Rookie's TD a slam dunk

MIKE KOREEN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:47 AM ET

MONTREAL -- It was a wacky and wonderful CFL debut for Byron Parker.

The Argos rookie defensive back, who started playing football just two years ago when he made the Tulane college team as a walk-on, lined up as a receiver on one play and caught a 42-yard touchdown pass from Damon Allen, helping Toronto beat the Montreal Alouettes 36-24.

"Oh man, it's a blessing," Parker said after scoring his first touchdown in his short football history. "First pro touchdown, it's amazing. It was a lot of fun. I really, really enjoyed it. I guess the coaches have a lot of faith in me, which I appreciate.

Parker, a basketball standout in college and the 2003 NCAA slam dunk champion, dressed as a backup defensive back last night, but had taken some reps as a receiver in practice.

Lined up against Als linebacker Duane Butler on the big play late in the first half last night, the speedy Parker blew by Butler and caught the well-thrown ball.

"(Offensive co-ordinator) Kent Austin said if I'm against a linebacker, I should be licking my chops," said Parker, who attended training camp with the Jacksonville Jaguars last year. "Once I saw him line up out there, I was like 'Oh, I'm gone.' "

Coach Pinball Clemons gave Austin credit for calling the play.

"I actually drew up the play earlier in the week, but I didn't decide to make it happen," he said. "I came up with the idea with coach Austin and he refined it and he chose the time to call it and execute it. Damon executed it perfectly."

Parker, meanwhile, doesn't care where he plays.

"I'm working on defence, but whatever I can do to help the team (is what he wants to do)," he said.


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