Bo-Levi Mitchell and the Stamps Decimate Toronto in Week 2 CFL Action

Calgary (41) Toronto (7) Final

By: Gordon Brown

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Week 2

Two weeks, two losses—a tragic tale that describes the beginning of Toronto’s 2018 CFL season as the defending Grey Cup Champions. 

Saturday marked Week 2 of the gruelling 20-week-long campaign and Toronto was set to host the same team they defeated to capture their franchise’s league-leading 17th Grey Cup, as Calgary was in town for a rematch of that narrow 27-24 decision last fall. 

The Argonauts saw their championship banner raised to the rafters in eternal glory to commemorate that incredible run last November. It was their home opener after all. Despite all of the excitement, Toronto failed to deliver a winning product on the field for a second-week in-a-row and are now at-risk of falling behind within the divisional standings.

Calgary remains a West Division powerhouse with no signs of slowing down just yet—it also appears QB Bo-Levi Mitchell has found another level in his performance early on in the year.

It happened all-too-fast for the Argos, who were far too complacent to begin this contest. The Stampeders scored early and often to drain the home crowd out of emotion, which only helped their cause. By halftime, Calgary owned a healthy 20-1 advantage and no intentions of slowing down. 

Matters only got worse for Toronto as the night went on, their misfortunes were highlighted by a frightening injury to starting quarterback, Ricky Ray. The 38-year-old veteran was carted off the field after sustaining a direct hit to the head by DE Cordarro Law. No further update has been given concerning Ray’s health as of yet. 

As a result, several physical scrums erupted and the officials were forced to step in.

James Franklin had to step into the Argonauts starter’s role for the time being and will continue to do so for the unforeseen future. Toronto managed to get on the board thanks to their young and capable backup, however, it was far too little, far too late at this point. 

Franklin managed to post just 65-yards on 8/13 completions for a 61.5% success rate, while also rushing for a touchdown. The 10-yard scramble came on Toronto’s very last possession series of the game.

On the other hand, Bo-Levi Mitchell outshined the opposition in every respect—completing 20/22 passes (90.9%) for 324-yards, 3 touchdowns, and zero interceptions. A truly remarkable stat line. When it was all said and done, the Stampeders had dominated the home team by a final score of 41-7 and extracted the desired revenge for their loss in the 2017 Grey Cup. 

Eric Rogers hauled in 5 catches for 131-yards, including a pair of touchdown receptions, to lead the way in the air for his Stampeders. Likewise, DaVaris Daniels trailed slightly behind but still picked up 4 receptions for 76-yards and a touchdown. 

It should be a long two weeks of practice for Toronto, considering they have a bye in Week 3 before hosting Edmonton the following Saturday, July 7th. Truthfully, there could not be a much worse time for a bye after this kind of start to the regular season.

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E-mail - gordon@BarnBurner.ca 

On Twitter - @GordBrown_  

Photo Credit: @CFL