Posted by: Jeremy | October 17, 2009

Argos’ playoff hopes officially fade with loss to Esks

Arkee Whitlock ran wild on the Argos Friday, picking up 145 yards and scoring twice

Arkee Whitlock ran wild on the Argos Friday, picking up 145 yards and scoring twice

Even in his wildest dreams, Kerry Joseph never imagined his tenure in Toronto would go quite like this. The Argos fell to 3-12 and were officially bounced from the playoff hunt for the second straight season with a 22-19 loss to the Edmonton Eskimos Friday at Rogers Centre.

“When I was traded here, I knew it was a good organization,” Joseph said after the game. “But missing the playoffs two years in a row? No, I never would’ve thought that.”

Joseph, who was dealt to Toronto after winning the Grey Cup with Saskatchewan in 2007, passed for 331 yards, though almost half came in a late fourth quarter push that fell short. After a 53-yard touchdown run by Arkee Whitlock gave Edmonton a 22-12 edge with just under six minutes remaining, Joseph led a 102-yard scoring drive, finishing with a two-yard strike to Jeff Johnson — the Argos’ first passing touchdown in seven games. After a defensive stop, Toronto got the ball back deep in its own territory in the final minute but wasn’t able to get into field goal range.

“We had our chances and didn’t convert,” Argos head coach Bart Andrus said. “Our effort was there, but we’re just not finishing.”

The Argos led 9-8 at halftime on the strength of three Justin Medlock field goals, but three second half turnovers was enough to swing the game in Edmonton’s favour. The most costly mistake was a fumbled punt by Jeremy Carter late in the third, giving the Eskimos possession on the Toronto four-yard line. Whitlock ran it in on the following play.

The Argos’ defense also fell victim to the big play — a couple, to be precise. Aside from Whitlock’s late run, Ricky Ray found Fred Stamps for a 63-yard touchdown in the first quarter, killing any momentum Toronto may have picked up following a Willie Pile interception on Edmonton’s opening drive.

“It has to get fixed,” defensive end Jonathan Brown joked afterward, “or they’re going to fire everybody in this room.

“All you can do is come back next week at practice ready to go,” he added. “Everybody knows we’re not playing the way we should. Hopefully we can turn it around and get it going.”

The loss officially eliminates Toronto from playoff contention, meaning Andrus can move forward with 2010 in mind. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s mailing this season in with three games to go.

“We’re going to continue to try to win games,” Andrus said. “They put it on the tee — we’re going to play to win. That’s the name of the game.

“We’re not going to go into preseason mode. We’re going to continue to prepare for the games on our schedule.”



  1. […] Argos hung tough with the Eskimos last time out at Rogers Centre, falling 22-19 two weeks ago. Following home tradition this season, Toronto held a halftime lead, then saw it slip away and had […]

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