OTTAWA – A fourth-quarter touchdown pass from McLeod Bethel-Thompson and Boris Bede’s fifth field goal of the gamepowered the Toronto Argonauts to a 23-20 win over the Ottawa Redblacks Saturday.
Trailing 20-12, Bethel-Thompson connected with Kurleigh Gittens Jr. for a 12-yard touchdown pass and then completed the play with a two-point conversion toss to DaVaris Daniels to tie the game at 4:37 of the fourth.
Bede then connected from 34 yards out for his fifth field goal of the game and a 23-20 lead with just under four minutes to play.
Devlin Hodges was making his first career CFL start for the Redblacks but only threw for 90 yards as Ottawa fell to 2-11 withtheir sixth straight loss.
Bethel-Thompson threw for almost 300 yards but was intercepted three times. The Argonauts improved to 8-4 and remain first in the East Division.
DeVonte Dedmon took the opening kickoff of the second half 100 yards for a touchdown in his return after missing the past two games with an ankle injury to give the Redblacks a 20-9 lead.
With that score Dedmon became the fastest player in CFL history to score five kick-return touchdowns and he did it in 15 games. Henry “Gizmo” Williams held the old record with 18.
Later in the quarter Dedmon had an 81-yard punt return negated on an illegal block penalty.
Bede kicked a 49-yard field goal for the only other scoring of the third quarter as the Redblacks took a 20-12 lead into thefourth.
The Argonauts opened the scoring at 4:29 of the first quarter on a 46-yard Bede field goal, but it was the Redblacks who went into halftime with a 13-9 lead.
It wasn’t as if they had a ton of offence within their drives either. Their two field goals in the first half were the end resultof Toronto turnovers and their one touchdown was greatly aided by two separate runs that totalled 61 yards.
After Lewis Ward missed a long attempt snapping 14 consecutive field goals made, Chris Edwards fumbled coming out of the end zone and the Redblacks recovered on the Toronto eight-yard line.
Three plays later Ward redeemed himself with an 11-yard field goal at 9:29, but it was the inability to get six that wasconcerning for Ottawa. Ward missed on two other attempts in the game.
Late in the first quarter Bethel-Thompson was intercepted by Avery Williams, which led to an early second quarter 25-yard field goal by Ward for a 6-3 Ottawa lead, but that was short lived. Bede restored the tie with his second field goal of the half, this one from 42 yards.
Later in the quarter Hodges just missed connecting on a pass play that would have covered about 50 yards. The next three plays saw Hodges run for 10 yards, then Timothy Flanders for 41 and finally Ryan Davis for 20 to the Toronto one-yard line. Caleb Evans replaced Hodges at quarterback and ran a sneak for the score that, once converted, gave the Redblacks a 13-9 lead.