Toronto Argonauts end Ottawa Redblacks winning streak with 24-19 victory

Toronto Argonauts quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson (4) is tackled by Ottawa Redblacks defensive back Patrick Levels (3) as Redblacks linebacker Frankie Griffin (28) dives through the air towards them, during second half of CFL football action in Ottawa on Saturday September 7th 10. 2022.Justin Tang/The Canadian Press

The Toronto Argonauts tightened their grip on first place in the East Division with a 24-19 victory over the Ottawa Redblacks on Saturday afternoon.

Toronto (7-5) is now four points ahead of the second-placed Montreal Alouettes (5-7).

Despite a strong surge in the second half, the Rougenoirs (3-9) left their 21,673 fans still waiting for their first home victory at TD Place and saw their two-game winning streak come to an end.

Argos quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson finished the afternoon 27 of 39 passing for 365 yards with a touchdown and an interception. His Ottawa counterpart, Nick Arbuckle, completed 26 of 40 passes for 290 yards and one interception.

A lackluster first half for the Rougenoirs saw them leading 13-6 at half-time.

Boris Bede made a 47-yard field goal early in the third quarter, but the Rougenoirs responded with a 35-yard field goal from Lewis Ward to make it 16-9.

After notching a single, Toronto looked to take full control after Kurleigh Gittens Jr. brought the Argos to the Ottawa 12-yard line. Gittens scored on the next play on a 12-yard reception to make it a 24-9 lead.

Ottawa responded with its first touchdown of the day as Arbuckle moved the ball upfield and Caleb Evans capped the shot with a two-yard run to cut the deficit to eight.

Damon Webb intercepted a pass from Bethel-Thompson in midfield and Ottawa managed to turn it into a 31-yard field goal to go under five with just over seven minutes left.

Ottawa then rolled to the Toronto 13-yard line and bet on third down, but was unsuccessful. The Rougenoirs managed to surround the Argos from deep and won the ball back at the Toronto 35 for a final attempt to score, but failed to take advantage.

Trailing 13-0 with just under two minutes left in the first half, the Redblacks were able to get on the board as Lewis Ward connected on 48 and 47 field goals yards to make it a one-score game.

The Argos took a 10-0 lead late in the first quarter, thanks in large part to Damonte Coxie evading four Ottawa defensemen to run the ball to the two-yard line. That set up a two-yard rushing touchdown from AJ Ouellette. Bede added a 17-yard field goal late in the second quarter to make it 13-0.

Bede opened the scoring for the Argos early in the first quarter with 51 yards for his 200th career field goal.

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