Lumsden relishing a battle

TERRY KOSHAN -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:45 AM ET

He shredded the Argos defence for 189 yards and two touchdowns in a game nearly two months ago, but Jesse Lumsden thinks he will have to work with more determination on Labour Day.

Barring what he called "unforeseen circumstances, such as a bolt of lightning," the Hamilton Tiger-Cats' star running back plans on playing against the Argos on Monday night after missing two games with an ankle injury.

"I feel really good right now and I'm very optimistic," Lumsden said after practice yesterday. "It's going to be a bloodbath out there, and definitely a lot of fun to play. We're all excited about it.

"I always anticipate a tough challenge."

No wonder the Ticats are excited. They have owned the Argos in 2008, recording their only two victories against the Boatmen. If the Ticats stride off the turf at Ivor Wynne Stadium with another triumph, it will mark the first year since 2001 that Hamilton has swept the season series.

Lumsden presumably would play a big part if that happens -- and the Argos know it. The defensive line has been gearing up for this pivotal match all week, and though individuals usually are not a focal point of preparation, Lumsden is different.

'STOP HIM'

The 6-foot-2, 226-pound back is averaging seven yards a carry and his five rushing touchdowns are second in the CFL. The 26-year-old's straight-up running style makes him difficult to tackle, which could be an ugly problem for the Argos, who have had difficulty completing that fundamental task recently.

"Our No. 1 job is to stop him," Argos defensive end Jonathan Brown said. "Jesse is a hell of a back. He's a speed guy, a power guy who does it all. He can catch the ball, too."

"It's a flattering thing for J.B. to say," Lumsden said of the compliment. "Something like that shows the respect others have and it goes a long way."

More than anything, Lumsden wants to forget a difficult first half. On top of his ankle injury, he missed a game with knee trouble. All this after a shoulder injury ended his 2007 season early.

"It's time to put a little bit of hard luck behind us and behind me," Lumsden said.


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