OTTAWA — Toronto Argonauts head coach Scott Milanovich could not hide his disdain following his club’s 18-17 loss at the hands of the Ottawa Redblacks Friday night at TD Place.
Ottawa won the game on a 23-yard field goal by Brett Maher with 28 seconds remaining in regulation.
The Argonauts appeared poised to win the game as Swayze Waters scored a 47-yard field goal to take a 17-15 lead, but with 1:33 remaining Milanovich admitted they left too much time on the clock.
“It was a great kick by Swayze and he wanted to kick that last one, whatever it was, a 70-yarder,” said Milanovich. “He’s got a lot of confidence in his leg and that was a big kick obviously, but there was too much time left as 1:30 is forever with Henry Burris back there. Like I said we just couldn’t make it stick. It’s as disappointing a loss I’ve had since I’ve been here.”
Discipline was a factor for both teams, but it definitely proved costly for the Argonauts as they were penalized 12 times for 132 yards to Ottawa’s 11 for 75.
“I can promise you they weren’t all flags, but too many of them were,” said Milanovich. “We need to clean up the ones that were flags for sure.”
“It was a tough battle. We have to find a way to win that one, there’s no doubt about that.”
Toronto came into the game as the league’s worst ranked defence, but on this night Milanovich gave them credit.
“I thought our defence was good,” said Milanovich. “When you get that (kind of performance) from your defence that’s been struggling you’ve got to make it stick offensively.”
Argos quarterback Ricky Ray, who finished the game 21-for-37 for 298 yards was visibly disappointed following the game.
“They played well,” said Ray. “Not to take anything away from them, but we can play a lot better. We gave ourselves a chance, but we left a lot out there on the field. They were able to make some plays at the end and win the football game.
Ray and Ottawa quarterback Henry Burris have a long-standing rivalry and respect for one another, but Ray would rather not leave a game in Burris’ hands.
“I’ve seen that too many times when he’s taken his team down in the last minute and pulled out a victory,” said Ray of Burris. “That’s just how experienced he is at playing quarterback up here. I definitely respect his game, but it’s tough to give him the ball with the game on the line and be on the sideline watching because he makes a lot of good plays out there.”
Defensive back Dwight Anderson, who earned the wrath of the crowd after a hard hit on Carlton Mitchell early in the second quarter, gave full credit to his old friend Burris and was one of the first players to congratulate the veteran quarterback.
“Hank’s my boy from way back,” said Anderson. “On the field it’s all business and you do whatever you have to do to help your team, but at the end of the day he’s still my boy. ”
With the Argos missing Andre Durie, Jason Barnes and Chad Owens Ray was working with a number of new faces, including Darvin Adams who had four receptions for 83 yards.
“We’ve just got to finish,” said Adams. “This was a very tough loss. We’ve got to get ready for next week and suck it up.”