McLeod Bethel-Thompson’s fourth-quarter touchdown pass to Tommy Nield rallied the Toronto Argonauts to a wild 23-20 home win over the B.C. Lions on Saturday.
Bethel-Thompson hit Nield on a 37-yard scoring strike at 12:10 to put Toronto ahead 23-20. B.C.’s Sean Whyte appeared poised to tie the CFL contest but his 41-yard field goal attempt with 1:30 remaining hit the left upright.
B.C. quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. began the fourth-quarter fireworks with a 31-yard touchdown pass to Keon Hatcher just 50 seconds into the quarter to put B.C. ahead 17-16. It was set up by Jordan Williams’ 38-yard return of a Bethel-Thompson fumble before teammate Mathieu Betts recovered Williams’ fumble at the Toronto 31-yard line.
Toronto (9-6) moved four points ahead of Montreal (7-7) atop the East Division standings. The Alouettes play the Ottawa Redblacks (3-11) on Monday.
Timing is everything, Tommy!<a href=”https://twitter.com/TommyNield10?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@TommyNield10</a>’s sixth catch of the season is CLUTCH.<a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/CFLGameday?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#CFLGameday</a> | <a href=”https://twitter.com/TorontoArgos?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@TorontoArgos</a> <a href=”https://t.co/pTRZqKW6Dm”>pic.twitter.com/pTRZqKW6Dm</a>
Toronto, which has already clinched a playoff berth, and Montreal end their regular seasons with a home-and-home series.
B.C. (10-5) remains second in the West Division, ahead of idle Calgary (10-5) after winning the season-series with the Stampeders. The Lions have clinched a playoff berth, their first since 2018.
Toronto played its first home game since a 37-20 win over Hamilton on Aug. 26 before a season-high BMO Field gathering of 14,963. There were 11,089 spectators present Saturday as the Toronto Blue Jays were simultaneously facing the Seattle Mariners in American League wild-card playoff action at Rogers Centre.
Toronto went 3-1 between home contests but was coming off a 29-2 road loss to the Calgary Stampeders last week. The two points was the Argos’ lowest total since a 26-0 loss to Edmonton on July 25, 2019.
Chad Kelly scored Toronto’s other touchdown. Boris Bede had two converts and three field goals.
Taking the plunge: <a href=”https://twitter.com/Chadkelly_6?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@Chadkelly_6</a> <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/CFLGameday?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#CFLGameday</a> | <a href=”https://twitter.com/TorontoArgos?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@TorontoArgos</a> <a href=”https://t.co/ZIJg2EKJN5″>pic.twitter.com/ZIJg2EKJN5</a>
Alexander Hollins registered B.C.’s other touchdown. Whyte kicked two converts and two field goals.
After winning the toss and deferring, Toronto took the ball — and wind — to open the third. A likely explanation is the Argos looked to add to their six-point advantage in the quarter rather than face having to play from behind in the fourth.
But while Bede’s 26-yard field goal at 8:08 put Toronto ahead 16-7, Whyte countered with a 16-yard boot at 12:30.
Bede’s 21-yard field goal at 6:53 gave Toronto a 13-0 lead. It came after the Argos unsuccessfully tried to draw the Lions offside on third-and-two.
Kelly’s one-yard TD run 15 seconds into the second put Toronto ahead 10-0, set up by Benoit Marion’s fumble recovery at the Lions 29-yard line. Twice the Argos lined up on third-and-short inside the Lions’ 10-yard line and each time the visitors jumped offside, giving the Double Blue a fresh set of downs.
Bede opened the scoring with a 13-yard field goal at 8:31 of the first. Toronto took possession at the B.C. 29 following an illegal kick flag on Stefan Flintoff’s 29-yard punt.