TORONTO – Scott Milanovich had a lot of questions following his team’s loss to the Als on Sunday but without his starting quarterback and tailback, he was far from disappointed with their effort.
“I was not disappointed with the way we came out and gave effort in this football game,” Milanovich said. “The first half was going our way according to the script and we were winning the way we thought we needed to win this ball game. We weren’t able to sustain that in the second half.
The guys had a great week of work and they took to the details but we just didn’t have the horses today to get it done. I’m not disappointed in their commitment or their focus.”
Although he didn’t come right out and say it, the ‘horses’ he referred to were likely QB Ricky Ray and RB Chad Kackert, both of which have missed the last two weeks, leaving a significant hole in the Argos offence.
With a defence that held the powerful Anthony Calvillo-lead offence in check for the majority of the contest, Milanovich knew that getting more production from his offence was a must against a team that is going to get its yards.
“They are going to score. You know Montreal is going to score and you can’t win the game with just 12 points,” he continued.
Any time you’re starting quarterback isn’t in there, especially a Hall of Famer, you are going to lose something there. Jarious did a nice job for the most part in the first half but it was the third quarter [where we struggled], once they started to get some momentum. Ultimately, the guys that are in there have to get the job done.”
Momentum may have been the thing that slowed down the Argos. Forcing a turnover midway through the third quarter and kicking a 37-yard field goal gave the Boatmen a five point advantage, only to have Calvillo come up with the big play that Milanovich and company feared – a 75-yard touchdown toss to Jamel Richardson, who recorded his first 100-yard game of the year.
Jackson, who has been the relegated started for three weeks in Ray’s absence, stated that momentum and rhythm was their undoing.
“We had a few two-and-outs in the fourth quarter, and it seems like things just went array from there. Blocking, catching passes, or whatever it was, it was sheer execution and it wasn’t there,” he said.
Regardless, the Argos are far from panicking. They are still in contention to host a home playoff game and are not mathematically ruled out from hosting the East Final. Milanovich, however, is less concerned about the math and more focused on get his team back into winning form; something that he believes can be done rather quickly.
“We have to stop this bad flow of momentum and get things pointed back in the right direction and it only takes one game,” he said.
That game could come Friday when Toronto hosts Winnipeg, a team they have defeated twice thus far in 2012. Milanovich indicated that there was a better than average chance that Ray could return as well as Kackert which could change the entire complexion of their offence.