Ticats' Cobourne wins bragging rights

TERRY KOSHAN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:01 AM ET

Whether he was being honest (his explanation) or trash-talking (the general perception), Avon Cobourne had plenty to say this past week.

After all, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats running back was facing his former Montreal Alouettes teammates for the first time since signing in Hamilton during the winter, and he wanted to make sure world knew about it.

When it came time to step on to the gridiron at Ivor Wynne Stadium, Cobourne, who loves to use twitter (@AvonCobourne) to voice his opinion, walked the walk.

To an extent.

The talkative tweeter finished with 67 yards rushing on 15 carries and had another 59 yards on four receptions in the Ticats' 34-26 victory. No touchdowns for No. 22, but his 38-yard run in the first quarter, during which he got a great block from lineman Peter Dyakowski, set up a four-yard touchdown run by quarterback Quinton Porter, Hamilton's go-to guy for short yardage.

Cobourne's first touch against his old mates was a 17-yard scamper finding an open lane deep on Hamilton's side of mid-field. It was a run that got the home side out of trouble.

An effective blocker, Cobourne got himself in the way of Alouettes defenders when his number was not called.

Shoving Shea Emry to the field with 23 seconds remaining was not brilliant, but Cobourne's outburst appeared to be vindicated as Emry ripped Cobourne's helmet off.

In a perfect ending, Cobourne would have run in for the game-winning touchdown as time expired in the fourth quarter. That didn't happen, but until the teams meet again at Ivor Wynne Stadium on Sept. 5 in a revamped version of the Labour Day Classic, Cobourne will have bragging rights.

At the half

Anthony Calvillo doesn't struggle often, so when he does have trouble moving the football, it sticks out. In the opening 30 minutes, there were times when the star Alouettes quarterback underthrew his receivers, but for the most part, much of the credit for Calvillo's woes goes to the Ticats secondary. There was almost no separation between receivers and defenders, so Calvillo couldn't complete his passes. Carlos Thomas, Jason Shivers and Bo Smith always were in Calvillo's line of vision when he went downfield ... The Ticats dodged a bullet in the last minute of the second quarter when Als linebacker Billy Parker nearly picked off Kevin Glenn. If Parker snared the football, he would have had a clear route to the end zone and Montreal would have had the lead going into the locker room ... When Sean Whyte booted a 44-yard field goal on the Als' opening drive, it marked the first time this season the Ticats gave up a score on the opposition's first series ... Not everything went Cobourne's way. When he was flagged for holding Diamond Ferri in the first quarter, the 10-yard penalty negated a 14-yard reception by Chris Williams ... Hamilton's Justin Hickman didn't get much of a challenge from tackle Josh Bourke to sack Calvillo. Bourke seemed to be hampered by a right knee injury that kept him out last week ... Als cornerback Dwight Anderson, a target of Cobourne's so-called truth-telling, was penalized for a major foul when he sent Chris Williams spiralling out of bounds. But Williams was trying for extra yards, and the call was borderline.

In the end zone

Whenever the Ticats need a catch, Dave Stala makes it. It's just something that happens. Funny, but Stala also is a former Alouette, and you don't hear him trying to verbally stir it up ... Marc Trestman's Alouettes could wind up on top of the East Division again, but if that is to happen, the head coach is going to have rein in his players to a degree. The Als aren't as disciplined as they should be, and as two-time defending Grey Cup champions, they should know better ... What would have been Anwar Stewart's 60th career sack was wiped out by a penalty on Chip Cox ... Why do coaches often hold their play cards over their mouths when they're discussing something on the sideline? The same thing happens in hockey. Don't give away secrets, sure, but are members of the opposing team really that good at lip-reading? ... One reason a lot of attention has been paid to Cobourne is that Arland Bruce III has been so quiet. Bruce missed one game because of injury, but has not recorded a touchdown in the four games he has played. He simply has not been the exciting player that fans across the CFL have come to know in the past decade. Bruce appeared to screw up a route in the third quarter when a pass from Glenn, which appeared to be intended for Matt Carter, was tipped by Bruce for an incompletion ... Some Ticats spoke before the game of the Alouettes being a measuring stick. The Argonauts talk about it every time they play the Als. With consecutive losses, though, Montreal is coming back to Earth. Let's hope there's more intrigue in the battle for first in the East after Labour Day ... Kerry Watkins played in his first game for the Als this season after recovering from sinus surgery and had 30 yards on three receptions ... The Als have lost two games in a row for the first time since 2008.


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