Argos’ season sunk

Arkee Whitlock helped put the Toronto Argonauts out of their misery Friday night.

Toronto Argonauts corner back Dovonte Edwards picks up a pass interference penalty as he breaks up a pass intended for Edmonton Eskimo Jason Barnes on Friday. Edmonton won 22-19.

Eskimos 22 Argonauts 19

TORONTO — Arkee Whitlock helped put the Toronto Argonauts out of their misery Friday night.

Whitlock ran for two second-half touchdowns as the Edmonton Eskimos beat Toronto 22-19, eliminating the Argos from playoff contention for the second straight year. Whitlock was a one-man show, rushing for 145 yards with an offence that came into the game averaging a league-low 93 yards per game on the ground.

“The key as a running back is to have patience,” Whitlock said. “You’re not going to break every run but you know the big plays will come.

“It’s all about being patient.”

The win, while ugly, was huge for Edmonton (7-8), which moved into a third-place tie with B.C. in the West Division. The Eskimos also went ahead of Winnipeg and Hamilton (both 6-8) in the crossover playoff scenario.

Edmonton registered its first win at Rogers Centre since 2005, a span of three games, before an announced gathering of 26,515.

“Anytime you win, it’s a pretty win,” Eskimos head coach Richie Hall said. “It was a defensive battle, a slugfest.

“This was like a playoff game. These are the type of games we’re going to have from here on out.”

Whitlock’s 53-yard TD run at 5:41 of the fourth put Edmonton ahead 22-12. He also scored on a four-yard scamper to give the Eskimos a 15-9 advantage at 11:45 of the third. It came one play after Andrew Nowacki recovered Jason Carter’s fumble on a punt return and put the Eskimos on the Argos’ four-yard line.

Toronto made it interesting with Kerry Joseph’s two-yard TD strike to Jeff Johnson at 12:55 — the home team’s first passing touchdown in seven games — to cap a smart 102-yard, nine-play drive. But a 23-yard run by Whitlock helped Edmonton drive to the Argos’ 38-yard line before punting and pinning the home team at its five-yard line with 12 seconds remaining.

“For me, that (23-yard run) was more important than the (53-yard TD run),” Whitlock said. “It put us in a position to get a fresh set of downs and run the clock down.

“We’ve struggled this year closing games out and it was big that we were able to do that tonight.”

Edmonton, which entered action averaging a CFL-high 297 yards passing, struggled with its aerial attack as quarterback Ricky Ray was 17-of-24 for 170 yards with a TD and an interception. But Hall said that, for the Eskimos to be successful in the playoffs, the team will have to be able to effectively run the football.

“We must have the confidence that we can do it,” he said.

Toronto (3-12) suffered its fifth straight loss and the game script was a bitterly familiar one for the club under first-year head coach Bart Andrus. The defence played well enough but showed signs of being overworked as the CFL’s worst offence (with Andrus serving as the offensive co-ordinator) again struggled to muster any consistency.

Being eliminated from post-season contention hadn’t fully sunk in with Andrus after the game.

“I haven’t thought about that,” he said. “I’m just thinking we had lost a tough football game. We’re not a good enough football team but we will be. We’ll eventually get there based on how hard these guys practise and play.”

Just Posted

Chemical analysis may provide clues to cause of huge Red Deer industrial fire

Fire on April 17 caused $9 million in damage to oil and gas industrial building

New loonie reason to celebrate and educate: central Alberta LGBTQ community

The new LGBTQ2 loonie is a conversation starter and a reason to… Continue reading

C & E Trail property owner wants to use land as RV storage yard

Red Deer city council gives initial approval

Indigenous cultural centre needed in Red Deer

Urban Aboriginal Voices Society hosts annual community gathering

Red Deer youth recognized for his compassion

Blackfalds man dies after vehicle collision

MISSING: Joshua Arthur Sanford

37-year-old Ponoka man last seen on Tuesday morning

Inspired by a galaxy far, far away, these ‘Star Wars’ mementos could be yours forever

CHICAGO —The stuff of “Star Wars” —and there is unfortunately no better… Continue reading

Shoppers Drug Mart launches second online medical pot portal in Alberta

TORONTO — Medical cannabis users in Alberta can now get their therapeutic… Continue reading

Oh, yes! Nurse, Raptors look to finish series with Magic

DENVER — In response to an early call, Toronto coach Nick Nurse… Continue reading

Delay of game calls, goalie interference top worst rules for NHLers: survey

The pace and excitement of 3-on-3 overtime isn’t just a thrill for… Continue reading

Avengers get epic send-off at ‘Endgame’ world premiere

LOS ANGELES — There were more than a few sniffles from the… Continue reading

Writers’ Trust launches program pairing rising writers with established mentors

TORONTO — The Writers’ Trust has launched a program that gives five… Continue reading

Family: A potpourri of Easter egg hunts, music and politics

The election is a thing of the past. Albertans have spoken. They… Continue reading

Most Read