Argonauts clinch playoff spot with home win over Alouettes

TORONTO — The Toronto Argonauts have secured a place in the playoffs with a 39-10 win over the Montreal Alouettes at BMO Field on Saturday.

Double Blue moved to 10-1 with the win and has guaranteed a spot in the post-season while remaining perfect with a 6-0 record within the division.

Quarterback Chad Kelly had yet another efficient outing and finished 21 of 28 for 278 yards and a rushing touchdown while the offensive line didn’t allow a sack for the fifth straight game.

Backup pivot Cameron Dukes added a rushing major and running back AJ Ouellette scored two on his own as Toronto’s offence dominated the Alouettes. Kicker Boris Bede made four of his five field goals in the winning effort for Toronto and defensive back Adarius Pickett forced two fumbles to complete a full-team effort for the home team.

Montreal’s quarterback Cody Fajardo had to go most of the game without top receiver Austin Mack after the rookie was disqualified for a rough-play penalty in the first quarter. The pivot completed 21 of 24 passes for 236 yards with a touchdown pass to receiver Cole Spieker.

Montreal lost the turnover battle with three lost fumbles and couldn’t find answers on both sides of the ball, dropping to 6-6 with the loss and 0-2 in the season series against the Argonauts.

» Through the Lens: Alouettes at Argonauts

Kelly broke an early stalemate with a scoring drive in the first quarter. Toronto’s pivot threaded the needle to Cam Phillips to move the chains before converting second-and-10 with a connection to Damonte Coxie. Another strike to DaVaris Daniels made it first-and-goal from the one and Dukes entered the game to score the game’s first touchdown.

A fumble on a kickoff return by Chandler Worthy gave the Argonauts another short field and Ouellette quickly punched it into the end zone with two runs for 24 yards and the score for a 14-0 lead halfway through the first quarter.

Worthy redeemed himself on his next opportunity with a 79-yard return to set up Montreal at the 24-yard line. Fajardo quickly found Spieker near the goal post to get the visitors on the board for the first time, 14-7.

Kicker Boris Bede extended Toronto’s lead with a 26-yard field goal before netting another one from 51 yards out to extend the lead to 20-7 to close out the first quarter.

Toronto stopped the Als on third-and-one close to midfield to open the second but Montreal’s defence stepped up and quickly forced a punt.

A fumble forced by Pickett opened the way for another field goal by Bede to push the lead to 23-7 with 1:17 left in the half.

Pickett forced yet another fumble on the next drive but this time Toronto’s kicker missed a little to the left and Worthy took it out of the end zone as the score remained unchanged going into halftime.

The Alouettes started the second half with a lot of energy and quickly marched down the field to cut into the Argonauts lead. Fajardo completed all four of his passes all the way to Toronto’s three-yard line, but Montreal failed to convert on second down and had to settle for a field goal by kicker David Cote to make it 23-10.

Double Blue answered with another scoring possession. Kelly connected with Kurleigh Gittens Jr. for a couple of chunk plays to get to the red zone. Toronto’s quarterback then called his own number and ran it into the end zone for the major. The Argos went for two but Ouellette couldn’t reach the end zone as the score showed 29-10 with 6:08 left in the third quarter.

Ouellette extended the lead once again with a three-yard touchdown run in the fourth as Toronto continued a dominating afternoon. Bede’s extra point made it 36-10 with 12:10 left in the game.

Toronto’s kicker split the uprights from 23 yards out for a 39-10 lead with under three minutes to go.

Defensive back Jamal Peters intercepted backup quarterback Caleb Evans late in the quarter to close out the game.

The series now flips to Montreal as the Alouettes host the Argos in Week 15 on Friday, September 15 at Molson Stadium.

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