Rough ride for Joseph

TERRY KOSHAN -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:28 AM ET

REGINA -- The love that Saskatchewan Roughriders fans had for Kerry Joseph officially has been lost.

Cheered initially by the 28,800 members of Rider Pride that packed themselves into Mosaic Stadium last night, Joseph heard a smattering of boos when he entered the game for his first snap. By the third quarter, the green throng took to derisively chanting 'Kerry, Kerry.'

No, Joseph, who was the 2007 CFL most outstanding player and helped the Roughriders win the Grey Cup in Toronto last fall, won't forget his first trip back to his stamping grounds. And for some different reasons.

Mother Nature paid a big-time visit to the area, and Joseph could not replicate the last-minute magic of a week earlier.

The Roughriders' Wes Cates barely got into the end zone from one yard with 2:49 to play, but it was enough for a major and a 28-22 Riders win. The Argos thought they had stopped Cates, but the touchdown stood after a lengthy review.

"I could have played better," said Joseph, who completed just 50% of his passes -- 21 of 42 -- for 259 yards and one touchdown. "We have to be better as a team. We did not get the momentum going in the second half.

"We are playing in spurts."

And of the actual return itself?

"Great fans," Joseph said. "I appreciate the fact they supported me, but once the ball was kicked it was football. (The boos) were a sign of respect. Another great football game in Mosaic Stadium. You have to give the Roughriders credit for starting 5-0."

A torrential storm packing driving rain, popcorn-sized hail and lightning sent fans and players running for cover at the end of the first quarter. The Argos held a 4-0 lead when the storm, which caused a 40-minute delay, hit. So heavy was the deluge that beer cups and other pieces of garbage were floating in ankle-deep water behind the benches as the players huddled in their respective locker rooms. Three hours before game time, a tornado warning had been issued by Environment Canada for Regina and the surrounding region.

The Roughriders have not been 5-0 since 1934, and remain the only CFL team without a loss in 2008. Toronto, continuing with its one-step-forward, one-step-back approach, is 2-3.

It's not an overly pretty picture five weeks into the regular season for the Argos. Joseph has not taken the bull by the horns, and there has to be concern regarding the misplays among the offence, defence and special teams.

The Argos held an 18-10 lead entering the third quarter but could not hold it. A rare miscue by Dominique Dorsey helped the Roughriders get a touchdown from Cates a few minutes later. Dorsey fumbled a punt and the Riders took over at the Argos' 26-yard line, leading to a one-yard plunge by Cates. A Luca Congi field goal, after a single by Mike Vanderjagt, put the Riders up 20-19.

Vanderjagt connected from 41 yards to regain a two-point advantage for Toronto prior to Cates' final score.

What had been partially billed as battle between mentor and student -- which is how Roughriders quarterback Darian Durant, a day earlier, referred to his matchup against Joseph -- fizzled early. Durant suffered cracked or bruised rubs when he was nailed by Adrian Mayes, and he left the game for good two series later after he was sacked by Riall Johnson. The Riders also lost receiver Andy Fantuz, who suffered a broken left fibula.

Third-stringer Steve Jyles took over from Durant and did enough for Saskatchewan to win. That's not good if you're an Argo.

"He did not play great," Argos head coach Rich Stubler said. "We did not play very good on defence. They outplayed us. They found a way to out-grit us and they made one more drive than we did."

Joseph and Arland Bruce had first-half TDs for Toronto.

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ARGOS REPLAY

CONGRATS, KERRY

Kerry Joseph was presented before the game with the President's Ring for 2007, given annually to the Roughrider who is voted by his teammates as having exceptional motivational and leadership skills on and off the field. Joseph, traded to Toronto in March, was given a brief standing ovation when Roughriders president Jim Hopson gave him the ring.

NOT SMART

Argos defensive tackle Adriano Belli, put his team in a hole when he was penalized for unnecessary roughness late in the second quarter. It cost the Argos 15 yards, and coupled with a 19-yard pass completion to Corey Grant on the same play, put the Roughriders in field-goal range. Sure enough, Luca Congi hit from 46 yards two plays later.

BRUCE IN A ZONE

With a nine-yard catch in the third quarter, Argos receiver Arland Bruce hit 106 yards, giving him his first 100-yard game of the season. He finished the game with 128 yards


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