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Wednesday, July 13, 2016

REDBLACKS 30 ARGONAUTS 20

TORONTO - Scott Milanovich looked pained in summing up the Argos' 30-20 loss to the Redblacks on Wednesday night.

"Not to take anything away from Ottawa. They won the game and deserved to. I felt like we beat ourselves tonight,'' said the Toronto head coach. "Which is the last thing that you want, as a football coach or any kind of coach.''

"At least if you lose, you want the other team to have taken it from you. And I just feel like we didn't play well. As coaches, we didn't have them prepared well enough, obviously. It's disappointing as well as we played last week.''

Away wins over B.C. and Saskatchewan were forgotten on a hot night at BMO Field that saw Toronto (2-2-0) shoot itself in the foot with penalties (10 for 148 yards). Ottawa (3-0-1) was even worse with 19 penalties for 149 yards but former Argo quarterback Trevor Harris (28-of-31 for 392 yards) kept the offence ticking and the Redblacks benefitted from some big plays.

Poor tackling led to long rumbles by Ottawa receiver Greg Ellingson, who made nine catches for 218 yards. Tristan Jackson shredded the Argo defence en route to a 75-yard punt return for a go-ahead touchdown early in the fourth quarter.

"It was a sickening game, a little bit from a coach's perspective,'' said Milanovich. "We just didn't look like we were on our details like we have been the last two weeks. Penalties, jumping offside. Just not doing the fundamental things you need to beat a good football team ... We were clearly not sharp.''

Pointing to the penalties, which wrecked Toronto's offensive continuity and kept Ottawa drives alive, Milanovich said: "A lot of them, to me, were just mind issues.''

Toronto quarterback Ricky Ray completed 22-of-26 passes for 231 yards in the first three quarters but was just 2-of-6 in the fourth for 18 yards.

"I thought Rick played really well for the first half, had a really nice drive in the third quarter and then we had a hard time getting anything going in the fourth when we needed to,'' said Milanovich.

Ray still moved up in the record books. The 36-year-old Argo veteran, who surpassed 53,000 career passing yards last week (53,237), came into the game needing just 19 yards to pass Danny McManus in all-time CFL passing yardage.

Ray did it with his second throw of the night, a seven-yard pass to Brandon Whitaker. He had opened with a 14-yard pass to Andre Durie.

Ray trails Henry Burris, Damon Allen and Anthony Cavillo in the league record book.

Ray also moved past Allen into second spot on Toronto's all-time passing touchdown list with his 77th TD throw. Condredge Holloway leads with 97.

Ray was more concerned with the game's outcome.

"It just felt like we left some plays out there with our execution ... and when you play a good team, you've got to play your best game,'' he said. "We weren't able to do that tonight.''

Added linebacker Keon Raymond: "We made Trevor Harris look like an all-star in (the) Madden (NFL video game) ... But we'll correct it.''

The game drew a disappointing crowd of 12,373. Fans may have been scared off by the gridlock caused by the Indy race setup at Exhibition Place and a nearby Duran Duran concert plus searing heat.

Toronto has a bye before hosting Montreal on July 25.

(Canadian Press)

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