Posted by: Jeremy | August 15, 2009

Argos let another one get away


Cody Pickett was solid Friday night, but it wasn't enough to get a win (Photo credit: Toronto Argonauts)

Cody Pickett was solid Friday night, but it wasn't enough to get a win (Photo credit: Toronto Argonauts)

For three quarters Friday night, it seemed as though the Argos could do no wrong. Then came the dreaded fourth. Jarious Jackson threw two late touchdown passes to help cut into Toronto’s lead and Sean Whyte gave B.C. their only lead of the game on a nine-yard field goal with eight seconds left to help the Lions beat the Argos 36-28. Ryan Phillips added insult to injury by intercepting Reggie McNeal’s lateral on the game’s last play and returning it for a touchdown.

“We couldn’t stop them in the fourth quarter,” Argos head coach Bart Andrus said after the game. “They were throwing the ball downfield and hitting seams. We just didn’t cover well.”

Toronto lead by as many as 15 in the third quarter, and one of Justin Medlock’s team record-tying seven field goals gave them a 25-14 edge through three. That’s when Jackson, who was pulled at halftime but returned when replacement Travis Lulay was hurt, took over. He connected with Paris Jackson for the second time in the game to cut the Argos’ lead to 25-20, then with rookie Emmanuel Arceneaux after another Medlock field goal. B.C. missed the ensuing two-point conversion but grabbed a 29-28 lead on Whyte’s field goal with seconds remaining.

The loss overshadowed a strong performance by Cody Pickett, named to replace Kerry Joseph’s as Toronto’s starting quarterback earlier in the week. Pickett completed 25-of-40 passes for 326 yards. He connected with McNeal for the Argos’ only touchdown late in the second quarter.

“We moved the ball well,” Pickett said afterward, “but we have to score more touchdowns. We got down there a lot of time, we just need to find a way to get seven.”

Despite the loss, Andrus was pleased with Pickett’s performance.

“I thought Cody played very well,” he said. “I was encouraged by what he did.

“He made a statement,” Andrus added. “He was accurate, didn’t turn the ball over. That was an ideal performance.”

Pickett may have found a favourite receiver in Chad Lucas, who was signed by Toronto on July 28 after being released by the St. Louis Rams. Lucas caught eight passes for 146 yards and made back-to-back catches for 38 and 26 yards, respectively, on the drive that produced the Argos’ only touchdown.

Despite Toronto’s offense stalling short of the end zone several times, the inability of the Argos’ defense to stop B.C.’s second half attack proved to be the difference. Jackson passed for 173 yards and three touchdowns after halftime, and completed a game-saving 13-yard pass to O’Neil Wilson on 3rd & five on B.C.’s final possession.

“The guys played hard but just didn’t get it done,” Andrus said. “I’m encouraged by the way they bounced back from last week but the bottom line is we didn’t finish.”

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