Boatmen hold on for win

PERRY LEFKO -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:34 AM ET

It was going to take more than a foot injury to their most important foot soldier to stop the Argos yesterday.

Quarterback Damon Allen injured his right foot in the third quarter, but the Argos prevailed under backup Michael Bishop to beat the Winnipeg Blue Bombers 34-27 in front of an announced crowd of 27,214 at the Rogers Centre.

The Argos improved their record to 4-2 with their second win in five days to take sole possession of first in the East.

And Allen's injury is not considered anything more than a minor sprain. He expects to be back in the lineup when the team plays its next game, Aug. 12 against the visiting Montreal Alouettes.

Allen had his injured foot examined by the doctors, then had ice applied. He left the sidelines for the locker room late in the fourth quarter, but didn't appear in discomfort afterward.

"I'm just thankful that it's just a strain," he said. "The timing off is perfect. We won this game and now we have five or six days off. I feel I shouldn't be affected by the next game that I play."

Argos head coach Pinball Clemons tried to make light of Allen's injury.

"I think Damon Allen just wanted to be humble," Clemons said. "He just wanted to show the rest of the world that maybe he is somewhat human -- part-human, at least."

Allen had completed 20 of 24 passes, including one for a touchdown to receiver Andre Talbot in the first quarter, and ran for a four-yard touchdown early in the third quarter before he was forced to the sidelines. The injury happened while he was hit by Bombers defensive end Tom Canada.

Bishop, seeing his first regular-season action, entered the game with the Argos ahead 24-13. Winnipeg (1-4) scored a touchdown late in the quarter on a 33-yard pass play from Kevin Glenn to Milt Stegall.

Bishop led the team on a drive in the fourth which resulted in a field goal by Noel Prefontaine, although R. Jay Soward dropped a pass which easily should have resulted in a touchdown two plays before that. Soward made amends about five minutes later when he caught a nine-yard touchdown pass, which combined with a convert gave the Argos a 34-20 lead.

Winnipeg added a touchdown on the final play of the game.

"I was really proud of Michael Bishop and the way he played," Clemons said.

Running back John Avery had a touchdown and kicker Noel Prefontaine added two field goals and four converts.

Winnipeg head coach Jim Daley lamented his team's loss.

"We played a step slower than we have been playing for the past month," he said. "We played like a stale team or a tired team."


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