Acklin leads Redblacks aerial attack over Argonauts for 1st win of season

The Ottawa Redblacks are no longer the CFL’s only winless team.

Jaelon Acklin had a touchdown reception and led his team with 144 receiving yards as the Redblacks defeated the Toronto Argonauts 23-13 at BMO Field on Sunday.

Caleb Evans completed 24 of 29 passing attempts and threw for 286 yards and had two touchdowns for the Redblacks, whose record improved to one win and six losses.

McLeod Bethel-Thompson completed just 26 of 40 passing attempts for 340 yards and one touchdown for the Argonauts (3-3), who had their streak of wins against the Redblacks at BMO Field halted at five games.

The Redblacks opened the scoring on their first drive of the game when kicker Lewis Ward connected on a 46-yard field goal. The field position for Ottawa was set up by a 46-yard pass from Evans to Acklin earlier in the drive.

The Argos tied the game 3-3 on their ensuing drive. Boris Bede hit a 42-yard field goal with 7:36 to play in the opening quarter.

The Redblacks reclaimed their three-point lead when Ward hit a 31-yard field goal with a second left to play. Ottawa led 6-3 going into the second quarter.

Toronto responded with the first major of the game. Bethel-Thompson found Brandon Banks for a 29-yard touchdown pass as they took a 10-6 lead after Bede’s successful convert kick with 7:17 left to play in the second quarter.

Bede hit his second field goal from 32 yards, giving Toronto a 13-6 lead with 55 seconds remaining until halftime.

Ottawa quickly moved the ball downfield before Evans found Acklin for a 30-yard TD catch. Ward’s extra point tied the game 13-13 and that was the score heading into the second half.

The reception from Acklin allowed the CFL’s leading rushing receiver to go over 100 receiving yards in his third consecutive game.

In the third quarter, the Redblacks reclaimed the lead on their opening drive of the half when Ward hit his third field goal of the game to put Ottawa ahead 16-13.

In the fourth quarter, things went south for Toronto in a hurry. While defending deep in their territory, Argos’ defensive lineman Wynton McManis was given an objectionable conduct penalty for throwing the shoe of a Redblacks player he tackled.

With the short field position, Evans found Nate Behar for a seven-yard TD pass. Lewis’s convert kick put Ottawa up 23-13 in the fourth quarter.

Toronto’s Chris Edwards was also assessed an objectionable conduct penalty after the Behar touchdown.

The Argos never recovered after the Ottawa score, despite several offensive drives facing a 10-point deficit.

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