November 11, 2023

Argos historical season ends with EF loss to Alouettes

Christian Bender/

TORONTO — A record-setting season for the Toronto Argonauts didn’t end the way they wanted it to.

The Argos set a new franchise record with 16 regular season wins but were not able to capitalize on it, losing 38-17 to the Montreal Alouettes in the Eastern Final.

Toronto had the best turnover ratio in the league coming into the game with a plus-27 margin, but saw the Alouettes take the ball away nine total times with yet another dominant defensive performance by Montreal.

“I just told them to keep their heads high,” head coach Ryan Dinwiddie told reporters about what he said to his players after the game. “They had a great season, just didn’t deserve to win tonight. We turned the ball over too much.”

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» Through the Lens: Alouettes at Argonauts Eastern Final images
» Dominant Defence: Als punch ticket to GC 110 with win over Argos



Quarterback Chad Kelly had only 12 interceptions all season long but threw four against the Alouettes in the Eastern Final as the Argos offence struggled all game to find room to operate with their passing game. The pivot completed 21 of 36 passes for 245 yards but was also stopped on third down twice by a fierce defensive front, while wide receiver DaVaris Daniels added 77 receiving yards and a major.

The quarterback had a phenomenal regular season on his way to being named East Division Most Outstanding Player, but didn’t shy away from taking accountability for the loss.

“Obviously I made it a lot harder on the defence than it should have been,” Kelly told reporters. “This loss is on me. I take full responsibility from throwing those mistakes out there, playing careless with the football.”

Kelly and the Double Blue had first-and-goal on their first drive of the game but a pick six by defensive back Marc-Antoine Dequoy completely shifted the tide of the game. It was one of two interceptions returned for a touchdown by the Alouettes as part of a three-touchdown performance by their defence and special teams.

Toronto now heads into the off-season with a feeling of unfinished business. Turnover is an inevitable reality when it comes to football, but an Argonauts roster that dominated during the regular season will likely remain competitive – and hungry – going into 2024. Then it’ll be a matter of capitalizing when the stakes are at their highest.

“I told the players unfortunately, there’s no guarantee everybody’s gonna be back right? It’s professional sports,” said Dinwiddie. “The guys that are back for next season are going to be hungry and have a chance to learn from it.

“In big games you have to play your best and we weren’t even close to our best possible tonight.”

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