Botched effort

PERRY LEFKO -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:49 AM ET

There's an old axiom in football that turnovers will kill you, but more and more it's turnovers and penalties for the Argos.

The Argos gave the latest example of this trend yesterday in a 17-13 loss to the Edmonton Eskimos in front of a season-high crowd of 34,116 at the Rogers Centre.

The loss combined with the Montreal Alouettes' 38-34 victory over the Saskatchewan Roughriders on Saturday has the two teams tied for first place in the East Division at 8-6.

Edmonton, meanwhile, moved into sole possession of second place in the West .

The Argos turned the ball over too many times and killed other drives with costly penalties. Trailing 17-10 in the fourth quarter, the Argos had a touchdown called back because of an illegal procedure call and had to settle for a field goal.

They appeared to be moving toward a scoring chance late in the final quarter, but receiver Robert Baker fumbled trying to make extra yards. Edmonton didn't relinquish the ball thereafter.

"If we don't have those (mistakes) I think it's a blowout," running back John Avery said. "But we didn't execute and go home with a loss."

Avery fumbled in the third quarter after a 26-yard run when Eskimos defensive lineman Charles Alston literally punched the ball out of the Argos' grasp. The game was 10-10 at that point, but Edmonton scored a touchdown on the ensuing series.

Argos head coach Pinball Clemons gave credit to the Eskimos, but also said his team simply beat itself.

"We've got to stop stopping ourselves. That was the biggest part of it," Clemons said. "They did some things to challenge us, but maybe not as much as we challenged ourselves."

The Argos opened the scoring in the first quarter when quarterback Damon Allen hooked up with receiver Arland Bruce on a 70-yard play. Edmonton tied the game on the final play of the quarter on a 67-yard punt return by Tony Tompkins.

The Argos committed their first turnover early in the second quarter when defensive back Shannon Garrett picked off an Allen pass intended for Bruce in the end zone.

The Argos defence held, and late in the quarter forced Edmonton into giving up a safety. But the Argos squandered a potential scoring chance on their series by taking penalties.

After giving up a point on a missed field goal in the third quarter to trail 10-7, Edmonton tied the game on a field goal and took the lead on the touchdown after Avery's fumble.

Avery's chance for redemption with a seven-yard touchdown run in the fourth was negated by the procedure call. And the chance to possibly score the go-ahead touchdown ended when Eskimos safety Kelly Wiltshire stripped Baker of the ball at Edmonton's 26-yard line.

"We didn't have problems moving the ball and getting down (into Edmonton's end), but when we got there that's when our turnovers started -- the turnovers and also penalties," Allen said.


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