Full steam ahead for Argos

FRANK ZICARELLI -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:44 AM ET

There were glimpses of greatness when the Argos marched down the field like world beaters.

Veteran offensive guard Jude St. John even had an occasion to glance at the scoreboard and see the numbers his offence had posted.

It was a sight long overdue, but one St. John admits has to be more consistent as the Argos make their final push into the CFL's post-season.

As well as they played in beating the Edmonton Eskimos 28-23 on Monday, St. John knows the Argos have to play a complete game.

At 9-6, the Argos are assured of making the playoffs, but the goal of this playoff-tested and experienced group is to win the Grey Cup.

Being dominant in one half, as the Argos were in seizing a 25-9 lead at intermission against Edmonton, is one thing -- maintaining it has been elusive so far.

"I remember looking up at the scoreboard and seeing we had rushed for 80 yards and Damon (Allen) had completed 11 of 12 passes," St. John said. "That's where we could be.

"Where we want to be is to maintain that stretch over the course of an entire game.

"Hopefully we hit that in the next couple of games and ride that to the Grey Cup."

With the backfield of Ricky Williams and John Avery, the Argos made a commitment to the run.

When the Eskimos were forced to crowd the box, the Argos' primary receiving threats -- Tony Miles and Arland Bruce III -- matched up in favourable situations.

Flawless and aggressive in the first half, the Argos were tentative and lacked a killer instinct in the second half.

The only second-half points the Argos mustered came off the foot of Noel Prefontaine, which was set up when Sean Fleming shanked a punt for nine yards.

"We need to put teams away when we have an opportunity," veteran centre Chad Folk said. "There's still a lot of work to be done before the playoffs.

"What we need to do is put a full game together, something we haven't done. We showed what we can do, but now we need to do it more consistently."

The Argos aren't fooling anyone. Winners of seven of their past eight games, the Argos know they have to play with a sense of urgency from start to finish if they hope to go deep into the post-season.

Offensively, about the only good thing the Argos did in the second half of Monday's win was run out the clock after their defence forced a turnover on downs.

Defensively, the Argos were vulnerable against the run and allowed Troy Davis a season-high 189 yards.

On Edmonton's first series in the second half, Ricky Ray led a 12-play touchdown drive that consumed nearly seven minutes and 82 yards.

"The fact we're tied for first in our division (with Montreal) is encouraging," St. John said. "But now is the time to play a full game, a full four quarters from start to finish and see where that gets us."


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