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Sports Toronto Argonauts very wary about facing winless Ottawa Redblacks

22:11  30 july  2022
22:11  30 july  2022 Source:   msn.com

WON-DERFUL: Redblacks snap winless skid with spirited effort in Toronto

  WON-DERFUL: Redblacks snap winless skid with spirited effort in Toronto TORONTO — Believe. Believe you can win. That’s what defensive end Lorenzo Mauldin IV told the Ottawa Redblacks offensive and defensive linemen before Sunday’s game against the Argos. Maybe that belief played a factor in Ottawa’s 23-13 win, stopping a six-game winless streak to open the season. And, in doing so, they put themselves right back into the East Division playoff race — Toronto is in first place with three wins, Hamilton and Montreal both have two. So everybody is within striking distance. “I told them you have to believe we can get this,” said Mauldin IV. ” ‘Don’t go on the field if you don’t believe. We’ve had too many close games, way too many close games.

TORONTO — There's something about facing the Ottawa Redblacks that seems to agree with McLeod Bethel-Thompson.

  Toronto Argonauts very wary about facing winless Ottawa Redblacks © Provided by The Canadian Press

The veteran quarterback is 6-0 versus Ottawa over his CFL career. He'll chase a seventh straight victory when the Toronto Argonauts (3-2) host the Redblacks (0-6) at BMO Field on Sunday.

"I had no idea but I put absolutely nothing in that," Bethel-Thompson said. "That's a very talented team, their backs are against the wall, they have nothing to lose, they're going to throw the kitchen sink at us with a very talented defence.

"I put nothing in that . . . you've got to fight every week."

Redblacks record first win by upsetting Argonauts 23-13

  Redblacks record first win by upsetting Argonauts 23-13 TORONTO — The Ottawa Redblacks felt like it was just a matter of time before they removed the zero from the left side of the CFL standings column. "Well it certainly breaks that 'well, you haven't won a game yet, right?'" Redblacks coach Paul LaPolice said after his club's 23-13 win against the Toronto Argonauts at BMO Field on Sunday. "We're happy to get a win and happy to survive for 24 hours and enjoy it." Ottawa receiver Jaelon Acklin had a touchdown reception and led his team with 144 receiving yards.

Bethel-Thompson will also be looking to achieve a career milestone Sunday. The 34-year-old San Francisco native needs just 97 yards to reach 10,000 for his career in Canada.

The six-foot-four, 220-pound Bethel-Thompson is in his fifth CFL campaign, all spent with Toronto. He's coming off his best game of the season, throwing for 336 yards and two TDs in Toronto's 31-21 road win over the Saskatchewan Roughriders on Sunday.

Sunday's contest is an important one for both teams.

Toronto is currently atop the East Division, two points ahead of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Montreal Alouettes (both with 2-5 records). Ottawa desperately needs to start winning to remain within striking distance of its conference rivals.

That's especially true considering it's looking more and more like only the top two finishers in the East will make the CFL postseason. Saskatchewan (4-3) enters this week's action fourth in the West but with more wins that the front-running Argos.

Toronto Argonauts very wary about facing winless Ottawa Redblacks

  Toronto Argonauts very wary about facing winless Ottawa Redblacks TORONTO — There's something about facing the Ottawa Redblacks that seems to agree with McLeod Bethel-Thompson. The veteran quarterback is 6-0 versus Ottawa over his CFL career. He'll chase a seventh straight victory when the Toronto Argonauts (3-2) host the Redblacks (0-6) at BMO Field on Sunday. "I had no idea but I put absolutely nothing in that," Bethel-Thompson said. "That's a very talented team, their backs are against the wall, they have nothing to lose, they're going to throw the kitchen sink at us with a very talented defence. "I put nothing in that . . . you've got to fight every week.

This marks the start of an important stretch for Toronto as seven of its next eight games are versus East Division competition. Four of those contests are against arch-rival Hamilton (2-5) but the Argos will also face Ottawa three times.

"Every game in the East counts as two," Bethel-Thompson said. "Those four with Hamilton will be big-time, they're always a grudge match.

"I think this game (versus Ottawa) will be a very difficult game and will set the tone for the next six that are in Ontario. It's a huge stretch for us."

A fact not lost upon Ryan Dinwidde, in his second season as Toronto's head coach.

"All of the games are important but especially the ones in the East," he said. "(Ottawa) is right on our heels, we haven't separated ourselves by any means and we're still right in the thick of it.

"If we lose a few it's going to set us back so we have to focus on each game, try and find a way to get a win and get two points in the East Division."

Redblacks look to build on first win as Stampeders come to nation's capital

  Redblacks look to build on first win as Stampeders come to nation's capital OTTAWA — The Ottawa Redblacks could be catching the Calgary Stampeders at an opportune time. Ottawa (1-6-0) is coming off its first win of the season heading into Friday's game against the Stampeders at TD Place Stadium. Calgary, meanwhile, is dealing with its first losing streak of the season after dropping its last two games. The Stampeders (4-2-0) could also be without head coach Dave Dickenson as he did not travel with the team to Ottawa as he is in COVID protocol. There is a flight booked for Dickenson on Friday should he receive medical clearance, but at this point the plan is to have assistant head coach Mark Kilam in charge.

Toronto is coming off consecutive wins over the Saskatchewan Roughriders. The Argos earned a 30-24 victory in Wolfville, N.S., on July 16 before securing a 31-21 decision last weekend at Mosaic Stadium.

Bethel-Thompson completed 26-of-37 passes for 276 yards and two TDs with an interception in Nova Scotia. He enters action this week fifth among CFL passers with 1,373 yards while having also thrown seven touchdown passes with six interceptions.

"I think he's been playing more consistent," Dinwiddie said of his starter. "I think he went out to Halifax and did a darn good job that game and last week I thought he was really consistent."

And like Bethel-Thompson, Dinwiddie feels the Redblacks are a dangerous opponent.

"What we can't do is get ahead of ourselves and think we're just going to show up on gameday and win because that doesn't happen in professional football," he said. "No doubt (Ottawa is dangerous), I've been preaching that all week.

"The guys understand that and know Ottawa is a much better football team than its record. They're going to throw everything they can at us. Again, that's a darn good football club."

But Toronto is expected to play Sunday without veteran receiver DaVaris Daniels, who didn't practise this week due to a head injury.

"I know he feels better but if you go in there and he gets dinged a little bit, now it's a long-term thing," Dinwiddie said. "With head injuries give them the week then reassess the next week."

Defensive backs Justin Howell (shoulder), Hakeem Bailey (quad) and Douglas Coleman (healthy scratch) as well as receiver Tevaun Smith (wrist) were listed as being out on Ottawa's injury report Friday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 30, 2022.

Dan Ralph, The Canadian Press

Redblacks are 0-6, but will be a 'tough opponent' for Argonauts .
In six career games against the Ottawa Redblacks, Argonauts quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson has gone 6-0. The Redblacks play in the 6ix on Sunday, having lost a season-opening six games. MBT needs 93 passing yards from reaching 10,000 in his career. Numbers are of little consequence to the man known as Mac. Truth be told, numbers don’t mean anything to the Argos as well. Teams are what their records say they are, according to that football axiom. In the case of Ottawa, the team hasn’t yet found a way to close out games. In the case of the Argos, they won their season opener when Montreal missed a late field goal attempt.

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