Toronto (CFL.ca) - Byron Parker's interception return for a touchdown rallied the Toronto Argonauts to a historic but sloppy 24-20 win over the B.C. Lions on Friday night.
The game featured the two CFL teams owned by Hamilton businessman David Braley. This marked the first time in league history two franchises with the same owner had squared off.
Parker, in man coverage against Lions receiver Emmanuel Arceneaux, brilliantly jumped the route and stepped in front of Travis Lulay's pass and sprinted untouched 41 yards for the TD at 12:34 of the fourth to put Toronto ahead 24-20. It came after Cleo Lemon's 20-yard TD strike to Brandon Rideau at 8:57 cut B.C.'s lead to 20-17.
The TD return was the seventh of Parker's career, leaving him one behind the CFL record.
But the sparse Rogers Centre gathering of 19,709 hardly witnessed a classic as the two teams combined for eight turnovers -- four apiece. Friday's attendance was less than the 20,242 that watched the club rally for a 27-24 home-opening win over Calgary last week.
Toronto (3-1) earned its third straight win to move into a tie with Montreal atop the East Division. The Argos also earned their first victory in 11 games against B.C.
Argos starter and former ASU QB Cleo Lemon was 19-of-28 passing for 222 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions.
Rookie Cory Boyd rushed for 148 yards on 19 carries, his third-straight 100-yard effort.
Toronto has won its last four games in which an Argo has rushed for 100 yards. The other victory came last year when current Lion Jamal Robertson broke the century mark.
The Lions (1-3) suffered their third straight defeat. Lulay earned his first career start as incumbent Casey Printers didn't play due to a knee injury. Lulay finished 26-of-39 passing for 315 yards and two interceptions.
Robertson had two TDs for B.C. Paul McCallum had a field goal for the 23rd straight game along with a single and two converts. B.C.'s other points came on a safety.
Jeremaine Copeland scored Toronto's other touchdown. Grant Shaw booted a field goal and three converts.
Lemon's 21-yard TD strike to Copeland late in the first half cut B.C.'s half-time lead to 17-10. Lemon found a wide-open Copeland in the end zone at 14:02 to cap a smart 69-yard, three-play drive.
B.C. controlled much of the play in the first half, outgaining Toronto 246-152. Lulay was afforded great protection up front and given plenty of time to look downfield.
Lulay did a nice job of distributing the ball, using seven different receivers while Robertson's TD runs of one and 13 yards staked the Lions to a 17-3 lead.
The score flattered Toronto, who struggled much of the first half offensively. Still, the Argos were in a position to finish the half tied when Lemon found Chad Owens at the B.C. two-yard line in the second half, only to have it negated due to an offside penalty.
Then, to add insult to injury, Shaw's 45-yard field goal attempt hit the post to preserve a 10-3 B.C. advantage.
The Argonauts will travel to Montreal to take on the Alouettes in Week 5. Kickoff is Thursday, July 29th at 6:30pm