Argos blow it on a missed convert as Blue Bombers escape BMO Field with one-point win

Argos blow it on a missed convert as Blue Bombers escape BMO Field with one-point win


Argos blow it on a missed convert as Blue Bombers escape BMO Field with one-point win

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The Argos first lost their cool and then they lost the game in the most cruellest of fashions.

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A potentially defining late-game touchdown drive would be mounted, but Boris Bede missed the convert following a touchdown to end one of the most unlikely nights on a rare Monday kickoff.

Errant kicks have gone Toronto’s way, including the season opener when Montreal missed a short field goal, but on this night it was the Argos who blew it.

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The end result was an ugly 23-22 loss to the two-time defending Grey Cup champion Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

This was not as bad as last week’s 41-point pasting at the hands of the host B.C. Lions, but this setback will sting.

It was frustrating night with emotions boiling over at the Argos bench prompting GM Michael Clemons to vacate the team’s private box to serve as peacemaker.

Following a brutal pick on a simple slant pass Brandon Banks should have secured, the Argos lost their cool on the bench area with Banks and Trevon Tate engaged in a heated exchange.

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The two were teammates briefly in Hamilton.

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What should have been a tie game turned into a two-possession game following Toronto’s fourth turnover of the night.

What played out along Toronto’s sideline was bad.

For most of the night, the Argos’ play was bad, but they hung in by mounting a comeback from a 17-0 deficit.

As expected, Andrew Harris ran hard and ran through defenders in his first game against his former team.

He was good and produced a 111-yard rushing game, which is a pretty rare feat for an Argos running back in recent years.

But Harris took a back seat to the shenanigans along the bench area and the missed point after.

Head coach Ryan Dinwiddie said he contemplated going for two points, but decided against it.

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Toronto had possession with 1:32 left and marched down the field.

McLeod Bethel-Thompson, when he isn’t throwing into coverage, can sling it.

He showed plenty of resiliency in bouncing back from moments of misfortune.

The Argos couldn’t get out of their own way in the game’s opening half as the night began to get away from the home side.

On Toronto’s fourth play from scrimmaged, MBT threw a pick six.

A bad start capped off by the bad ending.

For every step forward the Argos would make, there were too many missteps.

What played out along the bench area was inexcusable.

Dinwiddie said Banks would later apologize to his teammates.

“He’s got to be better than that,’’ said Dinwiddie, whose team dropped to 1-2.

Dinwiddie didn’t know exactly what happened involving Banks and wasn’t about to mete out any disciplinary action, at least not now.

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“It’s just unfortunate,’’ said Dinwiddie. “It’s what we keep telling our guys every day. It’s like I’m talking until I’m blue in the face. We have to be disciplined. We have to stick together and that was the whole pre-game speech.

“I have to sit down and talk to those guys. We have to be more disciplined, grow up and be men. We can’t act like that. It looks like junior football.”

Had the Argos been clean, they would have won and give Winnipeg its first loss of the season.

Harris was a beast and showed his frustration when a spot on third down inside Winnipeg’s territory came up short.

The Argos challenged the spot, but it stood.

The turnovers, tempers and then came the missed convert.

It was bush-league football for a team trying to change its culture.

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“Maybe some guys have to go home,’’ said Dinwiddie, who weeded out some hot heads from last year’s unit. “I’d rather put some guy out there who will do the right things.

“We have to get a better culture. I’ve preaching it to these guys since camp. We got rid of some bad guys, but we’re not there yet.

“The one thing I can say is these guys care, but they have to figure out how to respond in the proper way. Respect each other, get it done together, stick together.”

Banks is a fiery competitor who scored the team’s first touchdown when he stripped the football from the hands of Demerio Houston at the goal line.

“Guys get frustrated and they show their frustration, but it’s not conducive. Guys don’t have to be leaders, but be positive influencers.

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“I know he cares, it’s important to him. He wants to win, but is that going to help us win? We were only down by a score. He’s got to be better than that. I’ll sit down with him.”

The Argos won’t play until the following Saturday when they travel to Nova Scotia in a home game against Saskatchewan, the first of a back-to-back set against the Riders.

The Argos were much better than a week ago.

Still, they blew it against Winnipeg because too many self-inflicted wounds would surface.

And then when players lost their cool, it added a black eye to the night’s events.

It was unfortunate, inexcusable and something the Argos cannot tolerate.

It remains to be seen if any disciplinary action will be taken.

Whether it was how hard Harris ran, how well MBT responded to the adversity, how the defence was finally able to get off the field, there were some encouraging signs to emerge.

The end result was a loss, marking the first time under Dinwiddie that the Argos have lost two games in a row in the regular season.


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