Hard marking

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON

, Last Updated: 9:15 AM ET

TORONTO -- The Edmonton Eskimos rookie quarterback didn't exactly give himself a glowing grade in his first CFL regular-season start yesterday - even though he was facing the top defence in the league that was constantly playing with a lead.

"It was rough," said LeFors after the 33-8 loss to the Argos at Rogers Centre.

"It started out real slow.

"As the game went on, I felt like we were doing some good things.

"But we weren't finishing or (we were) throwing interceptions. We can't do that."

What LeFors didn't do was blame his receivers for dropping balls - but he easily could have.

While the lefty's official stat line isn't real pretty - 15-29 passing for 139 yards with two interceptions and one touchdown - he should have been credited with two deep balls to Trevor Gaylor and Andrew Nowacki.

Both players had the ball hit them right on target, but both watched the ball drop to the artificial turf.

In each case, Edmonton would have been in prime scoring position with a completion.

"It is not like we are asking something out of the ordinary. Just go up and catch the ball with your hands," said Edmonton head coach Danny Maciocia.

Added Gaylor: "We should have caught more balls - including me.

"You got to help (the quarterback) out."

After a very rough beginning - when LeFors was sacked twice in the opening three possessions and generated 13 yards in total offence - he settled down to move the chains.

"I am very proud of the way he bounced back in the second half," said Maciocia. "He came out and made some throws, we just didn't make any plays offensively.

"I think at times we let him down. If we are going to get it done, it is going to take a collective effort.

"It's not going to be on the arm of No. 17."

Although Steven Jyles came into the game very late yesterday, LeFors will start Saturday against the B.C. Lions.

FINISH LINES: Defensive back Jason Goss will be watched very closely by the Eskimo medical staff for the rest of the long weekend after taking a massive hit from teammate J.R. LaRose late in the fourth quarter.

On Tony Miles' 42-yard TD catch, LaRose accidentally smashed into Goss - leaving him motionless on the turf.

"I couldn't move at all," said Goss after the game.

"They asked me if I could roll over and I tried and I couldn't even budge."

The fear is Goss could have suffered a spleen injury if he begins to suffer stomach pain. There is also the possibility of cracked ribs.


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