Argos end road woes

PERRY LEFKO -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:44 AM ET

A win is a win is a win for a team that hasn't done much of it lately.

The Argos returned home yesterday, savouring the 26-17 win over the Edmonton Eskimos on Saturday at Commonwealth Stadium.

The Argos ended their grueling schedule of four road games in five weeks, during which time they had two losses and a tie in the first three games.

"We know we're a good football team but we also know that we have to play well," offensive co-ordinator Kent Austin said yesterday. "We're not unrealistic in that regard. We just put together a pretty good second half in all phases. We beat a pretty good football team."

Trailing 8-0 after 30 minutes, the Argos scored 26 consecutive points in the second half before Edmonton scored nine points. The Argos' second-half effort contrasted a second-half collapse in a 44-34 loss to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers the week before.

The Argos' rally included the offence registering a 109-yard touchdown drive, the defence scoring a touchdown on a 33-yard interception by defensive back Clifford Ivory and the special teams adding a touchdown on an 81-yard punt return by Arland Bruce.

"If we can continue that type of play in all three phases, that's going to bode well for us as the year finishes out and, hopefully, going into the playoffs," Austin said.

Austin unveiled a different wrinkle, employing twin tight ends, one of whom, Johnnie Mitchell, started in his first game of the season. Mitchell starred for a few years in the National Football League as a tight end.

"It's pretty effective and I think it caught (the Eskimos) off guard," Austin said. "We're going to use it some more."

The Argos improved to 7-5-1, solidifying their second-place hold in the East, four points ahead of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

OWNER FEELS GOOD

David Cynamon, the co-owner of the Argos with Howard Sokolowski, received the game ball from the team after the win. Cynamon grew up in Edmonton admiring the Eskimos.

"It was a great win for the guys," he said. "It was like a Grey Cup (win) for me just knowing how hard it is to win in that stadium. It was unbelievable all around. The guys sacrificed themselves. It was very impressive. This to me was a team that could challenge Montreal (which is first in the East) with that game plan particularly."


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