Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Argos bring Riders back down to earth in convincing fashion

Defending champs sometimes need a reminder that victories are never assured and on Saturday afternoon in Toronto, the Argos delivered a text book review of just that principle; as Ricky Ray picked apart the Rider defence on the way to a most convincing 48-15 victory.

A margin that large was probably not thought likely as the two teams headed into play for week two, the Riders having demolished the Tiger Cats in the monsoon rains of their home opener at Mosaic Field.

Toronto had suffered their own troubles in week one in Winnipeg, as Mike O'Shea found his first victory as a CFL coach provided at the expense of his former employer.

Such was the nature of the week one loss that few gave the Argos much hope of bouncing back against what was thought to be one of the CFL's most dominating squads.

However, by the time the final gun sounded on Saturday, it would be the Argos who appeared to be in a Grey Cup form, the Riders more resembling a team that had forgotten all they had learned in training camp.

For the most part it was a Ricky Ray clinic, with the Argo pivot throwing for 407 yards and three touchdowns on the day, totally confusing the Riders defensive unit which never seemed to get untracked from the opening moments of the day.

The first half belonged to the Argos who took a 17-1 lead into the locker room at half time, leaving Saskatchewan to try and determine what had gone wrong in just one week.

The Argos had built a comfortable 25-8 lead into the third quarter before Darian Durant provided some inclination that maybe the Riders might launch a comeback,  a Durant to Allen passing play pulled the Riders to within ten points by the start of the fourth quarter.

But the Argos defence quickly took to shutting down any further thoughts of a Saskatchewan insurrection on the day, smothering the Rider attack for the remainder of the game.

Ray would capitalize on his defensive units work, by taking the Riders down the field in just six plays late in the fourth, the finishing touch on the drive a TD pass to Mike Bradwell, pushing the Argo lead to 34-15 with time running down.

Shortly after that the Argos once again chewed up yardage against the Riders defensive team, another impressive drive that culminated in a Curtis Steele ramble into the end zone, a 41- 15 lead surely destined to be the final score.

But, with the Riders seeking points in a fast and furious fashion, Darian Durant would provide Toronto with one more scoring opportunity on the day, a long toss into the Argo defensive backfield would be returned by Antwaun Molden who took Durant's pass some 108 yards for the final scoring play for the Double Blue.

The win was a welcome bit of news for a Toronto squad that was still smarting from their week one road loss, for the Riders, the rather one sided defeat provides for a bit of work for a coaching staff that at least will no longer have to concern themselves with the prospect of over-confidence for the remainder of the season.

Some reviews of Saturday's game can be found below.

Toronto Sun-- Argos win big over Saskatchewan Roughriders
Toronto Star-- Argonauts crush Roughriders in home opener
Regina Leader Post-- Riders looked complacent and unprepared in face of Argos Veteran Ricky Ray leads Argos to surprisingly one-sided win over Roughriders 
CBC-- Ricky Ray, Argonauts torch Roughriders in home opener

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