Andrew Harris’ return powers Toronto Argonauts to 109th Grey Cup berth

Photo: Matthew Johnson/3DownNation. All rights reserved.

The Toronto Argonauts are headed to the 109th Grey Cup, riding a two-headed backfield monster to a 34-27 victory over the Montreal Alouettes in the East Final.

In his first game back from a torn pectoral muscle suffered in Week 10, veteran Canadian running back Andrew Harris scored the game’s opening points on his team’s first drive after starter A.J. Ouellette set him up with a 46-yard reception. The American added his own touchdown on the next drive, as the Argos rocketed out of the gates.

Harris finished with nine carries for 42 yards and added a 30-yard reception to advance to the CFL championship for the third straight year. Ouellette chipped in with six carries for 38 yards while making two catches for 53 yards.

Toronto jumped out to a 21-3 lead in the second quarter when short-yardage quarterback Chad Kelly found a wide-open DaVaris Daniels for a 45-yard touchdown on a fake QB sneak and never took their foot off the gas. McLeod Bethel-Thompson completed 19-of-27 passes for 299 yards and two touchdowns, finding Canadian Kurleigh Gittens Jr. for a 32-yard clincher in the fourth quarter.

The Alouettes received their biggest boost from rookie Tyson Philpot, who hauled in all eight passes thrown his way for 127 yards and a touchdown. They clawed to within a score after running back William Stanback rattled off a 52-yard touchdown run to begin the second half but never got over the hump.

Needing a stop on second-and-eleven with a minute remaining in the game, the Montreal defence succeeded in swarming Andrew Harris in the backfield. However, defensive end Mike Moore got his hand up high and was called for a facemask penalty, allowing Toronto to kill the rest of the clock.

The Argos will now take on the West Division champions for the Grey Cup title on November 20 in Regina, having the unique distinction of winning each of their past eight appearances in the big game.