Ricky fuels the feud

FRANK ZICARELLI -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:20 AM ET

The football feud between the Argos and Hamilton Tiger-Cats has added yet another layer of animosity.

At the centre of the controversy is none other than Argos running back Ricky Williams, the undisputed centre of attention at the Rogers Centre.

Williams saved his best for the game's final quarter by gaining yards along the ground, running over defenders and helping the Argos seal their 27-17 victory.

What raised the ire of the penalty prone Ticats was the sight of Williams on the field with the game all but finished. Twice the Argos handed the ball off to Williams and twice the Ticats denied him a touchdown.

"We've come to expect that from the Argos," said Ticats linebacker Renard Cox, who recorded an interception. "We have this love-hate relationship and I guess they were still bitter we beat them in the pre-season.

"I guess they wanted to prove that they could score points on us. But that's okay. We'll be seeing them again."

Th was the third meeting in as many weeks between the rivals. The teams have three more regular-season matchups, including an Aug. 3 slugfest in Steeltown, where attendance is certain to exceed yesterday's turnstile total of 27,689.

Ticats head coach Greg Marshall has more pressing issues to deal with -- lack of discipline and an offence that couldn't finish off drives -- to worry about, but even he was puzzled at the Argos' late-game and meaningless attempt to give Williams the ball near the goal-line.

"Would you have given it to your star back and risk an injury?" Marshall said in responding with a question to a reporter's question about the Argos' questionable call.

"We just got to do a better job," he said. "They can do what they want."

Hamilton knocked out Damon Allen on the Argos' third play from scrimmage after Wayne Shaw, a former Argo, blitzed from his safety position. Shaw was called for a roughing penalty, one of many for Hamilton on a day when the Ticats shot themselves in the foot often.

An 18-yard missed field goal by Jamie Boreham didn't help Hamilton's cause and neither did a Jason Maas interception that served as the game's turning point.

Two plays after Cox intercepted Spergon Wynn to give Hamilton the ball at Toronto's 19-yard line with the Argos leading 24-17, Maas was picked off by Jermaine Mays.

On Toronto's ensuing play, Williams produced his longest play in the CFL by running for 35 yards.


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