Stampeders get even

MIKE GANTER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 7:08 AM ET

CALGARY -- The Argonauts looked very much like a football team missing their starting quarterback and their two leading receivers.

And based on last night's efforts from quarterback Mike McMahon, starting in place of the injured Michael Bishop, there is a very real possibility that when the Argos take on the Montreal Alouettes Thursday, it will be behind Damon Allen.

In the wake of their 33-10 loss to the Stampeders, coach Mike (Pinball) Clemons said he would have to watch the game film and assess the performances before making the call. He did say, however, that next week's starting job certainly was up for grabs again.

"Right now, we will watch the film and see what the film tells us," Clemons said. "That's the most prudent thing. We tried to be patient and tried to give (Mike) an opportunity to work through and make some plays and win the game or at least get some rhythm going. It just didn't work out so we thought it necessary with the game still within two touchdowns to give Damon a chance to see if he could get anything going."

McMahon played the first three quarters and finished the evening with six completions in 18 attempts for 58 yards. He led the Argos on one scoring drive in that time, a 10-play 60-yard effort that resulted in a Noel Prefontaine 30-yard field goal. That made the score 13-3 and it was as close as the Argos would get.

Allen came on in the fourth quarter and engineered a touchdown drive on the final series of the game. It ended with a 29-yard touchdown to rookie Canadian receiver Obed Cetoute, the first of his career in his first CFL start.

Allen finished the game 8-for-14 for 128 yards.

Clemons said he came into the game looking to give McMahon every opportunity but after three quarters and down two scores, he felt he had to give Allen a chance to do his thing.

"We're trying to develop a quarterback and with that we felt we did the right thing to try to bring him along," Clemons said of leaving McMahon in for three quarters instead of making the change at the half.

"I'm telling guys all the time that people are mostly too impatient to be smart so it's imperative that we continue to work toward it. It's painful sometimes as you're going through it and it's painful for me too, but it's part of the process that we have to go through to truly see what we have."

The absence of the Argos leading receivers Arland Bruce III and Tony Miles, who are both home tending to injuries -- cannot be discounted either as McMahon's performance is assessed.

Even Allen admitted that without Bruce and Miles in the lineup, the Stampeders were able to be in a full-press mode for most of the night knowing there really wasn't a deep threat.

The Stampeders, who were coming off back-to-back poundings from the Argos last week and the Saskatchewan Roughriders earlier, had to make a better showing and did just that. McMahon was very much aware of that.

"Right now I know it seemed like we were on our heels from the very beginning," McMahon said. "We had absolutely no rhythm. And Calgary just fed off that. They did a nice job defensively. When we did start to get something , we had some penalties or did something stupid so we never got into any rhythm."

The only question now is whether last night's outcome cost him his starting job.\


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