all the Boatmen could muster, forcing a 22-yard field goal from Swayze Waters.

Down 10-4 in the latter half of the second quarter, the Argos caught a break on third-and-four when the Alouettes were flagged for an illegal substitution on the punt.

Ray responded with a 35-yard pass to Dontrelle Inman, giving the Argos a first-and-goal from the one-yard-line.

But the roof fell in on the Argos, who couldn't punch it in from a yard out on three straight opportunities. That marked the third turnover of the game for the Argos, giving Montreal control of the ball at its own one.

The Boatmen would cash in on two points though, after holding Calvillo to two-and-out on the ensuing possession, cutting the deficit to 10-6 and getting the ball back in Ray’s hands up near their own 40. But the drive stalled, leading to a punt single for the Argos and making it a 10-7 ballgame.

With 1:30 remaining in the opening half though, the Als weren't done yet. Calvillo found Richardson for a 49-yard catch-and-run, before a pass interference penalty on Ahmad Carroll put Montreal down to the one.

Unlike the Argos earlier, the Alouettes cashed in, as McPherson scored on a 1-yard plunge to extend the lead to 17-7 with 1:04 remaining in the second quarter.

The Argos would add a 12 yard field goal just before half and the teams entered the locker room with Montreal up 17-10.

After getting a defensive stop to begin the second half, Ray and the offence took over down seven points at their own nine-yard-line.

Ray first hit Owens for a 27-yard gain on first down. Then on a second-and-long, Ray dropped back in the face of pressure and found his number one receiver for the second straight time over the middle.

The finalist for Most Outstanding Player found plenty of space, going for a 75-yard catch-and-run and giving the Boatmen the ball at the two-yard-line. While short yardage killed the Double Blue through the first 30 minutes of the game, this time Milanovich kept Ray on the field.

On first down the veteran pivot lobbed a pass over the outstretched hands of blitzing defenders, finding Inman for the 2-yard touchdown pass and tying the game at 17 apiece.

With the Als moving quickly in response, another big play would turn momentum in the Argos’ favour. Calvillo’s pass downfield was picked off by a leaping Marcus Ball, setting the Boatmen up with possession at their own 35-yard-line.

Ray, already on fire, looked to make Montreal pay once again. On a second-and-16, the wily vet found Jason Barnes with space at the first-down marker.

After an eight-yard strike to Owens on the next play, Kackert took care of the rest, bursting through a seam and sprinting to the end zone for a 49-yard touchdown run.

Razor Sharp

Ricky Ray threw for 399 yards and a touchdown on 28 of 37 passing, leading the Argos to a Grey Cup berth.  His go-to target was Chad Owens who finished with a career-high 11 receptions for 207 yards.

» View Game Stats

The four-play, 75-yard scoring drive off a turnover took just 2:24, giving the Argos their first lead of the game, 24-17.

Not to be out-done, Jennings and the Als offence went back to work. With the drive seemingly stalled early, an unnecessary roughness penalty on Pacino Horne kept Montreal on the field.

Mired in third-and-13 at their own 50, a special teams play turned the tide on the drive, as Chip Cox took the ball on the reverse during a fake punt. He had just a few inches to spare, giving the Alouettes another fresh set of downs on the gutsy third-down call.

From there, Calvillo completed three straight passes to move into scoring range, but on second down near the goal line, Evan McCollough knocked down the veteran quarterback’s pass in the end zone, forcing Whyte’s second field goal of the game to make it 24-20.

On the ensuing kickoff, the air came out of the stadium in a hurry as Als’ special teamer and linebacker Marc-Olivier Brouillette stayed down after being tackled, eventually needing a stretcher to get off the field.

The Als’ responded with a sack and a quick two-and-out, getting the ball back in the hands of a red-hot Calvillo with 13 minutes remaining. But the Argos defence got back on track with a two-and-out of its own.

That set-up another long burst from Kackert, this time for 51 yards to put the Argos inside the Montreal 30-yard-line, eventually setting up a 35-yard field goal from Waters to restore a seven-point lead with 10:01 remaining.

Down 27-20, Calvillo began the charge once again in hopes of getting tying the game, starting with a quick completion to Jennings followed by a 17-yard catch for rookie pass-catcher Patrick Lavoie. The poised gunslinger stayed hot, completing a 13-yard pass to Brian Bratton on second-and-10 to extend the drive.

But disaster struck soon after. On second-and-short, Calvillo found non-import receiver Eric Deslauriers in first-down territory, only to have the ball stripped by rookie defensive back Horne. That ended the Als’ scoring threat, as the Boatmen took over at around their own 15.

Ray and the Argos moved the chains twice, and with a chance to move in for the kill, Durie appeared to have a key second-down conversion. But on the run after the catch, he had the ball knocked out by Kyries Hebert.

It was recovered by defensive back Michael Carter, giving the Als possession and new life with just over two minutes remaining.

On the ensuing drive, Calvillo and the Alouettes appeared to have all momentum, following a first down to receiver Noel Devine. But Calvillo looked to go long on the next play, overthrowing his receiver and getting picked off by Ball for the second time this game.

The Argos had the ball with just under two minutes remaining and a chance to put the game on ice. After getting four yards on first down, Ray found Owens, but he was stuffed no sooner than he caught the ball, giving Montreal one final chance to tie the game.

Calvillo moved the Alouettes to the 21-yard-line, before throwing two straight incompletions, leading to a game-deciding third-and-10.

The veteran pivot rolled out, eventually firing a bullet to Bratton past the outstretched hand of Horne. But the slotback couldn’t hang onto the ball, securing a 27-20 win for the Argos to advance to the Grey Cup game at home.

Fan Comments
How come Calvillo did not not stay and shake hands at the end of the game. He quickly ran off the field.(TV showed it) What a show of sportsmanship!!! Ricky Ray was looking for him but he was probably halfway home.
November 19, 2012 - 3:30pm
als rule
argofan4life31 this is my 2nd attempt at answering your 3 in a row posts!! under the story EF PREVIEW RAY, CALVILLO BATTLE FOR EASTERN SUPREMACY under comments at 4:35pm a full hour and a half before you posted anything on this site!! argos were the better team today and deserved the win!! now you earned the right to be an eastern conference clown for a week!!
November 19, 2012 - 8:14am
someone also posted it would be Als by 9, I guess he was the clown........oh yeah that was you!!!!!!LOL

first place means nothing when you consistently get beaten at the Big O. Calvillo retires and you will be battling with the bombers for last next year.
November 19, 2012 - 6:22pm
als rule
another one who doesn't know what a prediction is!! and you call me a CLOWN!! you make it easy to root for calgary and not cabbagetown!! oh yeah baby GO STAMPS GO!!
November 20, 2012 - 9:30am
oh its only a prediction? same as what the cats fans did in the preseason...yet you bring their predictions up daily. btw i wouldnt want you to cheer for the argos, as you arent even a loyal als fan (your name should be als rule, but only when they win...aka fairweather fan)
November 20, 2012 - 5:16pm
Well this one turned out the way I expected - not that I was cheering for the Argos - but I sure wasn't cheering for the Als. Als just didn't have enough to answer a surging Argos team. AC may have to retire without that last GC ring!
November 18, 2012 - 7:49pm
als rule
the als never had a defence to be in an east final BUT they were better then TCmcb's tiger cats as 1st place finishers with the east final at the BIG O something TFmcb said would never happen BUT it did and made all the rest gravy!! it feels better to win then lose BUT that's football CFL style!! AC time to say good bye and both you and the als move on and say thank you!!
November 19, 2012 - 8:23am
no comment from Als Rule!!!!!
November 18, 2012 - 6:02pm
na na na na, na na na na hey hey hey goodbye......beasts of the east r dead!!!!!!!!!!!
November 18, 2012 - 6:02pm
Als rule??????????? really? looks like for a second yr they were schooled by a sw ontario team................arrrrrgoooooossssss!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
November 18, 2012 - 5:57pm
i almost forgot to mention this.
i was one of those who commented negatively when the Argos cut Cory Boyd (who was only the league's leading rusher). i remember saying something like "this had better work out" at the time. i wasn't putting down Chad Kackert, so much as expressing puzzlement that they would do such a strange thing. clearly, they knew what they were doing.
i salute Jim Barker's courage to do the difficult and unpopular thing to try to make his team better. he deserves the success his team has had this year, and i hope they win their next game as well!
November 18, 2012 - 5:18pm
Knew what they were doing or were lucky. Either way, it's worked out so far. I understand Calgary has a fair rb too.
November 18, 2012 - 8:13pm
Montreal shot themselves in the foot, sure it would still be considered a close game, can't you drop the ball Richardson, you're usually sure-handed! CFL gets half their Grey Cup dream, here's hoping the Stampeders crush BC's!
November 18, 2012 - 5:16pm
a very enjoyable game. best wishes for a full and speedy recovery to Marc-Olivier Brouillette - a reminder that it is, indeed, just a game and that some things are more important than the win-loss equation. glad to see the Argonauts win in the Big Owe and looking forward to next week and Grey Cup #100. they're playing very well right now, which is a good reason for optimism.
November 18, 2012 - 5:07pm
Impressive come-from-behind win for the Argos.
November 18, 2012 - 4:39pm
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