Runs which defy logic

STEVE SIMMONS -- Toronto

, Last Updated: 7:33 AM ET

The longest touchdown run in Canadian Football League history will not be recorded as such.

The official record will show that Bashir Levingston scored on a 111-yard return of an illogical field-goal attempt in a game the Argos had no business winning but did.

The official record, in this case, is a liar.

"First he caught the thing," Argos coach Pinball Clemons said, "and he was five yards deep in the end zone. Then he went back 15. Then he went forward for 20. Then he went across the end zone for about 15 one way and went across the end zone about 30 the other way.

"How many is that? I figure he has run about 90 yards and he's not even out of the end zone yet. Then he runs another 110 for the touchdown -- and he stops to pick up a block and take a rest along the way.

"How many yards is all that? It's got to be 200 easy. I mean, 200 yards man. Great return men make great plays but that one was crazy. That physically defied logic.

"And so did the other one."

Ah yes, the other one. Bashir Levingston has been waiting all season for one and last night he wound up with two. One punt return for a score. One missed field-goal return for a score. One victory for the Argos.

All in a days work.

"The two plays," Clemons said, "were schematically dysfunctional" and maybe no words better describe the relationship between Bashir Levingston and the Argonauts than that.

He is that skilled and sometimes that erratic. He was a 100- and 200-metre sprinter and needed to be both of them last night. He can make his coach happy and crazy all in the same play and in the final minute last night, with the Argos only ahead because of Stampeder stupidity, Levingston went out on to the field with clear instructions.

"I told him not to take any chances," Clemons said. "He told me if he was trapped, he could run out of the back of the end zone.

"I chose to believe him."

Levingston ran to the back of the end zone, then the side. It was then Clemons closed his eyes. Then Levingston ran all the way down the sidelines until he almost ran out of breath.

"I needed a break so I waited for my blocking," Levingston said. "I figured if those guys were down there I might as well let them do their jobs.

"Besides, I wasn't about to let the kicker get me."

So the Argos won 25-16 against Calgary, scored just one touchdown on offence, looked sluggish, all except for the two touchdown runs by Levingston and his 345 yards of personal offence.

This from a guy who has been waiting all year to do something -- and is hardly known for his patience.

"I keep track of what's going on around the league and I count what's going on everywhere else," Levingston said. "I know when Ezra (Landry) gets one and I know when (Keith) Stokes gets one. And I was getting frustrated -- how come they're kicking out of bounds to me but not to them? I wanted to do some of mine."

His second return will be replayed over and over again. And on his first score, even he couldn't explain exactly what happened.

"I didn't have any room," he said. "They had us covered pretty well. A guy was grabbing my leg and I got by him. Another guy was there and I didn't really have any room and I got by him. Then all I had to do was outrun everybody."

That has always been the easy part for Levingston. Outrunning everybody. Not always in the right direction. Not always with the coach's intentions in mind.

So where does this night rank with the best of Bashir Levingston, who now has scored 13 touchdowns as an Argo, all of them on return plays.

"I don't know," he said. "I just score them. I don't remember them."


Videos

Photos