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LIONS RALLY LATE IN FOURTH QUARTER TO DEFEAT ARGOS 36-28
Jackson pulled out the miracle finish by throwing a five-yard TD strike to Paris Jackson at 2:47 before finding Emmanuel Arcenaux on a 23-yard scoring pass at 11:22 that pulled BC to within 28-26. The game would’ve been tied had BC opted to kick converts on both instead of going twice for two-point conversions.
Jackson then took BC on a 54-yard, eight-play march to the Toronto one-yard line, where Sean Whyte hit the nine-yard game-winning field goal with eight seconds remaining, stunning the Rogers Centre gathering of 24,754.
The loss tarnished a solid performance by Toronto quarterback Cody Pickett and kicker Justin Medlock. Pickett, replacing incumbent Kerry Joseph after last week’s embarrassing 25-0 loss to Montreal, threw for 326 yards yards and a TD and led the Argos (2-5) to a 25-14 lead heading into the fourth. Medlock was a big part of that, connecting on a club record-tying seven field goals.
The Lions improved to 3-4.
Pickett was able to move the offence and did a nice job of managing the game for Toronto. Under Pickett, the Argos offence didn’t turn the ball over and only gave up one sack — they surrendered seven versus Montreal — against a Lions defence that came in ranked second in the CFL in the category.
But he was unable to cap drives with touchdowns, which kept the Lions in the game despite being outplayed by Toronto. Pickett did find a new favourite receiver as Chad Lucas had eight catches for 146 yards.
It was a tough night for Lions quarterbacks as injuries and ineffective play forced the visitors to play all three they had dressed.
Buck Pierce started and was 2-of-3 passing for 37 yards before leaving early in the first quarter with an unspecified injury after throwing an interception. He was replaced by Jackson, who struggled moving the offence in the first half — completing 10-of-16 passes for 81 yards — before being replaced by third-stringer Travis Lulay to start the second half.
Toronto countered with Medlock’s 52-yard field goal on the final play of the quarter for a 25-14 advantage.
The win was the 230th of Lions coach Wally Buono‘s illustrious CFL career, leaving him two short of surpassing Don Matthews as the winningest coach in league history. Buono already ranks as the Lions’ winningest coach with 77 career victories.
The loss continued two dubious streaks for Toronto. The Argos have now lost nine straight games to the Lions and extended their team-record home losing string to nine games.
McNeal scored Toronto’s touchdown. Medlock added the convert.
Toronto scored 10 points late in the second quarter to take 19-7 half-time lead.
Pickett’s five-yard TD strike to McNeal at 11:17 capped a smart 72-yard, four-play drive to put Toronto ahead 16-7. Then Medlock connected from 51 yards out with three seconds remaining to give the Argos their 12-point advantage.
Pickett was a workmanlike 13-of-23 passing for 183 yards and the TD, with Lucas being his favourite target. Lucas had six catches for 134 yards as Tor
onto went with a passing attack in the first half, running the ball just five times.
McNeal’s TD came after Lumbala rumbled in from the one-yard line at 9:11 to cut Toronto’s lead to 16-7.