Leaving it on the field

Hamilton Tiger-Cats' Troy Davis tries to break free from the Argos defence in this file photo. The...

Hamilton Tiger-Cats' Troy Davis tries to break free from the Argos defence in this file photo. The Argos and Ticats square off tomorrow night at the SkyDome. (Toronto Sun/Fred Thornhill)

PERRY LEFKO -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:18 AM ET

Troy Davis has given new meaning to the expression "no guts, no glory."

In two games this season, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats' tailback literally spilled some contents in his gut on the field. It just so happened that in each game, he racked up major yardage, including a team record 233 on the ground on Labour Day against Toronto.

"It's no personal thing why I'm throwing up. It just happens to certain people," Davis said yesterday. "That's just the way I play football. Every time when I run the ball or try to block, I try to take everything out. When I take everything out, I mean my guts coming out, too."

HUGE TEST

Heading into tomorrow's pivotal game at the SkyDome -- the Argos hold a two-point lead over Hamilton in the battle for second place in the East -- Hamilton will use Davis to try and wear down Toronto's defence.

"If I can have a big game against Toronto again I would love to have it, but it's got to be with a win," Davis said.

Davis leads the league with 1,486 rushing yards and is deserving of serious consideration for the CFL's Most Outstanding Player Award. He began the season with only 84 yards on 39 carries in the opening three games, but rookie head coach Greg Marshall decided to implement a balanced offence with twin tight ends. Combined with the offensive line jelling, the running game picked up and so did Davis' production.

Davis, who is the only NCAA player to twice rush for 2,000 yards, said he would love to accomplish that feat in the CFL. It's happened only once before, when Mike Pringle totalled 2,065 with Montreal in 1998, eclipsing his previous mark of 1,972 in 1994.

"I'd love to rush for 2,000 yards, but when that happens I don't know," Davis said. "Can it happen? Yes, it can. I don't know about this year. I've got to break out with a big game, like 400 yards. I doubt that will happen this year, but it will be real close, though."

The fact the fourth-year Tiger-Cat has been able to stand up to the physical pounding is a testament to his heart and, dare we say, guts. He is listed at only 5-foot-9 and 180 pounds.

"The guy carries the ball 30 times and gets up and may throw up on the field and gets back in the huddle and plays again," Marshall said. "He does whatever you ask of him. Watch Troy when he's not carrying the football. His blocking is ferocious. I've taught pass blocking and I've coached running backs for a long time. Troy is just quick and can unload a lot. He's very much a team player that way. He will sacrifice his body."

Quite gladly, in fact.

"If we need to pass and there's a linebacker or there's somebody free (from the defensive side), I'm going to try to take their head off," Davis said. "That's what I do for every play. I go as hard as I can. Every play I try to hurt myself, whether I carry the ball or I'm blocking, I'm trying to knock somebody out."


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