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JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:47 AM ET

The Toronto Argonauts (10-7-1) play host to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats (9-8-1) in the East Division Semifinal tonight at the SkyDome. Here's the lowdown:

THE ARGOS WILL WIN IF ...

- the offensive line can give quarterback Damon Allen enough time to wield his special magic and distribute the ball to his various game-breakers against the best pass rush in the league.

- the front seven can find a way to shut down Hamilton running back Troy Davis, the CFL's rushing leader, which would limit the effectiveness of Tiger-Cats quarterback Danny McManus. The Argos, however, are last in the league versus the run.

- kick returners such as Bashir Levingston, Arland Bruce III and Tony Miles can continue to bust loose with momentum-turning big plays.

THE TIGER-CATS WILL WIN IF ...

- the offensive line can keep on opening holes for Davis and keep McManus protected well enough to keep drives alive.

- the much-improved secondary can shut down the likes of Bruce, Miles, Robert Baker and John Avery out of the backfield.

- Jamie Boreham can out-kick Noel Prefontaine and Craig Yeast can counter the Argo kick returners.

KEEP AN EYE ON ...

Hamilton No. 5 Craig Yeast

The receiver/kick returner returned a missed field goal 123 yards against Ottawa last week, the longest play of the CFL's regular season, to turn that game around. The speedster also caught a 25-yard touchdown pass. He also caught nine passes for 225 yards and three touchdowns the last time the two teams played.

REMEMBER WHEN ...

The Argos humbled Hamilton 49-8 in the second game of the 2003 season. Former Hamilton defensive back Clifford Ivory scored a pair of touchdowns six minutes apart -- on a fumble return and an interception. Bashir Levingston also returned a punt 72 yards for a TD. The 'Cats staggered to a 1-17 record after that.

JUST SO YOU KNOW ...

Kickoff: 6:30 p.m.

Location: SkyDome.

TV: CBC.

Forecast: Not applicable unless roof is opened.

Line: Toronto -6.5.

All-time series: Hamilton leads 112-74-2-1 (OTL).

Last meeting: Toronto won 38-31 at the SkyDome on Oct. 21, 2004.

Quirky fact: Toronto is 12-0-1 against Hamilton in their last 13 meetings and the Argos have only lost two home games this season, both to Montreal.

EX-TIGER-CAT ARGOS: QB Damon Allen, LB Mike O'Shea, DBs Clifford Ivory and Adrion Smith, S Orlondo Steinauer, RB Jeff Johnson, OL Mike Mihelic, WR Tony Miles.

EX-ARGO TIGER-CATS: SB Archie Amerson, QB Marcus Brady, LB Donnavan Carter, OL Carl Coulter, DE Joe Montford, WR Mike Morreale, DL Johnny Scott, DB Wayne Shaw.

THE FINAL SAY...

"Can't nobody beat us (DBs). It ain't no guaranteed victory. I'm just saying we've had the best defensive in the league, I think."

-- Toronto defensive back Clifford Ivory, conveniently ignoring the fact that the Argos are dead-last in the CFL versus the run


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