FRANK ZICARELLI

TIGER-CATS’ STAR RE­CEIVER BURNS ARG­ONAUTS

Calgary Sun - - SPORTS - fzi­carelli@post­media.com

TORONTO — There was fight, ef­fort and a com­pete level, but once again the Ar­gos fell short for rea­sons that have plagued this year’s edi­tion al­most from open­ing week.

In vir­tu­ally all three phases, there is some di­men­sion lack­ing, a piece here, a few pieces there that have pre­vented the Ar­gos from break­ing through and mount­ing some kind of roll.

At no point this sea­son, which mer­ci­fully has three games left, have the Ar­gos played a com­plete game and Fri­day night would be no ex­cep­tion.

The fact the vis­it­ing Ti­cats would come to town and beat the Ar­gos for the third time this sea­son shouldn’t come as a sur­prise, not with su­pe­rior quar­ter­back from Jeremiah Ma­soli, two big­time play­mak­ers on of­fence in Bran­don Banks and Luke Tasker — who com­bined for four touch­down catches, three from Tasker — a more op­por­tunis­tic and ag­gres­sive de­fence with bet­ter schemes.

It was close early, but even­tu­ally the Ti­cats pulled away in the third quar­ter en route to a 34-20 win.

The an­nounced crowd was 14,184 on a cold, wet night at BMO Field when some 18,000 tick­ets were sold.

Need­less to say, there’s work to do, a lot it should be noted, with the Ar­gos, on and off the field, as the team dropped its sev­enth straight to fall to 3-12.

All things con­sid­ered it was a de­cent open­ing half as the Ti­cats and Ar­gos be­gan the night by en­gi­neer­ing field goal drives.

There were no punts in the open­ing quar­ter on a night when the Ar­gos had noth­ing to play for, while the Ti­cats were look­ing to sweep a ri­val hav­ing al­ready beaten the Ar­gos twice.

It wasn’t bad ex­cept for a bad in­ter­fer­ence call to Ar­gos de­fen­sive back Ron­nie Yell in the sec­ond quar­ter when he seemed to pro­vide solid cov­er­age on Banks.

The 30-yard penalty did al­low the Ti­cats to score their sec­ond touch­down to cap off an 82-yard, seven-play drive.

With James Franklin back as the Ar­gos’ start­ing quar­ter­back, the team did try to go deep.

On one throw into the wind, Franklin had S.J. Green open, but needed to get the ball in front of his tar­get. But his at­tempt was more of a back-shoul­der throw as Delvin Breaux recorded a knock­down.

Duron Carter was used more in the slot rather than at wide­out and there were mo­ments when the Ar­gos’ of­fence func­tioned well.

Mind you, there was a time count call and three open­ing­half sacks that didn’t help.

Af­ter match­ing Hamil­ton’s field goal drive, the Ar­gos re­sponded when the Ti­cats man­u­fac­tured a touch­down drive in the open­ing quar­ter, which ended with a Tasker scor­ing re­cep­tion.

Toronto mounted its own drive capped off by Bran­don Burks’ first-ca­reer touch­down in the CFL in his sec­ond start at run­ning back.

For the first time, the

Ar­gos dressed Amer­i­can kicker Drew Brown, who con­verted on his first field goal at­tempt.

By half­time, the Tab­bies were lead­ing, 18-10, a late first-half punt sin­gle con­ceded by Carter when he should have fielded the ball and run up­field with the clock wind­ing down, in many ways a bonus point for the vis­i­tors.

Once again, Ma­soli was mak­ing plays, only this time the Ar­gos weren’t as vul­ner­a­ble in yield­ing big plays.

On Banks’ touch­down re­cep­tion, the man known as Speedy B ran head first into the pad­ding of the goal post, but held on to the foot­ball and du­ti­fully pre­sented it to his kid. Fol­low­ing the Banks score, the Ar­gos were forced to punt it.

On the re­turn, Ti­cats’ Frankie Wil­liams used his speed along the side­line to run 90 yards and into the end zone, but it was called back on a Hamil­ton penalty.

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