Argos put lickin' on Stamps

Argos quarterback Michael Bishop is tackled by Joey Boese of the Calgary Stampeders during CFL...

Argos quarterback Michael Bishop is tackled by Joey Boese of the Calgary Stampeders during CFL action at the SkyDome Wednesday night. (Toronto Sun/Alex Urosevic)

PERRY LEFKO -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:49 AM ET

The Argos pulled the welcome mat out from under Matt Dunigan last night at the SkyDome.

Playing on only four days rest, the Argos beat the hapless Stamps 49-24 in front of an announced crowd of 22,429.

The Argos improved to 8-5-1 and six points ahead of Hamilton, which is third in the East, but have a game in hand.

The Stamps, who came into the game fresh off a 22-21 win over B.C. last Friday, dropped to 3-12, the worst record in the CFL.

It was the latest humbling moment for Dunigan, the former Argos great who is in his first year as general manager/head coach of the Stamps.

The two teams play again on Oct. 16 at McMahon Stadium.

Argos head coach Pinball Clemons had grave concerns heading into last night that the Stamps had an advantage because they were coming off a win, had one more day of practice than Toronto and were starting a rookie quarterback, Mike Souza, for the first time.

But the Argos scored touchdowns on their first two series and produced six turnovers in the first half, in which they led 35-17. Stamps running back Joffrey Reynolds fumbled on Calgary's first play, although his knee appeared to hit the ground before the ball became dislodged by Argos linebacker Mike O'Shea. He had an interception later in the quarter.

"It was very important to get off to a quick start," said cornerback Adrion Smith, who picked off Souza inside the final minute of the half. "We didn't know what we were going to see. We had only a day to prepare for them, and because we hadn't played them previously we had no idea what they would do.

"And they played a quarterback that hasn't had many snaps this year, so the offence was totally different from what we expected them to do.

"We had to make a lot of adjustments on the run and were fortunate to get some turnovers early, which kind of got them down."

Running back John Avery led the Argos with two touchdowns on the ground. Seldom-used running back John Williams added a touchdown on a 12-yard scamper with 22 seconds left in the game.

Receivers Arland Bruce, R. Jay Soward and Andre Rison had touchdown catches.

Rison hauled in a one-handed reception with his body turned sideways. While replays appeared to show the ball hit the ground before Rison had full control, he insisted otherwise.

"I made a hell of a catch," he said.

Bashir Levingston, who returned to the lineup following a five-game absence with hamstring problems, scored a touchdown on an 85-yard punt return. He broke the team record of his current coach, Pinball Clemons, with his ninth career touchdown return.

"It's a real deep satisfaction that you get out of watching him do what he does," Clemons said. "Breaking my record was like breathing. This guy will have two, maybe three times that by the time he retires. He's only just begun."

Quarterback Michael Bishop, in his fifth consecutive start, hit on 10 of 18 passes, including three touchdowns, for 157 yards. He completed his first six passes.


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