Self-destructive

RANDY SPORTAK, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 12:44 PM ET

CALGARY -- The final play of the third quarter was a fumble recovery for a Stampeders touchdown.

A few minutes later, a Kerry Joseph pass which was intercepted ended up going the other way for a major, too.

If last night's clash was a chance for the Argonauts to see how they stack up against an elite team in the CFL it's back to the drawing board.

The Calgary Stampeders have yet to look like the squad that won last year's Grey Cup, but they took advantage of a pair of turnovers seemingly in the blink of an eye in a 44-9 victory over the Argos.

"That's ugly, 44-9," veteran wide receiver Arland Bruce said. "That's not Argo football. It's a bad loss. All we can do is regroup and bounce back. That's it."

Toronto was still in the game and threatening to pull close late in third quarter when a wildcat formation play went awry in the worst way possible, and started the spiral out of control.

The razzle-dazzle reverse play eventually put the ball back in Joseph's hands, and the Argos quarterback was readying to pass when Calgary's Dwaine Carpenter knocked it loose and returned the fumble 55 yards for a touchdown.

HOPES DASHED

The next series pretty much dashed any hopes for the Argos, who have dropped two in a row after opening the series with a win over Hamilton.

Joseph's long-bomb went just off the fingers of Bruce and right to Dwight Anderson. The Calgary cornerback went nearly untouched in his 55-yard run to the end zone.

And to rub a little extra salt in the wound, Joseph handed the Stamps another touchdown late in the fourth when he underthrew his receiver down the sideline, had the ball picked off by Brandon Browner and watched it run back for Calgary's third defensive score of the second half.

It was the last of six turnovers for the Boatmen on the night.

"Everything went wrong," Joseph said. "They got the breaks. We lost a lot of people (to injuries). But there is no excuse. We have to be better. You have to give them credit because they wanted it more. They were better."

"We were trying to come up with things, and what you saw was poor execution all the way around," coach Bart Andrus added.

"We turned it over at the wrong times. You can't turn over the ball and win games. That's the single biggest statistic that you have that will determine the outcome of the game. If you win the turnover battle, you'll win 90% of the games, regardless of anything else."

Trips to Calgary haven't been kind to the Argos for the past few seasons, but with the Stampeders struggling out of the gate to start the season, it was a chance to change those fortunes.

And when Stampeders receiver Nik Lewis fumbled at midfield on the opening drive, the opportunity to take first blood was right there.

A stream of penalties -- a bugaboo that head coach Bart Andrus spent the week addressing -- killed the drive.

Still, the Argos were in the game at halftime thanks to a trio of Justin Medlock field goals.

But once Joffrey Reynolds scored his second touchdown of the game midway through the third quarter, the Stampeders were on the verge of pulling away.

Sandro DeAngelis kicked three field goals for Calgary.

RANDY.SPORTAK@SUNMEDIA.CA


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