Argos’ Lemon looks to bounce back against Lions

The Toronto Argonauts look to rebound from a pair of losses to division-rival Hamilton when they head west for Saturday’s game against the B.C. Lions.

Just two weeks ago, the Argos (5-4) were the toast of the town after moving into a tie for first with Montreal in the East Division with a 37-22 win over the Alouettes.

At the time, first-year quarterback Cleo Lemon appeared to be answering critics who thought he would not be able to lead the Argos offence.

After a second-straight loss to the Ti-Cats on Labour Day, Lemon’s ability to head the offence all the way into the end zone is being questioned.

The Argos quarterback did have a respectable 350 yards passing in the 28-13 loss on Monday, but he also threw three interceptions, with two occurring as the Boatmen were having successful drives.

That performance followed a 16-12 loss at home against Hamilton that saw Lemon go 18-for-31 for only 208 yards.

Argos head coach Jim Barker was again quick to defend the quarterback after the team’s second-straight loss.

“The three interceptions were a large part of it but you can’t put it on him,” Barker told TSN.  “It was early in the game when that [two picks] happened.”

Toronto can also look to the running game to improve the sputtering offence.

Running back Cory Boyd had the lone touchdown for the Argos on Monday, but the CFL rushing leader had only 11 carries for 54 yards.

B.C. looks stronger

On the west coast, the Lions (2-7) will look to continue their momentum after a big road victory, 38-17, in Montreal.

B.C.’s win in Week 10 ended a seven-game losing streak that began on July 10, a 37-18 win for the Saskatchewan Rough Riders.

B.C. was able to capitalize on an Als squad that turned to third-string quarterback Chris Leak in his first start as starting quarterback, Anthony Calvillo was suffering from a bruised sternum.

Lions coach Wally Buono described the sense of relief for the squad after the victory.

“Winning is always a relief, especially after two months of losing,” Buono told TSN following the game. “The guys for some reason had a change of spirit.

“Montreal was different without AC [Calvillo].  The turnovers helped our football club, but a win’s a win.”

Ex-Argo running back Jamal Robertson will look to put on a show for his former club.  The Lion is ranked sixth among CFL rushers with 542 yards, and 7.2 yards per carry.

The Lions, who now share third spot in the West Division with the Edmonton Eskimos, will look for their first win at their temporary home, Empire Field.

B.C. has been unable to keep the opposition from filling up the scoreboard in its four home defeats this season, allowing 30+ points in three games, including a 48-35 loss against the Calgary Stampeders.