Mistakes keep costing Argos

TERRY KOSHAN, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:25 AM ET

Bad habits are hard to break.

The Argonauts probably could stretch that adage into a book once the 2009 Canadian Football League season is finished.

Rather than use the momentum and the overall good feeling taken away from beating Hamilton the previous week, the Argos committed a pair of turnovers early in Saturday night's game against the B.C. Lions and lost 23-17.

Mistakes have helped kill the Argos in many games this year.

At 3-8, not much remains for the team other than a battle with the equally inept Winnipeg Blue Bombers, who play host to the Argos on Saturday night, to stay out of the league basement.

On Saturday, the Lions got a gift when the Argos' Bryan Crawford walked behind centre and was hit by the snap on an attempted punt.

Sean Whyte booted a field goal within minutes for a 3-0 B.C. lead.

Quarterback Cody Pickett, who had been lauded for his accuracy, threw an interception on the Argos' next possession and the Lions took over at the Toronto 33-yard line. Martell Mallett soon rushed for a two-yard touchdown and the Argos were down 10-0 before most of them had left the locker room.

Korey Banks, who made the first interception, had his second of the quarter when he was picked off a Pickett pass that thrown into triple coverage.

"If I don't turn the ball over twice, who knows, maybe it's a different game," Pickett told reporters.

Some of the shine came off Pickett, who had thrown one interception in his previous four starts. Pickett was sacked six times, and not only because the offensive line wasn't great. Too many times, Pickett took too long to make a decision and wound up with his face in the turf.

Dominique Dorsey, in his first game since being cut by the Washington Redskins, averaged 16.3 yards on six kickoff returns and returned two punts for a total of eight yards.

After taking a 17-14 lead in the third quarter, the Argos failed to score again and Whyte kicked three more field goals for the Lions.

"We still need to learn to protect a lead," Toronto head coach Bart Andrus said. "We need to keep scoring once we do get the lead."

The victory was No. 232 for Lions general manager/head coach Wally Buono, making him the winningest coach in league history, one ahead of Don Matthews.

"It's a record that will never be broken," Matthews told the Vancouver Province.

"If I'm going to be No. 2 (in wins), I'm happy to be No. 2 to Wally."

TERRY.KOSHAN@SUNMEDIA.CA


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