Tate, Stamps dropped in T.O.

Calgary Stampeders quarterback Drew Tate grabs his left arm as he is attended to by trainers after...

Calgary Stampeders quarterback Drew Tate grabs his left arm as he is attended to by trainers after being injured during the first half of their CFL football game against the Toronto Argonauts in Toronto July 7, 2012. (Mike Cassese/REUTERS)

WES GILBERTSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:49 PM ET

CALGARY - TORONTO — Just when you thought the Calgary Stampeders’ fortunes in Toronto couldn’t get any worse …

This time, they lost the game and their starting quarterback.

Drew Tate suffered a dislocated left shoulder injury after slipping to the turf in the first quarter of Saturday’s 39-36 CFL setback against the Toronto Argonauts at Rogers Centre and — after getting cut out of his No. 4 jersey — watched the remainder of the contest with his non-throwing arm in a sling.

“It didn’t look good. I didn’t know the extent of the injury, but, at the same time, I could hear him. We’ll just leave it at that,” said Stamps backup quarterback Kevin Glenn. “I knew it was something because Drew wasn’t getting up, and he’s a tough guy.”

While the Stamps’ next stop on their extended road-trip is Kingston, Ont., Tate will now return to Calgary for treatment, and Glenn will be at the controls for Thursday’s clash with the Montreal Alouettes.

Tate also suffered a dislocated left shoulder in the final pre-season tuneup last summer and missed five games as a result.

It was at Rogers Centre last October that he swiped the starting job from since-departed Henry Burris, but the 27-year-old Texan tossed only six passes during Saturday’s matinee — including a four-yard touchdown strike to Rob Cote — before leaving the field in agony.

There was more bad news in the second quarter, when Stamps defensive halfback Brandon Smith — one of the top cover guys in the CFL — left the game with a sprained knee.

To his credit, Glenn sparked a second-half comeback with two touchdown passes to slotback Nik Lewis before Argos kicker Noel Prefontaine broke the tie with a last-second field goal.

The backup quarterback actually cobbled together a pretty impressive stat line, finishing 15-of-19 for 172 yards through the air. The 33-year-old was also intercepted twice and fumbled on a sack by former Stamps linebacker Brandon Isaac.

“A loss is a loss to me — I’m not into that moral victory stuff,” Glenn said. “It doesn’t matter how you lose — you never want to lose. To me, it really doesn’t matter whether you lose big or you lose little. It’s a loss, and that’s something that you don’t want.”

It’s hard to imagine celebrating after witnessing an injury to their starting quarterback, but the Stamps almost pulled off an improbable comeback after digging a 15-point deficit in the third quarter.

Speedster Larry Taylor returned a missed field goal 125 yards for a touchdown early in the fourth quarter, and the out-of-towners were successful on a two-point convert to even the score at 29-29. Then, Glenn and Lewis hooked up on a 25-yard major to tie it up again — 36-36, this time — with 1:15 remaining on the clock.

That proved to be too much time, as former Edmonton Eskimos quarterback Ricky Ray marched the hosts into field-goal range and Noel Prefontaine split the uprights from 28 yards away to send most of the 20,682 fans home happy.

One guy who’s not headed home happy is Tate.

“I’m pretty disappointed, but the way our team responded after all that, after a lot of negative things had happened in the game to us? That just shows the character on this team,” Tate said. “I wouldn’t want to play with anybody else — I’ll tell you that. These guys really played well, given everything that happened.”

Hard to believe, but the Argos have now won three straight meetings with the Stamps on last-minute field goals. The crew from Calgary has also lost three in a row and 10 of their past dozen at Rogers Centre.

“It’s another tough loss in a tough place for Calgary,” Lewis said. “We gave ourselves a chance to win at the end of the game — we just didn’t get it done. Offensively, defensively, special teams … We just didn’t get it done.”

The Red & White’s other touchdown was courtesy of safety Eric Fraser, who picked off a tipped pass in the first quarter and returned it 61 yards to the endzone.

Ray, the former Edmonton Eskimos quarterback, had another solid day against the Stamps defence, going 30-for-40 for 407 yards. He tossed two touchdowns to rookie receiver Dontrelle Inman and was also intercepted twice.

Running back Cory Boyd also scored for the Argos on a five-yard dash, while Prefontaine booted six field goals on eight tries.

Stamps kicker Rene Paredes missed a 51-yard prayer at the halftime buzzer.

wes.gilbertson@sunmedia.ca

On Twitter: @SUNGilbertson


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