Really pumped up

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 8:49 AM ET

TORONTO -- Troy Davis claims he didn't have any extra motivation by facing Ricky Williams - the former NFL superstar who cost him a job with the New Orleans Saints several years ago.

But that point aside, Davis made a much stronger point on Thanksgiving Day by proving the Edmonton Eskimos can still run the football.

A foreign concept for most of the year, Davis had his best day ever in the Green and Gold silks, piling up a stunning 189 yards on 22 carries for a remarkable 8.6-yard average against the Toronto Argos.

"He was their offence," said Toronto safety Orlando Steinauer.

DA MAN

Combined with his four catches for 20 yards, Davis had 209 yards of offence - 58% of Edmonton's entire offensive production. The Iowa State product also out-gained Toronto's Ricky Williams (71 yards) and John Avery (66 yards), combined.

"I am very happy with (my) linemen, but we still got a loss with it," said Davis, who hadn't gained 100 yards in a game this year until yesterday.

By reaching the century mark, the six-year CFL vet will take his blocking crew for an all-expenses-paid meal.

With at least six linemen to feed, that will be a hefty ticket. But he's not worried.

"It doesn't matter, I got (the money)," quipped Davis. "It is time for them to get fed."

According to Toronto defensive end Jonathan Brown, it's time Edmonton head coach Danny Maciocia feeds Davis the ball more often.

"(Davis) told me after the game that they had been giving him seven carries a game sometimes. I don't understand that," said Brown.

"He is a great back and I don't know why he doesn't have his carries.

"He's very patient and that is the key for him against our defence.

"(Davis) let the linemen open the gap and then he hit it.

"Usually running backs want to get straight down- hill."

In the aftermath of Edmonton's 28-23 loss yesterday, A.J. Gass also hopes Davis becomes more involved.

"Once they started feeding him the ball, he ran wild (yesterday)," said Gass.

"If we keep doing that during the rest of these games, we will have success."

The Eskimos' feature running back entered Rogers Centre with a per-game average of 10 carries for 53 yards this year.

Granted, Toronto's run defence is ranked seventh in the league, averaging 129 yards against.

ONE INDIVIDUAL

But that doesn't take the glimmer off a 189-yard performance by just one individual.

"Our offensive line and Troy did a great job," said quarterback Ricky Ray.

"That is one of the main reasons we were able to get back in the game."

Indeed, Davis had 134 yards in the second half when Edmonton mounted a comeback.

He ran five times on the Esks' first scoring drive of the second half.

And, he then rumbled for 44 yards on a carry later in the third quarter to set up another Edmonton major.

"I'm glad he got an opportunity to show everyone that he still has the legs and the will to lead this team in rushing," said receiver Ed Hervey.

"The proof is in the pudding about what kind of running back he is and what kind of offensive line we are capable of having," added Dan Comiskey.


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