Argos trash inflammatory talk

Aged Argos quarterback Damon Allen says that despite the ice pack on his knee yesterday he will be...

Aged Argos quarterback Damon Allen says that despite the ice pack on his knee yesterday he will be good to go against his former club, the B.C. Lions, in the Grey Cup. (Toronto Sun/Stan Behal)

PERRY LEFKO -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:41 AM ET

At this stage of their preparation for the Grey Cup, the Argos aren't looking to get into a hissing match.

The Argos are willing to give the B.C. Lions lots of praise and respect in advance of Sunday's game at Frank Clair Stadium in Ottawa.

Following their 26-18 victory over the Montreal Alouettes in this past Sunday's East Division final -- a game which the team from Quebec felt it could lose only by beating itself -- the Argos returned home yesterday feeling good about themselves and generously praising their next opponent.

The Lions and the Argos split their season series with each squad winning at home. B.C. won the first game, 31-10 at B.C. Place, but the Argos won the return match, 22-16 later at the SkyDome.

Argos quarterback Damon Allen did not play in either of the games because of a cracked left tibia he sustained in the Aug. 12 game against Montreal.

"They're probably two teams that are very confident that they can beat one another, which makes it a very interesting Grey Cup," said Allen, who played seven years for the Lions and quarterbacked their Grey Cup win in 2000 against the Als.

"Obviously there's a confidence level we have against that team. We feel, in all phases of the game, especially on special teams, that we can really make a difference. We take pride in those things. In order to win Grey Cups it takes that type of game -- all three phases have to play well."

Safety Orlondo Steinauer, who blocked a punt in the victory over the Als, said the results this season against the Lions won't have any bearing on Sunday's game.

"We know we can beat them, they know they can beat us," Steinauer said. "We're aware of their weapons and what can happen, but at the same time we're just focused on our (defence)."

Offensive lineman Jude St. John, who is playing the first Grey Cup of his 10-year career, praised the Lions.

"B.C. is a great football team," St. John said. "They've got a solid defensive line so we know we're going to have our work cut out for us, but we've have success against them and vice versa. It should be a great game. We were second in our division and they ended up winning theirs. It's two good teams going at it."

Argos coach Pinball Clemons said the Lions and Argos are evenly matched.

"I think both teams have the ability to get on a roll and both teams have shown they can be a little stagnant at times," Clemons said. "It's a good matchup."

The only other time B.C. and Toronto met in the Cup was in 1983 and the Argos prevailed 18-17.


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