Argos snap losing skid in 1st game since front office shuffle

McLeod Bethel-Thompson threw two touchdown passes as the Toronto Argonauts held on for a 28-21 home win over the Ottawa Redblacks to snap a three-game losing streak Friday night.

Pinball Clemons was named GM on Tuesday; Redblacks stumble to 8th-straight loss

Toronto Argonauts running back Chris Rainey (2) runs the ball during first half action against the Ottawa Redblacks in Toronto on Friday. (Christopher Katsarov/Canadian Press)

Facing the Ottawa Redblacks agrees with McLeod Bethel-Thompson.

Bethel-Thompson threw two touchdown passes as Toronto (3-12) snapped a three-game losing streak with a 28-21 home win over Ottawa (3-12) on Friday night. It was the Argonauts' second straight win over the Redblacks and marked the third time Bethel-Thompson has led the Double Blue past their East Division rival.

Bethel-Thompson threw for 411 yards and three TDs in a 46-17 victory in Ottawa on Sept. 7. And in his first CFL start Aug. 2, 2018, Bethel-Thompson had 302 yards passing with four TDs in rallying Toronto to a thrilling 42-41 home victory over Ottawa.

On Friday night, Bethel-Thompson finished 27-of-36 passing for 300 yards and has a CFL-best 22 touchdown passes this season.

"I don't know if it was my best tonight," Bethel-Thompson said. "The second half we kind of let the rope go a little bit, especially me.

"There's a lot to get better at but it's always good to get a win. Winning is the best deodorant."

Bethel-Thompson is in his second stint this season as Toronto's starter. He opened 2019 as James Franklin's backup but compiled a 2-8 record after Franklin suffered a hamstring injury.

WATCH | Argos down Redblacks in Week 18 action:

S.J. Green became the 18th player in CFL history to record over 10,000 receiving yards in the Toronto Argonauts 28-21 win over the Ottawa Redblacks 2:20

Bethel-Thompson returned as the Argos' starter Friday after they lost two games with Franklin under centre.

"Mac's a warrior ... and not many guys can handle that," Toronto head coach Corey Chamblin said. "There are times when Mac knows he gets in his own way and he's hard on himself when that does happen.

"I think he's becoming one [a starter]. I think he's taking steps to do that. Is he legitimate yet? We'll see the next couple of games."

The Argos had already been eliminated from the CFL playoffs. They delighted an announced BMO Field gathering of 10,368 by handing Ottawa an eighth straight loss and quashing its post-season aspirations.

"It's just frustrating, the losing," said Ottawa head coach Rick Campbell. "To see what our record is, I'm definitely disappointed we're in the position we're in."

Historic night for Argos' Green

It was a historic night for Toronto receiver S.J. Green. The 13-year veteran finished with 10 receptions for 170 yards to crack both 700-catch and 10,000-yard plateaus, becoming the 14th and 18th player, respectively, to achieve those milestones.

"He's such a great player but he's a better man," Bethel-Thompson said of Green. "The closer you get to S.J. the closer you get to greatness."

Chamblin agreed.

"For him to reach a milestone like that, to have guys see it and have a win is huge," Chamblin said. "There's a lot of young guys in that locker room, a lot of guys whose career is still growing.

"To see the consistency you have to have on a game-by-game basis, on a day-by-day basis to become one of those Hall of Fame players is huge."

Toronto was victorious in its first game since the front-office shuffle that saw Mike (Pinball) Clemons replace Jim Popp as general manager Tuesday.