TORONTO - - Ricky Ray returned to the place where he played nine CFL seasons and was met with cheers from the crowd, a video tribute and a standing ovation; however, it was all football after that.
Grant Shaw put the Eskimos out to an early 6-0 lead on separate field goals from 44 and 27-yards, in which was a very pedestrian first quarter for both teams. It appeared that both quarterbacks were still getting into a groove offensively, as incompletions and a fumble by Ricky Ray ended a few drives for the Argos.
The highlight of the first quarter was definitely a spectacular leaping grab by rookie WR Dontrelle Inman.
The second quarter looked headed in the same direction, until a huge 52-yard shoe-string catch and run from Chad Owens put the Argos into the red zone. The play was challenged, but would be held up after video review.
Ricky Ray and the offence would convert on the very next play, as Ray would get his first TD as an Argonaut with a short 5-yard toss to Cory Boyd for the major. Noel Prefontaine would convert the extra point and put the score at 13-7 Eskimos.
The next Eskimos drive was ended when Ejiro Kuale, who was playing at the defensive end position on Saturday, forced a fumble. That gave the Argos limited time to work, and the Argos went into the half down six points.
Ray’s first half as an Argo would end 13 of 18 with 153 yards passing and a TD.
The second half would start out slow as well for the Argos, as the former Argo Shaw converted another kick, this time a 42-yarder to put the Esks up 16-7.
After a missed 45-yard Prefontaine field goal attempt resulted in just a single, the Argos would still be down 16-8 until another FG in the middle of the third, this time 53-yards by Shaw that put the Eskimos up 19-8.
Another Prefontaine FG to close out the 3rd quarter would pull the Argos to within eight. That’s when the bad breaks would start to come the Argos way.
With the 4th quarter looking like it would be all Boatmen, Ricky Ray found Spencer Watt in the endzone for a beautiful catch and throw. Only to have the play called back on a holding penalty.
The Argos then opted for a field goal, but Prefontaine drove the attempt right off the uprights and out of the endzone, and the Argos would come away with nothing on the drive.
Following a bunch of short drives from both teams, the game looked like it would change in one play.
At 6:10 of the 4th quarter, a diving Jordan Younger INT would give the Argos solid field position, but again they could not capitalize as an Eskimos sack would force only a field goal from Prefontaine.
After another stop from the defence, the Argos would be given the opportunity for the story book ending. Early on, Ray executed the 2 minute drill to perfection, finding Jason Barnes downfield and converting another first down, marching the offence down the field.
The Argos found themselves in Eskimos territory with 22 seconds left, but could not convert another first down. On 3rd and 7, Chad Owens caught a pass going across the middle and was taken down a few yards short. The Eskimos would take the ball and kneel out the rest of the clock.
- The Argos were charged with 18 penalties, which totalled 108 yards
- Ray would finish his Argo debut 31 of 41 for 302 yards and one TD with no picks. Ray’s biggest target was Chad Owens, who ended the day with 6 receptions for 100 yards.
- Owens also broke a personal record on Saturday, finishing the game with 324 all-purpose yards.
- Robert McCune lead the way on defence with 7 tackles.
- Jordan Younger's INT was his fifth career pick against Edmonton.