Hill making it difficult

PERRY LEFKO -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:39 AM ET

Hakim Hill impressed in his pro debut and now he'll get a chance to do more. Perhaps a lot more.

Pending the health of feature running back John Avery, who continues to be sidelined with an adductor injury, Hill could receive significant playing time in Friday's pre-season finale against Hamilton at Ivor Wynne Stadium.

Hill stood out in the pre-season opener against Hamilton last Saturday in Halifax, rushing four times for 29 yards and catching two passes for 26 yards. He caught a pass in the flat on the Argos' opening series, turned up field for a 21-yard gain and laid out Tiger-Cat cornerback Dedric Mathis. In the second quarter, he took a handoff and ran for 20 yards.

Hill said yesterday it felt great to get his first taste of the Canadian Football League.

"It was nice to get in there and see the tempo of the game and have a chance to calm down a little bit and just get my reads right," he said.

On his dramatic hit on Mathis, Hill said: "I was just anxious to get that first hit in because once you do you get a chance to relax and calm down. Why shake a guy when you have a chance to set the tone? I just really wanted to hit a guy."

Hill participated briefly as a receiver yesterday to give the regulars a rest. It's expected he'll be given more opportunities to increase his experience at different positions and strengthen his bid to make the active roster instead of starting the season on the practice roster. The Argos have two backup Canadian running backs in Jeff Johnson and John Williams and it's rare for teams to keep an American backup on the game-day roster, but Hill is making it hard for the Argos not to include him in their plans.

"Right now we're trying to find out what his capacity is," vice-president of football operations Adam Rita said. "We try to overload him a little bit and then we'll see what we can do with him."

QBS EARN LONGER LOOK

Rookie hopefuls Scott Covington and Charlie Peterson survived the Argos' first round of cuts yesterday and are expected to receive some playing time on Friday in their individual battle to win the third-string job behind Damon Allen and Michael Bishop, who has missed most of training camp following his stint in the Arena League. Bishop hadn't returned yesterday from participating in some Arena League events, but likely will play on Friday.

FIRST CUTS

Rookie defensive backs Greg Golden and Derek Combs were released yesterday, along with quarterback Tom Denison, the two-time Hec Crighton Trophy winner from Beamsville, Ont., and veteran defensive back Raphaol Ball.


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