Als crush Argos' hopes

TERRY KOSHAN AND SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:32 AM ET

TORONTO -- Almost all of his teammates were gone, but Mike O'Shea, in full uniform, leaned on his locker yesterday, trying to come to grips with the fact he and the Argonauts will not compete for the Grey Cup next month.

"It's very hard to figure out where it all started to unravel," the veteran linebacker said.

The fate of the 2008 Argos became official at the Rogers Centre yesterday afternoon, but their seventh consecutive loss didn't unfold as many thought it might. Toronto gave the Montreal Alouettes, already the regular season East Division champs, a good run in a 43-34 loss.

Penalties tripped up the home side. Thirteen times the Argos were whistled for transgressions, resulting in 131 yards against and six Montreal first downs.

The Argos defence, for which coach Don Matthews has not had the Midas touch, couldn't stop Alouettes quarterback Anthony Calvillo from another solid performance.

Calvillo threw for four touchdowns, putting him at 42 for the season, and 336 yards. The fact Kerry Joseph became the first Argos quarterback since 2005 to throw for 400 yards -- he hit 400 spot on before a crowd of 30,262, and his three touchdowns passes account for one-third of his total this season -- meant little.

"I would trade the stats for a win in a heartbeat," Joseph said. "We have been scratching and fighting for a win and to drop seven straight has been tough on everybody. I don't even know the last time I had seven straight losses.

"It's tough. You come into the season to get into the post-season."

The game was close, but with less than five minutes left, the Als' Brian Bratton scampered past Kenny Heatly for a 36-yard touchdown to finally kill the Argos' playoff hopes.


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