The Toronto Argonauts cleaned up at the CFL Awards on Thursday night in Niagara Falls after a messy exit in the Eastern Final.
Quarterback Chad Kelly was named the league’s top player and Ryan Dinwiddie was named the coach of the year at the Fallsview Casino and Resort’s Avalon Theatre, while three other Argos picked up awards less than a week after their quest for back-to-back Grey Cup titles ended at BMO Field.
Kelly received the George Reed Most Outstanding Player Award, which the CFL named after the former Saskatchewan Roughriders star who died last month at age 83. The 29-year-old nephew of former Buffalo Bills star Jim Kelly won 15 of 16 starts and threw for 4,123 yards with 23 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. He also ran for 248 yards and eight TDs.
Running back Brady Oliveira of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers was the finalist and picked up the most outstanding Canadian award.
Dinwiddie guided Toronto to a CFL-best 16-2 record this season, which tied the league mark for most regular-season victories while also setting an Argos single-season record. He became the ninth head coach to win division titles in his first three seasons.
Former Argos special teams coach and player Mike O’Shea, who was the coach of the year in 2021 and 2022, was the finalist.
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Other Argos who were honoured included right tackle Dejon Allen, who was named most outstanding offensive lineman for a team that allowed a league-low 19 sacks and helped produce a 1,000-yard season for running back AJ Ouellette.
Kick returner Javon Leake, who led the league in punt-return yards and touchdowns, was named the most outstanding special teams player, while defensive back Qwan’Tez Stiggers won the most outstanding rookie award after recording the second most interceptions (five), including three in his last four games.
The B.C. Lions’ Mathieu Betts rounded out the list of winners as the most outstanding defensive player.
The Grey Cup kicks off Sunday at 6 p.m. with the Montreal Alouettes facing the Winnipeg Blue Bombers at Hamilton’s Tim Hortons Field.
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