Chris Rainey needed a few hours to fully absorb the stunning sequence late Saturday night that ultimately cost the Argos a chance to produce their first win of the young season.
In football, no one play determines the outcome of a game, no one player makes or breaks an overall team performance, but every once in a while there is a singular play from an individual that sticks out, often for the wrong reasons.
It happened to the veteran returner in Toronto’s 18-17 loss to B.C. at BMO Field, the same venue where the Argos christened the season with a 50-point loss to Hamilton.
For those not aware, the Lions were in a position to kick a field goal after the Argos failed to execute a kickoff that went out of bounds, allowing B.C. to scrimmage from its 45 yard line with 40 seconds remaining.
Rainey, who earlier in the game returned a punt 79 yards for a touchdown, naturally backs up one step when hauling in a kick.
“He (Lions placekicker Sergio Castillo) kicked it kind of high and it was sailing,’’ recalled Rainey. “It was still sailing and I was already two yards up (in the back of the end zone). I was trying to keep it from going out of bounds anyway because it would be one point.
“I caught it and as soon as I stepped back I looked from my peripheral vision and I saw the white line. For sure I didn’t hear the whistle, but I went: ‘Oh, sh…’”
He would see the play over and over again later in the evening.
“I got to find a different way (when catching a kick or punt). If I’m ever in that situation again I have to try something different. In practice (Monday) I was trying different stuff with different scenarios in my head.
“I guarantee you that will never happen again. And that was a hard feeling to lose like that. That one point is crucial. That’s a dangerous one point.”
There have been all kinds of crazy, unpredictable, bizarre endings to games in the CFL given the rules governing the kicking game, but Saturday must have been a first in the long history of three-down football, a game decided by a player having his foot on the end line and as a result out of bounds.
When he caught it, Rainey said the goal was to score a touchdown.
On the same field but on the opposite side, Brandon Banks returned a missed field goal 113 yards for a touchdown.
“I was thinking: ‘I’m going to win a game for my team,’” said Rainey. “I felt my step was kind of deep. And that was the end of the story right there.”
Rainey explained how he wanted to see the sequence on film when he got home because he wanted to watch the different angles on the play.
“You could tell I stepped out of bounds, though,’’ he acknowledged.
Rainey reacted with anger when he realized what had happened and how the Argos had lost.
“Right away I was like: ‘How the heck did that happen? How can you lose like that?’ As soon as we came into the locker room everyone was at their locker waiting for coach (Corey Chamblin) to come in. I screamed: ‘Hey fellas, that’s on me.’ And everyone is like: ‘No, it ain’t on you, it’s all on us.’ They said how they all trust me with their life. That was nice, but still I felt I let them down.
“I could have changed the game on that one play. Ball in my hands with a whole bunch of offensive linemen, man, I’m taking it the distance.”
One play, one point, one lost game, one night Rainey will never, ever forget.
It was one of those nights.
ARGOS GIVE BROWN THE BOOT
The first shoe has dropped with the Argos, who are desperately searching for a win, with the release of American kicker Drew Brown.
Brown joined the team late last season and was very efficient when called upon to kick field goals.
He emerged as the team’s incumbent amid a crowded field to begin the season, but never duplicated the success he had from a year ago.
There was a sense following Saturday’s 18-17 loss to the visiting B.C. Lions that some kind of change with the roster would be initiated.
A message needed to be sent and Brown emerged as the first casualty.
When the Argos gathered for a light workout at Lamport Stadium Monday, Canadian kicker Tyler Crapigna was back with the team.
Crapigna, who is known for his accuracy, was among the cuts made by the Argos prior to the start of the regular season, as was Zack Medeiros.
Medeiros was summoned following Ronnie Pfeffer’s season-opening injury against Hamilton and now Crapigna has followed.
His addition does allow the Argos to tinker with the ratio.
“The whole thing about professional football, and I talked to the guys this morning (Monday), is you always have to get better,’’ said head coach Corey Chamblin. “You never want to replace a player because each works his best. In this game, we have a short life in how long we have to perform.”
How much longer the Argos wait in making additional changes will depend on how well they perform on the field.
Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2019