Posted by: Jeremy | October 22, 2009

Argos look to play spolier, grab series win over Ticats


Jamal Robertson has rushed for 317 yards and three touchdowns against Hamilton this season

Jamal Robertson has rushed for 317 yards and three touchdowns against Hamilton this season

In a season filled with tough breaks and disappointment, the Argos have been able to find slight relief in their rivals from Steeltown. Though just 3-12 on the season, the Argos have taken two of three from the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, including their only home win of the year — a 25-22 overtime decision on Sept. 11. Toronto looks to close the season series with another win Friday at Rogers Centre and play the spoiler against a Hamilton team that’s suddenly fighting for its playoff life.

The Ticats come in having lost four straight and seven of their last nine to drop to 6-9 on the season, leaving them tied with Winnipeg for the CFL’s final playoff spot. Still, Argos head coach Bart Andrus insists he’s approaching Friday’s tilt as just another game — not as an opportunity to deal a blow to his team’s biggest rival.

“The game itself far outweights anything,” Andrus said after Thursday’s walk-through. “It’s all about competing to win regardless of the situation. We’re just in it to win the game.”

Though the end results haven’t been there, Hamilton has received a boost from quarterback Kevin Glenn in recent weeks. Glenn, who has split time with Quinton Porter for much of the season, got the call Sunday against Montreal, passing for 506 yards and three touchdowns in an eventual 41-38 loss. Glenn has had his share of success against Toronto this season as well — he threw for 273 yards in the Ticats’ 34-15 Labour Day win and scrambled 18 yards to score in the final minute and send the Sept. 11 game to overtime.

“The key is to contain him,” Andrus said of the Hamilton quarterback. “Putting a little bit of pressure on him, making him throw early and making him uncomfortable in the pocket — that has more of an effect on a passer than anything.

“He hurt us last game,” he added. “We want to make sure we bottle him up, but at the same time put as much pressure on him as we can.”

Meanwhile, Andrus is going with Kerry Joseph as his starting quarterback for the third straight week. Joseph threw for 331 yards in last week’s 22-19 loss to Edmonton, though the majority came in a late fourth quarter rally that came up short. In eight starts and two relief appearances this season, Joseph has thrown just eight touchdowns and 15 interceptions.

One bright spot in Toronto’s offense has been running back Jamal Robertson. Robertson enters Friday’s game fifth in the CFL with 990 rushing yards, putting himself in position to become the first Argo to rush for over 1,000 yards since Michael Jenkins accomplished the feat in 2001.

“It’s a nice mark for myself,” Robertson said Thursday of approaching the milestone. “It’s been awhile since anyone has done it in Toronto, so it’s good to bring a little positive to the organization in the midst of a rough year.”

Robertson has had his two best games of the season against Hamilton — he rushed for 134 yards and a touchdown in Toronto’s 30-17 season-opening win on Canada Day and added 117 and two scores in the win on Sept. 11.

“I guess it’s just the luck of the draw,” Robertson said of his play against the Ticats. “I got some good blocking and caught a few breaks in those games. It was nice to come out with wins in both.”

The Argos’ defense receive a blow earlier this week with the news that defensive end Claude Harriott will miss the rest of the season with a knee injury suffered in last week’s loss to Edmonton. Harriott’s absence means Jonathan Brown, who missed the first nine games of the season while recovering from a back injury, will be called upon to play a bigger role — one he’s already proven capable of handling.

“Claude is a great player and has been a great asset to our team,” defensive tackle Adriano Belli said Thursday. “But we’re comfortable with J.B.. He brings great enthusiasm to the team and to the locker room. He’s one of the only players older than me, so he makes me feel good.”

Brown, who has three sacks in five games since returning from the injured list, has been an East Division All-Star four straight seasons. His 50 sacks since joining the Argos in 2004 are amongst CFL leaders in that period.

A win Friday would clinch the Ballard Trophy, given annually to the winner of the Argos-Ticats season series and one Andrus’ wouldn’t mind taking home.

“If that’s the prize for the game, then we want it,” he said. “If it means winning the game, we’ll take it. We’re all about that.”

The Argos and Ticats kickoff Friday at seven.

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Responses

  1. Steel city all the way!!!!
    how do you get all your quotes, and such? its almost like you live among them!!!
    NOW, I KNOW THIS IS A DEAD HORSE TO BEAT, BUT WHAT ABOUT THE BUILDING DOWN THE STREET AND ITS OCCUPANTS……LEAFS NATION NEEDS INSIGHT!!!!! lol.

  2. I don’t quite live amongst them, but I was down at the walk-through yesterday doing some interviews. I’ll be a the game tonight too.

    As for the Leafs, I’ve been meaning to get on that, but there hasn’t been much to write about!


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