Ref's a time bandit: Lemon

BILL LANKHOF, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:46 AM ET

Far be it for Toronto head coach Jim Barker to suggest the officials got it wrong, but ...

That time-count violation Cleo Lemon took near the end of the first half might’ve been the result of a quick whistle.

So claims the Argonauts’ quarterback.

Barker? Well he isn’t claiming anything. He’s already taken one fine for questioning CFL officials, so he’s not interested in going down that road again.

“There’s no film to verify or not verify. I’m not questioning the call. I’m just telling you what our quarterback said,” Barker told reporters Monday of the latest curious occurance to involve his club.

When Lemon was called for a time count violation the Argos lost a down to leave them third and six at the Ticats’ 14-yard line. Instead of a shot at a touchdown, Noel Prefontaine shanked a 21-yard field goal attempt. Worse, the Ticats drove 33 yards in the final 39 seconds and kicked a field goal for a 20-18 halftime lead.

Barker said: “Cleo told me, ‘I’m looking right at the clock, all the way. I’m looking at the clock.’ That’s the first thing he said to me. ‘The ball came out at one second and the guy blew the whistle.’

“We can’t control that,” said Barker. “Cleo said he was very aware of (the time clock) and if it was going to run out he’d have turned to the ref and just said, ‘Time!’ He felt the ball was snapped with one second left ... maybe he needs to make sure that it’s snapped on two.”

Not that Barker is complaining. Honest.


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