Levingston gives Argos lift

IAN BUSBY -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:11 AM ET

TORONTO -- The Calgary Stampeders' extended road trip ended with two marathon sprints.

It just so happened the one carrying the football was Toronto Argonauts returner Bashir Levingston.

Levingston returned a punt 109 yards for the game-winning touchdown last night and followed that up with an 111-yard missed field goal return as the Argonauts beat the Stampeders 25-16 at Rogers Centre.

On the punt, Levingston picked up the ball around his five, only a few yards from the sidelines. He juked and jived despite a circle of Stampeders around him.

But he kept turning them around in circles and linebacker Brian Clark couldn't believe he was one of the guys who couldn't bring Levingston down on the play.

"He beat us and we had him," said Clark. "On the punt return, we had him. We had the lanes on him and he just kept going down the side.

"That's why he's the best punt returner in the league. He's a guy we knew we had to stop and we didn't. It's all on us."

The loss drops Calgary to 4-5 and the club still hasn't won back-to-back contests since July 11, 2003. Toronto improves to 6-3 and sits atop the East Division standings.

The Stamps return to Calgary today, likely flustered over what could have been an enormously successful 10-night trip through Montreal and Toronto.

During a Calgary comeback in the final minutes, Stamps quarterback Henry Burris tossed a 35-yard bomb to Jeremaine Copeland and the two-point conversion failed.

Calgary got the ball back and lined up for a 54-yard field goal try by Sandro DeAngelis. The rookie missed to the left and Levingston walked around the endzone as if he was going to concede a single before bursting down the sidelines.

DeAngelis has made a 56-yarder this season and felt he got enough of it to go in.

"I knew it was in my range," DeAngelis said. "I would obviously like it a little closer but my job is to make kicks and I didn't do that.

"I felt I hit it well. If I could rate it (out of) 10, I would give it an eight. I actually had a bit of a smile on my face because I thought it was going (in). The last 10 or 15 yards, it lost some steam. I'm upset but, at the same time, I'm going to learn from it."

In a battle of two great passing offences, the defences mostly ruled. Burris went 19-of-35 passing for 251 yards, while Argos quarterback Damon Allen was a little better, going 26-of-35 for 276 yards.

Allen twice fumbled the ball and threw a pair of interceptions. Burris didn't turn the ball over but didn't drive for enough points when the Argos gave him chances

"We've been trying to cut down on our turnovers and we did a good job in this game," Burris said. "When you have another team turning the ball over, you want to take advantage. They took advantage of situations and we didn't."

DeAngelis booted a field goal from 44 yards but also missed from 44. Ken-Yon Rambo pounced on a Joffrey Reynolds fumble in the endzone for the Stamps' other score.

Noel Prefontaine hit the goalpost on an attempt from 51 yards but was good from 24 and also recorded a 57-yard single.

Tony Miles made an amazing grab over the shoulder of defender Coby Rhinehart for a 45-yard TD to tie the game 7-7 in the second quarter.

An odd play helped the Argos take the lead for the first time in the fourth. Allen was picked off by safety Trey Young but, on the return, receiver Robert Baker drilled Young and the ball popped loose. Baker recovered and the Argos kicked a field goal.

Young had a chance to redeem himself later when he was inches away from tackling Levingston on the punt return. The speedy returned slipped through his fingers

"On the punt he scored, I kind of got held up," said a dejected Young. "I should have been able to make the play but didn't."

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TORONTO ARGONAUTS: 25

CALGARY STAMPEDERS: 16


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