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MessaggioInviato: 06/03/2018, 6:23
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WINNIPEG - Ricky Ray was looking at the big picture after his Toronto Argonauts barely hung on for a 26-20 win over the Blue Bombers on Saturday. The narrow victory secured a home playoff date for the Argos (10-6) and stretched their lead atop the East Division to four points over the surging Hamilton Tiger-Cats (8-7), who travel to Montreal for a game on Sunday. "Just getting the win coming off of two losses, just keeping our lead in the East, thats what we want to do, is keep that separation (from Hamilton) and have that chance for first place," Ray said. Winnipeg fell to 3-13 and were mathematically eliminated from the playoffs in front of 28,869 fans at Investors Group Field. The Argos got touchdown catches from Andre Durie and Dontrelle Inman and Swayze Waters booted four field goals from 37, 23, 37 and 33 yards. The Boatmen had a 23-3 lead at halftime before the offence sputtered. Ray didnt put up his usual 300-plus yard game, completing 21-of-35 pass attempts for 246 yards and his second interception of the season. "I thought (Ray) played pretty good in the first half, kind of like our offence," Toronto head coach Scott Milanovich said. "We just werent able to get any sort of rhythm in the second half. Its on the unit, its not just on Ricky." But even though it wasnt a masterpiece, the coach will take the win, which is the teams impressive seventh road victory (7-2) this season. "It was ugly, but sometimes all it takes is one win to get you kind of rolling in the right direction," said Milanovich, whose team hosts the Bombers on Thursday. "We need to get better next week, but well take it every time." Will Ford and Rory Kohlert scored TDs for Winnipeg and Sandro DeAngelis connected on a pair of field goals from 13 and 20 yards. Bombers quarterback Max Hall had a career-best outing in his fifth straight and seventh overall start. He was 30-of-50 for 385 yards with one TD and one pick. He led his teammates in a valiant effort at the end. Winnipeg kept Toronto scoreless in the third quarter and upped their own points to 23-10 with Fords one-yard TD run at 5:36 of the third. Hall then put up a nine-play, 94-yard scoring drive that ended with Kohlerts 27-yard TD reception to cut Torontos lead to 23-17 at 5:02 of the fourth quarter. DeAngelis surprised the crowd by completing a successful onside kick and recovered the ball himself at Winnipegs 50-yard line, but the Bombers ended up being forced to punt. Mike Renaud booted a 40-yarder that Chad Owens took, but could only return to Torontos 14-yard line. Toronto punted and Winnipeg tried another comeback from mid-field. Receiver Mike Sims-Walker, a former NFLer with Jacksonville and St. Louis, grabbed a pair of 13-yard passes in his impressive CFL debut and got the Bombers down to Torontos 13-yard line. But on second down with two yards to go, the Bombers committed a huge error as Hall got called for a time-count violation and Winnipeg lost a down. DeAngelis made the 20-yard field goal and closed the gap to 23-20 with 2:05 left in the game. Bombers head coach Tim Burke said the time-count violation had to do with Ford not hearing his blocking assignment and Hall not being comfortable with having the play go ahead. Hall was shaken up by a heavy hit and wasnt available to the media after the game. Following DeAngelis field goal, Ray responded with a 31-yard pass to Jason Barnes and Bombers defensive lineman Greg Peach was flagged for roughing the passer. Waters finished the drive with his 33-yarder with 1:06 remaining. Hall got the Bombers down to Torontos 49-yard line, but a knocked-down pass intended for Cory Watson ended the effort and playoff hopes. Burke pointed to "weird stuff," mistakes and "stupid penalties" as some of the reasons for the loss. An example of an error and oddity occurred late in the second quarter when Watson had what seemed to be a sure TD pass go right through his hands in the end zone. Halls next pass to a wide-open Clarence Denmark in the back of the end zone hit the goal post. The following 26-yard field-goal attempt by DeAngelis was botched when the ball was placed on the tee and fell off, causing holder Renaud to try a pass that went incomplete and turned into a turnover. The gaffes drew boos from the fans. But Burke predicted his players wont downshift gears now that the team is officially out of the playoffs. "Theyll still play hard and theyll still play to win," Burke said. "Weve got guys who are tough guys, that are mentally tough, and theyre going to keep going." Sims-Walker led all receivers with eight receptions for 137 yards. Owens topped Toronto receivers with eight catches for 71 yards. 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Wilson parked his car and laughed while signing autographs for faceless fans who handed bats, balls and cards to the pitcher from the other side of a brick wall.JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Justin Blackmon made a one-handed a catch in the end zone Wednesday, a positive sign for the leagues worst offence. Blackmon returned to practice for the first time since late August. He dropped one pass, but also wowed teammates and coaches with a touchdown grab. "He looked great," quarterback Blaine Gabbert said. "Hes in the best shape Ive seen him in. Hes really worked hard with our strength staff and the trainers to get his body where he wants it to be so he can come in and play right away." Blackmon, the fifth overall pick in the 2012 draft, was allowed to be in meetings during his suspension for violating the leagues substance-abuse policy, but wasnt allowed to practice. He actually returned to the field Tuesday and caught passes from Gabbert for an hour. "It was very frustrating just sitting there watching the team play," Blackmon said. "Im probably more excited than anybody. Im just ready to get it going." The Jaguars (0-4) certainly could use some help. They rank last in the league in total offence, averaging 224 yards a game, and have scored a league-low 31 points. Opponents have stacked the line of scrimmage to take away running back Maurice Jones-Drew and have rolled coverage over top of leading receiver Cecil Shorts III. Shorts has been targeted a league-high 51 times, but has just 26 catches for 337 yardds.dddddddddddd Blackmon caught 64 passes for 865 yards and five touchdowns as a rookie. The Jaguars traded up to select Blackmon last year, but the former Oklahoma State star was arrested three months later and is now one failed test from missing an entire season. Bradley has been impressed with how Blackmon has handled himself since the suspension. "Hes been awesome," said Bradley, adding that the receiver has done everything asked of him in the weight room and in the community. "All of the things that happened for Justin, hes heading in the right direction, so we are optimistic." Jacksonville might have to rely on Blackmon to play considerable snaps Sunday at St. Louis (1-3). Shorts tweaked his groin during walkthrough Wednesday morning and did not practice in the afternoon as a precaution. The Jaguars also were without fellow receivers Mike Brown (back) and Stephen Burton (concussion). So Blackmon was one of just two healthy receivers -- rookie Ace Sanders was the other -- at practice Wednesday. Making matters worse, the team doesnt expect to have tight end Marcedes Lewis available against the Rams. So Blackmon has little choice but to get ready. "Hes a great player and he just adds another dimension to this offence," Gabbert said. "He had a great year last year and hes looking to build off that coming into this week." 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