Making a point

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 8:12 AM ET

Troy Davis wanted to send a very clear message on Thanksgiving Day.

The diminutive, but sturdy running back wanted to show the Hamilton Tiger-Cats that they made a mistake dealing him to the Edmonton Eskimos.

"I wanted to prove a point: Why trade me? I am still one of the best backs out there," said Davis.

Well, the leading rusher in the CFL last year definitely proved his point, getting 112 yards on 19 carries in his Green and Gold debut Monday against the Toronto Argos.

In the process, he also ended the longest 100-yard running game drought in the CFL. It had been 21 games since an Eskimo -- Mike Pringle, to be precise -- had topped the century mark.

Before Monday only two teams -- Edmonton and Toronto -- had yet to receive a 100-yard game from a tailback this year.

The biggest regular-season crowd (34,116) in T.O. in at least a decade watched Davis's running clinic -- and mixed in the crowd at Rogers Centre were a few Tiger-Cats acting as Davis's personal cheering section. "Archie Amerson, Marcus Brady, Craig Yeast -- all of them came to the game wearing my Hamilton jersey," said Davis. "I talked to them after the game. They wished me the best and (said); 'You are in a better situation than us right now.' "

And Davis definitely loves his new team and situation.

"It was like unbelievable," said Davis of running behind the Eskimo offensive line on Monday. "There were so many holes. Some plays I tried to get too pretty ... and I got caught in the backfield. I love this line. They are a big group of lovely people, really."

The five-year CFL veteran has the same feelings for the rest of his new teammates.

"It's just like an NFL locker-room," explained Davis, who spent three years - 1997-99 - with the New Orleans Saints before heading north to Hamilton. "You got people here who love you just for you not because you are a good football player."

Call it one happy family after one week and one win together. But there is a new challenge right around the corner. The Saskatchewan Roughriders battle the Eskimos Saturday, with the Riders second in the league defending the run - giving up an average of 89 yards per game, nearly 30 yards less per game than Toronto.

LATE HITS: Davis Sanchez says he won't play Saturday after suffering a groin injury Monday. Mike Bradley, with a knee ligament injury, is doubtful. Both players had an MRI yesterday.


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