CALGARY -- The Calgary Stampeders' kicker put the boots to the Argonauts last night, snapping a five-game Toronto win streak.
Sandro DeAngelis, the most impressive thing to come out of Niagara Falls since that large wall of water, was a one-man wrecking crew for the Stamps, nailing six field goals in as many attempts, as Calgary defeated the Argos 39-18, on a beautiful fall evening at McMahon Stadium.
The previous five Toronto wins had come against weaker East Division teams, including three against the hapless Hamilton Tiger-Cats, so last night's loss was a definite wakeup call. The Argos close out the season with four of five games against West Division teams.
"We now have a better understanding of what it takes to beat the best teams in the league," Argos head coach Michael (Pinball) Clemons said.
"For us, it's information. We're going to have to go to another level in order to have a chance to participate in the playoffs and go to any depth in the playoffs.
"Our desire is to make the playoffs and win the Grey Cup," he added. "So we have to figure out how to be the best team in the league, and sometimes you learn more from losing than you do from winning."
DeAngelis stole the show in a contest that was hyped as a battle between big-name running backs, the Stampeders' Joffrey Reynolds and Toronto's Ricky Williams, who played his first game since going down with a broken forearm against Winnipeg on July 8.
REYNOLDS VS. WILLIAMS
Reynolds, the CFL's leading rusher, was the better back on this night, running for 86 yards on 17 carries, and two touchdowns.
Williams, the former Miami Dolphin who is under an NFL drug suspension, responded with 57 yards of his own on 11 carries, but his efforts were wasted as the Argos found themselves in poor field position for much of the game.
Consequently, the Stamps were able to consistently advance into field goal range and DeAngelis held up his end of the bargain, successfully converting all six attempts, including one from 51 yards and two from 49 yards out.
Argos quarterback Damon Allen, who went 18-for-27 and 172 yards in the air, bristled at the suggestion that the team's offence fumbled the ball, so to speak.
"Struggling is when you go two and out the whole game," Allen said. "When you start the game off with bad field position pretty much the whole first half, a 10-play drive gets you at mid-field. Field position in the first half hurt us."
The Argos did fumble the ball three times and we slapped with nine penalties for 72 yards. The loss dropped them to 7-6, while Calgary improved to 9-5, with the two teams meeting again next Saturday at the Rogers Centre.
Toronto scored two touchdowns late in the game, a 37-yard pass from Allen to Arland Bruce with 2:29 left and a Michael Bishop to Bruce toss with 39 tics on the clock. Bruce pulled in five passes for 106 yards, going over the 1,000 yard mark for the second-straight season.
The Stamps took a 12-1 lead at the end of the first half, on the strength of four field goals by DeAngelis running to 12 the number of quarters the Toronto defence had not given up a touchdown.