The Argonauts turned over a new page in their franchise record book on Saturday afternoon.
Thanks in part to seven turnovers, the Argos lost 13-12 to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers at the Rogers Centre. And for the first time in their 136-year history, the Argos have lost eight consecutive home games. Toronto has not won at home since last Aug. 1, when they beat Winnipeg.
Justin Medlock had a chance to win the game for the Argos with 26 seconds left, but his 57-yard field-goal attempt hit the upright and bounced away. The Argos had been assessed a 10-yard penalty for illegal procedure, otherwise Medlock would have had a 47-yard attempt.
Medlock made all 11 of his previous 11 field-goal attempts before missing before 23,821.
The Argos and Bombers both sit with 2-3 records in the East Division.
Argos quarterback Kerry Joseph had a rotten day, completing 20 of 32 passes for 219 yards. Joseph threw four interceptions and had one touchdown pass to Chad Lucas.
Former Argos quarterback Michael Bishop, making his first start for Winnipeg, was effective on the Bombers’ first couple of possessions but the Toronto defence then held him in check for the majority of the game.
Bishop was successful on 16 of 30 attempts for 213 yards and one touchdown. Bishop threw one interception.
A 48-yard field goal by Alexis Serna with just over four minutes to play not only represented the Bombers’ first points since the first quarter but also gave the visitors a 13-12 lead.
Toronto had taken a 12-10 lead at 4:10 of the fourth quarter, its first lead of the afternoon, when Medlock booted a 35-yard field goal.
Joseph clicked at times with Lucas. The two hooked up in the second quarter when Lucas got in behind cornerback Jovon Jackson and hauled in a 25-yard pass for a touchdown, completing a drive that started at the Argos’ eight-yard line and took 12 plays.
The Argos got two points when punter Mike Renaud conceded a safety in the third quarter.
Serna gave Winnipeg a 10-0 lead with five minutes left in the first quarter with a 41-yard field goal. The Bombers got possession when the Argos’ Dovonte Edwards fumbled on a kickoff return and Winnipeg took over when Ike Charlton recovered the loose ball.
On the Bombers’ second possession of the game, Bishop directed them down the field with a 89-yard drive that was capped with a 22-yard touchdown strike to Terrence Edwards. Bishop passed for 99 yards on the Bombers’ first two drives alone, easily surpassing the total of 66 yards that three Winnipeg quarterbacks amassed during a loss to Toronto last week.
Argos defensive tackle Adriano Belli was listed on the Argos’ 42-man roster, but in fact did not dress and watched the game in civilian clothes from the Argos bench. Belli has been sidelined with a torn medial collateral ligament in his right knee and did not practise this past week. His place on the defensive line was taken by rookie Etienne Legare, who made his first CFL start.
Among the healthy scratches for the Argos were receivers Reggie McNeal and James Robinson.
The Argos are off until Friday night, when they visit the East Division-leading Montreal Alouettes.