Time's up for McMahon

MIKE GANTER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:04 AM ET

Mike McMahon is out. Damon Allen is in and John Avery is back for another start at running back.

The Argonauts, however, even with all of those changes in place through a full 50 minutes of last night's game at the Rogers Centre, still came up short in a 26-13 loss to the Montreal Alouettes.

McMahon, who started the game on a short leash, was back on the bench three Argos series into the game. Few could say he didn't earn the seat.

He made one first down in those three series on the strength of a pair of Avery rushes. He also overthrew Andre Talbot, leading to a Chip Cox interception that would be returned to the Argos 10-yard-line. That quickly became an Alouettes touchdown and a second consecutive rough outing for McMahon was on.

Clemons, who gave McMahon three quarters last week in Calgary, did not feel he could be as patient this week.

"It is what it is and we have to move on," Clemons said. "Damon Allen will be our No. 1 until Michael returns from this point forward."

Five games into the season, and with his Argos now 2-3, Clemons already considers time is against the first-year CFL quarterback.

"I was hoping he was a little more ready than what it turns out at this point," Clemons said. "You can still say this amount of time isn't fair, but we really don't have time to wait around. We have to win football games now."

For his part, McMahon believes he is just a few early completions away from turning things around.

"Right now, it's just a point of me getting comfortable and getting into the rhythm of a game," he said. "If you can get out there and complete a few passes, it makes a world of difference."

McMahon was saying as much all week in practice, but he made just two passing attempts in his three series of plays, neither of them shorter than 20 yards downfield.

So where was the high-percentage pass that would give him that confidence and get him in a bit of a rhythm?

"I don't call the plays," he said simply.

Allen came in and immediately led the Argos on an eight-play, 94-yard scoring drive, culminating in a 12-yard TD pass to Jeff Johnson.

His first play was a 28-yard completion to Derrell Mitchell, giving the veteran slotback the Argos' all-time receiving yardage record.

But Montreal quickly regained momentum, scoring the next nine points to take a 17-7 lead into the second half.

The Argos got it down to 18-13 on a pair of Noel Prefontaine field goals and had one last crack at pulling out a win in the final minutes of the fourth quarter. But the Als defence, as it had most of the night, stood firm and Brad Bratton returned the ensuring punt 79 yards for a game-clinching touchdown.

Allen finished 21-for-31 and 216 yards.

"I thought he did some real good things coming off the bench," Clemons said. "We still have to find a way to score more points ... and I think we're just putting too much pressure on our defence."


Photos