Are the Toronto Argos for real?
That was the question in a lot of people’s minds after the Double Blue were spanked in Montreal last week.
Well, they’re now real enough to have one more win than they had last season. And, real enough to equal the number of wins they had in 2008.
Toronto kept pace with the Als in the CFL East win a wild 29-28 win last night at Commonwealth Stadium, handing the Eskimos their third loss in four home games.
Cory Boyd scored his third touchdown of the night with 22.8 seconds on a one-yard plunge as the Argos improved to 4-2.
“We just kept fighting through,” said Boyd, who celebrated his 25th birthday in style. “We’re playing as a team, having confidence in each other. Also, thanks to the other team for the penalties they gave us to get up the field. Everything worked out for the better.
“Words can’t explain this birthday. I’m spending my time around people who are caring. I’m glad to enjoy the win and everything that comes with it.”
The Argos winning drive started on their own 16-yard line, on a 14-play, 94-yard drive that chewed up 4 minutes and 14 seconds and was aided by a pair of pass interference calls.
“I thought they were both flagable,” said Barker. “The officials do the best job they can and we were happy to get those in the end.
“It was a tough game. I feel for Richie (Esks coach Hall).”
Quarterback Cleo Lemon surprised the Eskimos with an effective passing attack to compliment another strong outing from rookie running back Boyd.
“Cleo Lemons was great,” said Barker. “To win a game with a game-winning drive, it’s the second time he’s done that and our guys just believe. Like every game we’ve won, we’ve come back” Lemon completed six of his first seven attempts.
Lemon’s performance rewarded Barker, who had not soured on his quarterback despite relentless questioning about his passing ability.
“The defence gave us the ball and we had to put the drive,” said Lemon, who completed 23 of 34 attempts for 292 yards. “That was a sign of the offence coming together. We had to put it into the end zone and we got it accomplished. We wanted to come in and keep them off balance.”
The Argos QB earlier engineered a seven-play 107-yard drive and Boyd ran a 43-yard counter play with 5:47 left in the first quarter.
“I actually got chewed out, because I was supposed to stretch it out a bit more,” said Boyd.
“I knew the flow of the defence was going outside, but I saw the hold and the first thing I though was make the cut and get down the field, My receivers did the blocking for me.”
Then, Boyd put the nail in the coffin, ominously at 13:13 of the second quarter with a 14-yard TD catch that gave the Argos a commanding 19-7 halftime lead.
In a performance worthy of consideration for CFL rookie of the year,
Boyd had a combined 149 yards in the first half. He finished with 210 combined yards, including 164 yards on 25 carries.
Even though the desperate Esks took the lead with three second-half touchdowns, the offence won the day.
“That’s a sign of a talented team,” said safety Willie Pile. “They fought and it’s a credit to our team how we were resilient at the end.
“Ricky Ray, Richie Hall were the guys in the locker room giving the team their spark. They did that, but it’s a credit to the guys in this room to make a big play and seal the win for us.”