Bring on the Tiger-Cats

PERRY LEFKO -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:52 AM ET

At least the Argos won't have to dwell too long on their latest loss.

The Argos will be back in action this Thursday at the SkyDome against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats with a chance to erase the memory of a 29-11 defeat in Calgary on Saturday.

The coming game may be the biggest of the season for both the Argos and Tiger-Cats.

"It'll be a game in which the winner in all likelihood gets home-field advantage (for the Eastern semi-final), so you can't ask for a whole lot more than that," head coach Pinball Clemons said.

The Argos (9-6-1) have a two-point lead over Hamilton (8-7-1) with two games left. The Tiger-Cats are oozing with confidence following an overtime win over the Ottawa Renegades on Friday and will have the luxury of an extra day to prepare for the Argos.

Thursday's game will be the third in the season series between the two rivals. In their most recent matchup, the Argos and Ticats played to a 30-30 overtime tie on Labour Day.

The Argos dominated the first meeting, cruising to a 34-6 win that ended the Ticats' magical start to the season that featured three consecutive wins.

"The simple fact is we need to beat them," Clemons said. "You don't want to go into the post-season having lost to the team you've got to play against."

Unlike Labour Day, the Argos will have quarterback Damon Allen and receiver Tony Miles, both of whom played against Calgary after missing several games because of injuries.

"The quick turnaround will be good for us because we don't have to dwell on the (Calgary) game for long," said Miles, who missed five games because of a fractured foot.

"We've played Hamilton twice in the pre-season and twice in the regular season, so we know Hamilton and what they have to offer. It's just about us correcting our mistakes and going out there and executing how we play football."

Allen fractured his left tibia in Montreal on Aug. 12 and saw his first game action when he relieved Michael Bishop in the second quarter against Calgary. Allen completed his first 13 passes and finished with 19 completions in 23 attempts. Two of his passes were intercepted.

Miles had three catches for 48 yards and was the intended receiver on one of the intercepted passes.

Clemons said Allen was "solid" for his first game back.

"He threw the ball and moved the offence pretty well," Clemons said. "Ultimately, we didn't come up with points and that's what you have to do."

Miles said the Calgary game helped Allen and himself shake off the rust.

"We feel like we're a part of this offence, Damon and myself, and we looked rusty at times (against the Stampeders), but it's just gelling with the rest of the guys," Miles said.


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