North of the 400

North of Toronto, South of a championship

How the Argos lost – Notes on the 07 East Final

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Nobody thought it would end like this – but nobody foresaw the Argonaut’s fingers seemingly coated in butter, either.
Yes, the Toronto Argonauts, who entered the playoffs winning their last seven games in a row, lost decisively to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in a game marred by turnovers – some three on each side.
As the fourth quarter started, with the Bombers inside the Argo 10 yard line, it looked as if the Bombers were going to try and wrap things up. After all, they led 19 – 1; the game was theirs to lose.
But when Bomber QB Kevin Glenn hurt his arm in the fourth while diving on a loose ball, the momentum shifted, significantly, to the battered Argos.
One monster pass to Arlen Bruce III later, and the game, the Argos and even the fans, roared back to life.
Michael Bishop showed off his powerful throwing arm, driving the Argos some 92 yards to their first touchdown of the game with some long, precise passes, capped off with his own quarterback sneak for the major.
As reserve quarterback Ryan Dinwiddie came in for the Bombers, the Argo fans were on their feet and screaming.
It seemed a lot like the inverse of the last Eastern Final played in the Rogers Centre in 2005. In that game, the Argos led throughout the first half, only to collapse to Montreal – and in particular, to QB Anthony Calvillo – in the second, losing 33-17.
“All of a sudden, this isn’t the Rogers Centre – this is the noise dome,” said CBC’s Steve Armitage.
But Dinwiddie pulled it out. Airing the ball, and running down the clock, he wore down the Toronto defence with long passes. A touchdown pass to Edwards sealed the victory for the Bombers.
Or did it? The ref on the field had to check it out – and then went to the booth for a review. And it was overturned.
And then the Argos grabbed another fumble in their own end.
“Are you kidding me,” shouted CBC’s colour commentator Khari Jones. “That’s their third fumble today!
“They should be blowing the Argos out!”
But Toronto’s ball-handling woes continued, as their receivers dropped passes that would have brought the Argos deep into Winnipeg territory.
Winnipeg’s smothering defence kept the Argos out of the game, clogging the secondary and keeping Bishop under pressure – including a huge sack late in the fourth.
It was an incomplete pass, late in the fourth that sealed it – although, with less then two minutes to play, what could the Argos have done? They would have needed a touchdown, then a field goal – just to tie.
Nonetheless, the Bombers prevailed. They limited the Argos to just 31 rushing yards and keeping the Argo offense smothered, like a heavy blanket put on a fire, for three quarters.
“We played them well all year,” said Winnipeg running back Charles Roberts.
“We took it upon ourselves to come out here and prove them wrong.”
And so, what an upset it was. The Bombers were seven underdogs going into this game, but they played like 14 point favourites. They ran the ball, they passed the ball and they, most importantly, stopped the Argos from doing likewise.
Simply put, they played like champs.
And in the end, that was the only thing that mattered.

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Written by M.

November 19, 2007 at 11:43 am

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