Despite loss, Argos not down

PERRY LEFKO -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 6:58 AM ET

On the seventh day the Argos rested.

Feeling physically and mentally wounded after losing their season opener, the Argos had a scheduled day off yesterday.

They return to practice today to put behind their 27-20 loss to the B.C. Lions on Saturday at the Rogers Centre and focus on playing the Calgary Stampeders this Friday at McMahon Stadium. The Stamps will be well-rested after receiving the bye week in the first week of the season.

"It hurts a little bit because you didn't win the ball game and you had opportunities to win," quarterback Damon Allen said after the loss. "We didn't protect the ball and the things we talked about doing on offence.

"Once we opened it up offensively, especially in the second half, I don't think they had any answers for us. I don't think we attacked them as well as we could have, especially comparing the two halves."

Some of that may have been the Argos trying to figure out the Lions defence under new offensive co-ordinator Dave Ritchie, who mixed things up with different fronts.

The Argos' inability to stop the Lions offence, some of that because of costly penalties that kept drives alive, proved to be their undoing.

"Those are the things we can eliminate and make a difference," Allen said. "We do those things, obviously we give our team a much greater chance of winning and wouldn't be in a situation where we have to come from behind. At one point (all through the third quarter and midway in the fourth) we had all the momentum. They make one good drive and change all the momentum and now they've got you reeling up the hill."

With 1:14 remaining in the game, the Argos made a valiant try but came up short.

"In a lot of ways you're encouraged because it was right in front of us to win and you're discouraged because you lost and you could have controlled some of it and played better in some aspects of it," Allen said.

Head coach Pinball Clemons chalked up some of the loss to it being the first game of the season and many of the starters playing considerably more than in the pre-season.

"There is a little bit of irregularity and some of that is to be expected," he said. "We put ourselves in a position to win the football game and when we do that we have to close it out."

NOTES

Allen had some swelling in his left hand from a hit, but said yesterday it's nothing serious. He has pins in his hand from a previous break and any contact impacts on blood vessels above the pins. It also happened last year.


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