Parker on a mission for Argos

ROB LONGLEY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 10:33 AM ET

EDMONTON -- On Friday, Byron Parker almost got bumped from an Air Canada flight taking his Argos to the Alberta capital.

Yesterday, the speedy defensive back helped bounce the Edmonton Eskimos from the playoffs.

With his two interceptions -- including a 75-yard return for a touchdown -- the rocket-quick cornerback set a single-season CFL record.

Parker now has rolled up 342 interception yards surpassing the record set the Eskimos' Eric Carter, who rolled up 300 yards in 2003.

"It was big because it sealed the game for us and that was the main thing I was trying to do," said Parker, who needed some smooth talk from an Argos official to even make it to Edmonton. "If the game is on the line, I'd like it to be in my hands."

Since returning to the Argos after being released by the Dallas Cowboys on Aug. 6, Parker has seven interceptions, four of them for touchdowns.

"He doesn't just make big plays, he makes them at the right time," Argos coach Mike (Pinball) Clemons said. "He's vastly maturing into our most productive defensive and offensive player."

Parker, whose first pick yesterday came in the Argos own end zone, sure seems to have a nose for the other team's when he hits his stride.

"Man, he's the fastest thing on the field," Argos defensive end Eric England said. "We expect him to take it to the house."

Parker's heroics helped erase a rough afternoon for Argos kicker Noel Prefontaine who was nursing a pair of injuries by game's end.

Prefontaine, who missed field-goal attempts from 44 and 41 yards, banged up his right ankle on Thanksgiving Day and hurt his knee on the same leg yesterday.

Given that the injuries are on his planting leg, there is a chance Prefontaine could miss Friday's contest against the Saskatchewan Roughriders at the Rogers Centre.

"I think the biggest thing is taking a few days to see how it feels," Prefontaine said. "You never want to miss a game, but I don't want to put the team in a situation where I am going to hurt their chances."


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