Maybe they should have called it Interception Atlantic.
It was that kind of day for quarterback Cleo Lemon and the Toronto Argonauts, who were knocked off 24-6 by the Edmonton Eskimos in the Canadian Football League’s historic Touchdown Atlantic at Moncton Stadium yesterday.
The Eskimos, 3-9, rode their outstanding defence to the rare victory, not only picking off the Argonauts a whopping six times but also piling up 247 yards on interception returns, second most in CFL history.
“Our defence was awesome,” said Eskies quarterback Ricky Ray, who was 21-of-27 for 188 yards and delivered some timely throws.
“They kept them out of the endzone, gave us a lot of opportunities, and our offensive line and running game just took over.”
Eskimos linebacker Rod Davis set the tone early when he returned an interception 74 yards for a touchdown at 6:25 of the first quarter.
Running back Calvin McCarty piled up 84 yards on 10 carries and drove in two touchdowns, one on a 46-yard dash and another on a one-yard plunge that came just six plays after Lemon’s interception.
“We were able to get some good pressure on their quarterbacks,” Ray said. “When you do that, it makes you more rushed with your throws. We got a lot of pressure and were able to capitalize on turnovers.”
The Argonauts, 6-6, were on their heels all day despite piling up 321 passing yards and getting a healthy share of fan support from the sellout crowd of 20,750.
It was a missed opportunity in their bid for the post-season.
“We just played poorly,” said Argonauts head coach Jim Barker. “Give the Edmonton Eskimos credit. “They came in here very prepared … and they deserved to win.”