THE CANADIAN PRESS
CALGARY -- The Toronto Argonauts ended a five-year losing streak at McMahon Stadium with a 23-21 win over the host Calgary Stampeders on Friday.
Noel Prefontaine kicked the winning field goal from 43 yards with 17 seconds left in the game.
Cory Boyd and Brandon Rideau scored touchdowns for the Argos, who had last beaten the Stamps at home 22-16 on July 1, 2005. Prefontaine also made field goals from 25 and 24 yards.
Calgary had the most potent offence in the CFL last season when they posted a 13-5 record. That firepower was absent, however, for the first three quarters of their 2011 campaign as they managed just six points.
Joffrey Reynolds and Jon Cornish scored fourth-quarter touchdowns for Calgary. Rob Cote added a two-point convert. Kicker Rob Maver struggled, making one of his four field-goal attempts.
Argonauts quarterback Cleo Lemon made 16 of 30 passes for 187 yards. He threw one touchdown pass and was intercepted once. Calgary counterpart Henry Burris was 26-for-36 for 293 yards. Burris was picked off once.
Calgary took the lead for the first time in the game at 9:59 of the fourth quarter, when Cornish capped a five-play, 50-yard drive with a three-yard run to make it 21-17. But that lead shrunk to one point when Prefontaine made his 25-yard attempt.
The hosts scored their first major and executed a key two-point convert to pull within three points of the visitors at 6:40. Reynolds ran the ball to the two-yard line and with his 1,500th carry as a Stampeder finished the job on the next play.
Rob Cote's five-yard reception gave Calgary the extra two points and the Stamps trailed 17-14 with just under seven minutes to play.
Cory Boyd put the Argos up 17-6 just 20 seconds into the fourth quarter with a two-yard touchdown plunge. His 34-yard dash to end the third had put Toronto inside the five-yard line.
Toronto capitalized on a Calgary returner Larry Taylor's fumble early in the third quarter. Prefontaine's kick from 24 yards made it 10-5 at 1:26.
Calgary had a chance to salvage a terrible third quarter offensively when cornerback Geoff Tisdale picked off Lemon at Toronto's 18-yard line.
But Burris couldn't connect with receiver Arjei Franklin in the end zone and then kicker Rob Maver missed a field goal attempt for the third time in the game.
Maver was wide from 32, 45 and 21 yards in the game and made one from 17. He was booed by the announced 27,428 at McMahon on his third miss.
Toronto scored the lone major of the first half at 7:35 of the second quarter. Lemon lobbed an 18-yard pass into the end zone for Rideau, who executed a basket catch under pressure with Calgary cornerback Geoff Tisdale.
Calgary was within scoring range twice in the first 30 minutes. The Stamps settled for a single point early in the quarter when Maver was wide on a 32-yard attempt. Maver was good from 17 yards at 12:58 to make it 4-0.
Argos receiver Chad Owens, winner of the CFL's outstanding special teams player award last season, appeared dazed and left the field with assistance after a hard hit in the second quarter. The CFL's outstanding special teams player in 2010 had his head driven into the turf by Jon Cornish on a punt return and did not return to the game.
Quarterback Michael Bishop saw his first action as a Stampeder in the first half, when he was inserted to gain a yard needed for a third down. He was brought in two days prior as an insurance backup pivot when Drew Tate went down with a shoulder injury in a pre-season game.
The Stampeders are on the road for their next two games. The Lions host Calgary on Friday and then the Stamps are in Winnipeg on July 14.
The Argonauts play their first three games of 2011 away from Toronto. They're in Winnipeg on Friday and in Montreal on July 15.