McLeod Bethel-Thompson threw two touchdown passes as the Toronto Argonauts qualified for the Gray Cup with a 34-27 home win over the Montreal Alouettes in the East Division last Sunday.
Toronto will make its first Gray Cup appearance since winning the title in 2017. The Argonauts made an early move against the Alouettes, scoring a 14-3 advantage on a windy day at BMO Field.
David Cote’s 35-yard goal at 10:53 of the fourth half reduced Montreal’s deficit to 34-27. But Argos continued to run out of time, aided by a crucial penalty to Mike Moore’s mask after Andrew Harris was stopped in the second inning.
Harris, AJ Ouellette, DaVaris Daniels and Kurleigh Gittens Jr., scored for Toronto. Boris Bede has four conversions and two goals.
Harris played his first game since tearing his pectoral muscle in August and required surgery.
William Stanback and Tyson Philpot had touchdowns in Montreal, with Philpot adding a two-point conversion. Côte kicked off a switch and four goals on the field.
Montreal was favorable in the third inning and took a 24-21 lead on Stanback’s 52-yard TD run at 1:06 before Harris found Philpot on a two-point conversion. Toronto countered with Bede’s 25-yard goal at 4:41 to take a 27-21 lead.
Cote connected from 32 yards at 10:09 to cut Toronto’s advantage to 27-24. But Bethel-Thompson found Gittens Jr. on a 31-yard touchdown pass to end the half and give Argos a 10-point lead to advance into the final in a comfortable manner.
Cote’s 30-yard goal at 14:45 in the second half gave Toronto a 24-13 lead. The Alouettes drove to Argos’ 10-yard line before surrendering successive sacks to tackle the wind in Cote’s favor.
Bede’s 13-yard goal at 12:15 gave Toronto a 24-10 lead as Argos was nearly as effective with the wind (10 points) as they countered it (14) to start the contest.
Harris found Philpot on a 36-yard touchdown pass at 8:26 to give Montreal a 21-10 lead.
Backup Chad Kelly had his best play in the first half. Second and short, Kelly found an open Daniels to make a 46-yard TD pass at 5:40 of the second half to give Toronto a 21-3 lead.
Toronto overcame Montreal 14-3 against the wind in the opening half.
Bethel-Thompson’s seven-yard TD pass to Ouellette at 13:01 of the first game gave Toronto a 14-3 lead. It was set up by Royce Metchie’s recovery on Kalon Julien-Grant’s fumbling, then his assist for DaShaun Amos, who was dealt a tackle at Montreal’s 51-yard line.
The touchdown came after Cote’s 25-yard goal at 8:27 gave Argos a 7-3 lead. Harris opened the scoring with a six-yard TD run at 5:27 to get past Toronto’s opening six-round, 79-yard lap.