Turnovers blow away host Argos

TERRY KOSHAN, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:41 AM ET

TORONTO -- The Toronto Argonauts turned in a franchise record yesterday.

Too bad it was turnovers that helped them to set a club mark for most consecutive home-field losses.

In a battle of attrition that would have had many in the crowd of 23,821 at the Rogers Centre guzzling the nearest alcoholic drink had any been available, the Argonauts committed a season-high seven turnovers on the way to a 13-12 loss to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

As such, the Argos lost their eighth straight home game, marking the first time in the team's 136-year history that it has fallen that many times in a row on home soil. The Boatmen have not treated their desperate fans to victory since Aug. 1 last year.

And the man who is supposed to be the integral piece of the puzzle, quarterback Kerry Joseph, threw four interceptions. It's the most he has given up in one game in an Argos uniform.

"The single biggest factor was the seven turnovers," head coach Bart Andrus said. "Quarterbacks are going to throw interceptions. We don't want it to happen, and we coach against it. Sometimes they make poor decisions, sometimes it gets deflected, sometimes it hits the receiver and pops out ... We had all of those things happen.

"We put the ball in our best players' hands, and we have to coach them out of (turning it over)."

Wasted was another fine performance by the Argos defence, which limited the Bombers to just a field goal on the turnovers.

Ex-Argos QB Michael Bishop was recruited in a hurry by the Blue Bombers after an embarrassing loss to the Double Blue in Winnipeg last week, but the Argos held him in check after he threw a 22-yard touchdown pass to Terrence Edwards in the first quarter.

Joseph completed 20-of-32 passes for 219 yards, but he is not getting enough done, and he knows it.

"The defence, we've got to help those guys," said Joseph, who also had a fumble. "Those guys have been playing their tails off. Now, offensively, we've got to carry our load.

"We made too many mistakes and didn't get any breaks."

With 26 seconds left, Justin Medlock lined up for a 47-yard field-goal attempt and made it.

But the Argos were called for a time-count violation, and Medlock's subsequent try from 57 yards out -- after the club was assessed a 10-yard penalty -- hit the crossbar.

It summed up the day for the Argos and their fans, who were faced with dry taps after the Rogers Centre was hit with a three-date penalty earlier this year for liquor licence violations.

Alexis Serna kicked a 48-yard field goal with just over four minutes to play in the fourth quarter. The home side had taken a 12-10 lead when Medlock hit from 35 yards for his 11th consecutive successful field goal.

Chad Lucas, in his first game with the Argos, caught a 25-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter, representing the only passing touchdown the Argos have had in three games. But Lucas and Hank Edwards had two catchable balls from Joseph bounce off their bodies and into the hands of Bombers defenders.

Both the Argos and the Bombers, at 2-3, are in the basement of the CFL's East Division.

TERRY.KOSHAN@SUNMEDIA.CA


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