Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Tough Season Ends in Painful Playoff Loss for Nomadic Toronto Argonauts

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Tough Season Ends in Painful Playoff Loss for Nomadic Toronto Argonauts

Article excerpt

Argos rue missed chances in playoff exit

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HAMILTON - A frustrating, nomadic season for the Toronto Argonauts ended Sunday in a painful last-second loss on the road.

It was, perhaps, par for the course.

Forced out of their Rogers Centre home by the Pan American Games and the Toronto Blue Jays, the Argos opened their season in Fort McMurray, Alta., before playing 'home games' in Ottawa (one) and Hamilton (two). At one point, they went 49 days between games at the dome.

Toronto still managed a 10-8 season and made it to the Eastern semifinal in Hamilton, where they lost 25-22 to the Ticats on a 47-yard field goal by Justin Medlock with no time remaining.

Did the Argos deserve a better fate considering the hand they were dealt this season, veteran quarterback Ricky Ray was asked.

"Obviously this team went through a lot this year," said Ray, who started just three games at the end of the season in the wake of off-season shoulder surgery. "A lot of road games.

"Everybody held together pretty good. I'm just proud of the way we were able to handle those tough situations. We put ourselves in this spot to do something special in the playoffs and we just came up short."

There is hope for the future. Next season, the Argos will call BMO Field home with the hope that the more intimate lakefront venue will spur interest in a franchise that has run the risk of becoming irrelevant in recent years.

This year was also a season of transition in ownership, from David Braley to Bell Canada and Larry Tanenbaum, chairman of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment.

Sunday's loss was in many ways a microcosm of the season.

Costly penalties hurt Toronto all year, with the Argos the second-most penalized team in the league behind Saskatchewan.

Both teams were called for 92 yards penalties Sunday but a roughing the passing penalty against Toronto lineman Martin Wright on the final Ticat drive was especially painful.

Toronto coach Scott Milanovich clearly did not like the call.

"You guys know what I saw," he said. …

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