Canadian Football League

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Argos on top of Canadian Football League East

Damon Allen tossed three touchdown passes as the Toronto Argonauts won 22-18 Saturday, handing the Edmonton Eskimos their first home loss of the season.
Toronto Argonauts Chuck Winters (top) takes down Trevor Gaylor during third quarter CFL action in Edmonton against the Eskimos on Saturday. (CP/John Ulan) After a scoreless opening quarter, Allen found slotback Robert Baker, who ran untouched 90 yards down the sidelines for an touchdown on the Argonauts' first possession of the second quarter.
After Allen hit Arland Bruce for an 89-yard score down the left sidelines in the third quarter, the Eskimos fumbled the kickoff and Argos wide receiver Tony Miles scored 2:09 later off Allen's six-yard pass. Allen was limping noticeably on his bruised right ankle following the play.
Argos defensive lineman Robert England also had an interception and sacked Edmonton quarterback Ricky Ray, who threw a pair of interceptions and dealt with a collapsing pocket throughout the night. But the 25-year-old pivot came to life in the fourth quarter with a two-yard scoring plunge and 18-yard touchdown pass to Trevor Gaylor.
Still, Edmonton (5-3) fell to 3-1 at home before 38,927 at Commonwealth Stadium. Toronto improved to 5-3.
The slow-moving first half was no gem. The second quarter featured a badly executed fake punt by the Argos Noel Prefontaine deep in their own end, a poorly thrown Ricky Ray pass on the following possession that fell into England's arms, and a missed 40-yard field goal from Sean Fleming with no time left for a 7-1 Argos lead at the half.
England also stuffed an Edmonton drive late in the third quarter following a seven-yard sack on Ray, who also threw an interception to Argos cornerback Jordan Younger midway through the fourth quarter that sent many of the home fans home.
The Eskimos opened the second-half with a 14-play, 66-yard drive that took 7:18 off
the clock but could only produce a 19-yard Fleming field goal.
Eskimos linebacker Steven Marsh had an open interception on Allen in the third quarter but couldn't hold onto the ball.
The national CBC television broadcast featured only crowd sounds and some detail from the local radio play-by-play crew due to the employee lockout.
Allen, a 42-year-old grandfather who has played 21 CFL seasons and is the defending Grey Cup MVP, entered the game as the Argos rushing leader with 33 carries for 178 yards.
Notes: Edmonton re-signed defensive back Donny Brady, 31, to a two-year contract extension this week. . . . Patrick Kabongo, a 325-pound converted offensive lineman, started at right guard after just three months in his new position. . . . Non-import kicker Hayden Epstein, a former Minnesota Viking and Jacksonville Jaguar, was added to Edmonton's practice roster this week. . . . Allen was also voted the 1993 Grey Cup MVP following Edmonton's 33-23 win over Winnipeg


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