Andre Durie might not have been pleased with how he played on Saturday against the Calgary Stampeders, but he was definitely happy with the outcome.
Durie caught the lone touchdown pass of the game from quarterback Ricky Ray as time expired in the third quarter to help lead the Toronto Argonauts to a 22-14 win over the Stampeders.
“It was probably one of the worst games I’ve played,” said Durie, who finished with two catches for 38 yards. “I just found a way to focus and make a play when I could.
“It felt good to come through and make a play for the team. I felt like I was letting them down all game just with some of the mental errors. It was good to get one back and put us on the scoreboard.”
Toronto coach Scott Milanovich praised Durie for coming through in the clutch, despite not having one of his better efforts.
“He’s a playmaker,” Milanovich said. “He probably didn’t have his best game tonight, but he made a couple of big plays when he needed to. That’s what you do when you’re a good football player.”
Chad Kackert drew his first starting assignment at running back in over a year for the Argos, who made a surprise move last Sunday when they released league-leading rusher Cory Boyd. Kackert finished the game with 94 yards rushing and 41 yards receiving.
With the win, the Argos (4-3) ran their winning streak over the Stamps to five.
Following Durie’s touchdown, Toronto kicker Swayze Waters then kicked his fifth field goal of the game in the fourth quarter before Calgary quarterback Kevin Glenn tossed an eight yard touchdown pass to Chris Bauman with just 12 seconds left in the game.
After Glenn ran into the end zone for a two-point convert, the Stamps attempted an onside kick, but it was recovered by Durie and the Argos hung on for the victory.
“I’ve been around this league way too long to know anything can happen,” said Ray, who was happy to see Durie recover the onside kick to seal the victory.
Ray, who completed 21 of 32 passes for 316 yards and one touchdown, said he always takes pleasure in beating the Stamps. He spent nine seasons with the Edmonton Eskimos before being acquired by the Argos in the off-season for quarterback Steven Jyles, kicker Grant Shaw and Toronto’s first pick in the 2012 CFL Canadian Draft.
“Even being in the East Division, it still feels good to beat Calgary,” Ray said.
One week after a 31-20 road win over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, the Stampeders (3-4) couldn’t get anything going in front of their 28,246 fans.
“Basically it was a second half game and we weren’t able to hang in there,” said Calgary coach and general manager John Hufnagel. “I’m very disappointed about this loss and I’m hoping that the players in that locker room are disappointed also. We need to get better.”
In the first half, both teams had trouble putting the ball into the end zone. The Argos settled for three field goals by Waters, while Rene Paredes booted a pair of field goals for the Stamps.
“It’s always frustrating when you get threes instead of sixes, but our guys kept plugging,” Milanovich said. “When you’re on the road, it’s not easy.”
The Argos opened the scoring at 3:41 of the first quarter when Waters kicked a 23-yard field goal.
Near the end of the first quarter, Calgary appeared poised to score when Glenn tossed a 30-yard reception to Romby Bryant to put the Stamps on the Toronto 21-yard line.
On the next play, Jon Cornish took a costly 15-yard unnecessary roughness penalty before the Stamps were also penalized for illegal formation to put them out of field goal range.
The Argos then responded with an eight-play, 80-yard drive, but had to settle for a 27-yard field goal by Waters.
On their first drive of the second quarter, the Stamps drove down to the five-yard line after Glenn completed a 22-yard pass to Nik Lewis, who promptly took a 10-yard objectionable conduct penalty. Three plays later, the Stamps settled for an 18-yard field goal by Paredes.
“You don’t want to take penalties like that and hurt yourself,” said Lewis, who expects the Stamps to bounce back with a better effort in their next game in Regina against the Saskatchewan Roughriders on Aug. 25. “We’re working hard. We’ve just got to keep pushing through.”
The battle of chip shots continued as Waters connected on an easy 11-yarder, before Paredes kicked one through the uprights from 14 yards out.
The Argos then took a 12-6 lead at 8:11 of the third quarter when Waters booted a 48-yard field goal.
After Durie scored the lone touchdown of the game, Waters rounded out the scoring in the fourth quarter with a 38-yard field goal.
Notes: Bryant surpassed the 4,000-yard receiving mark during the contest, while fellow Calgary receiver Johnny Forzani moved past the 1,000-yard mark for his career. ... Calgary’s all-time regular season record against Toronto is now 41-41-1, including 26-15-0 at home.