Former Gryphs have special moments, but RedBlacks prevail
GUELPH – When Toronto Argonauts’ defensive lineman Cam Walker saw the football sitting all by itself on the Alumni Stadium turf, he did what he’d done several time during his time with the Guelph Gryphons.
“I just came off my block, I saw the ball pop out right in front of me and I just dove on it,” he said.
Walker and three other former Gryphons on the Argos saw action in Thursday’s CFL preseason match between Toronto and Ottawa RedBlacks at Alumni Stadium in front of 3,921 spectators. However, their fans were left to cheer for individual accomplishments as the Argos were handed a 32-17 by the RedBlacks in the final preseason tune-up for both teams.
“This was amazing,” Walkers aid of playing back at Alumni Stadium. “Being on this field just felt right. I’m training on the field all off-season so being out here and running around on it, it felt real comfortable. I’d had a lot of special moments out here (with the Gryphons) so it was good to be back.”
Walker saw action on special teams throughout the game and played the third quarter on the defensive line when he recorded a tackle and the fumble recovery.
“I think I made the most out of the reps I had,” Walker said. “I tried to leave it all out there. It was a good night.”
Slotback Alex Charette played the whole game and had a touchdown on a 63-yard catch-and-run play in the third quarter. He also saw time on special teams.
Defensive lineman Jeff Finley had two defensive tackles and a special teams tackle as he played the opening half.
“Me and Jeff Finley, we said the Law of the Jungle, the old Gryphon chant, before we walked out here,” Charette said. “That was pretty funny, but we had an old McMaster Marauder (Hassan Barry) behind us and he started chirping us the whole game.”
Guelph native Jake Reinhart, a long snapper, watched the game from the Argos bench as he wasn’t in their lineup.
Offensive lineman Andrew Pickett, selected in the third round of last month’s CFL draft, watched from the Ottawa bench as he was suited up for the game, but he didn’t see any time on the field.
Thursday’s game started with scores on its first three possession. Ottawa kicked a field goal, Toronto responded with an unconverted touchdown and RedBlacks countered that with their own unconverted TD.
Dominique Davis completed 18 of 23 pass attempts for 187 yards and a touchdown for the RedBlacks while Danny Collins completed 8 of 13 for 100 yards.
For the Argos, McLeod Bethel-Thompson completed 5 of 9 for 90 yards and the touchdown to Charette while James Franklin completed 9 of 14 for 72 yards and a TD to Jonathan Epps.
Dominique Rhymes caught 10 passes for 101 yards for Ottawa while Seth Coate caught four for 35 yards and Noel Thomas caught three for 35 yards and a touchdown.
Rod Smith caught five passes for 26 yards for the Argos while Bralon Addison (27 yards), Simon Gingras-Gagnon (15 yards) and Epps (9 yards) each had two catches.
On the ground, Cedric O’Neal had 15 carries for 78 yards and a TD for Ottawa, Ed Ilkicki had eight carries for 31 yards and Davis had three carries for four yards and a TD.
Branden Burns had eight carries for 51 yards for the Argos and Stanley Williams had 11 carries for 32 yards.
On defence, Corey Tindal had seven tackles for the RedBlacks and Zeek Bigger had five.
Anthony Covington had seven tackles for the Argos while Barry had five.
The Argos and RedBlacks are scheduled to have the same opponent for their season openers as both are to begin their campaigns with games against the Saskatchewan Roughriders. The Argos are to play the Roughriders in Regina on the first week (June 15) while the RedBlacks get the bye. The RedBlacks are to play the Roughriders June 21 in Ottawa.
- Guelph Sports Journal