Argos season going awry

ROB LONGLEY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:28 AM ET

With all that has gone wrong with the Argos this rapidly wasting CFL season, it would be easy to reach for excuses.

Kicker Noel Prefontaine won't go down that road, however.

After falling to 2-5 with a 24-13 loss to the Saskatchewan roughriders on Friday night at the Rogers Centre, the veteran says his teammates will have to respond to the growing adversity.

"I think there's a tremendous amount of work to be done," Prefontaine said. "You never want to have yourself in the position we are in after the first third of the season."

Particularly banged- up on offence, the Argos were relegated to their fourth starting quarterback on Friday and at least their third featured running back.

But Rocky Butler and Dominique Dorsey respectively did more than hold up their end of the bargain in a disturbing fourth consecutive loss.

The Argos have the same record they had a year ago, but that team rallied by rattling off seven consecutive wins before narrowly missing out on first place in the East Division.

Now, playing in the Grey Cup at their home stadium seems a distant goal. With Hamilton nipping at their heels and Winnipeg and Montreal starting to open up ahead, just making the post-season will be a challenge for the Boatmen.

"We didn't anticipate starting out this way," Prefontaine said. "We can't think about last year. This is a totally different team. Is it possible? Absolutely. But we have to find a way to get it right."

The latest loss was marred with some uncharacteristic flaws on defence and special teams, two areas that recently have been strengths.

Saskatchewan head coach Kent Austin and offensive assistant Paul LaPolice, who were both on the Argos staff in 2006, found ways to exploit the Toronto defence for just enough big plays.

"When you are in this kind of a situation, it seems guys take turns making mistakes," frustrated Argos coach Mike (Pinball) Clemons said. "A lot of times, it's veteran guys you rely on. In the situation we are in with our fourth quarterback, those are the kinds of things that kill you."

If there is a positive, it is that the Argos have some time to get healthier.

On the other hand, when the break is over, the Argos will face a crucial three-game run against divisional opponents.

They'll start a week from Friday at Winnipeg before the traditional home-and-home early-September series against the Tiger-Cats.

"We're going to go into the bye week with some time to deal with it," Prefontaine said.

"Hopefully when we come back, it's going to be a new attitude and a new football team."


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