England ready to attack

Toronto Argonauts' Dave Costa (left) loosens up with a soccer ball before practice at U of T's...

Toronto Argonauts' Dave Costa (left) loosens up with a soccer ball before practice at U of T's Erindale campus in Mississauga on Tuesday. (Toronto Sun/Michael Peake)

ROB LONGLEY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:25 AM ET

When Eric England starts to crank it up, opponents start to cringe.

Few in the CFL would know that better than Montreal Alouettes quarterback Anthony Calvillo, who has been a high-profile victim of England's attack.

Two years ago in the Eastern final, the Argos defensive end sacked Calvillo on the second play of the second half.

The resulting separation of Calvillo's throwing shoulder propelled the Argos to a shocking 26-18 win to set up another big upset over B.C. in the Grey Cup the following week.

BIG PLAY

"There weren't many bigger plays (in my career) than that one against Anthony," England said yesterday as the team prepared for this Sunday's latest renewal of an Argos-Als Eastern final.

"Of course you don't really want to hurt anybody, but that was a big play at a big point in the game and we needed it."

The Argos were leading 8-7 at the time, but the blow to Calvillo quickly silenced the 51,296 at Olympic Stadium.

In came hapless replacement Todd White, who clearly wasn't up to the assignment, and it wasn't much of a contest.

"I don't remember the play, I just remember seeing Calvillo not being able to get up," Argos cornerback Jordan Younger said yesterday.

"Sometimes you see the backup come in and get the job done, but (White) had problems reading our coverage so that was definitely the turning point of the game."

That contest was also a memorable one for Younger, now a fixture in the ball-hawking bunch of Argos defensive backs.

Being a rookie, Younger clearly was a target of the Als that day. Instead of wilting, however, Younger stepped up and made some big plays, a nice springboard to his career.

"One of the things Montreal does well that a lot of teams in the league don't is they attack an individual as opposed to just a scheme," Younger said. "I was definitely a part of their game plan.

"But we did a great job preparing. We were ready for them."

As a veteran on the Argos defence, England has stepped up in recent weeks. The 6-foot-3, 271-pounder has had seven tackles in each of his past two games and had a key sack of Winnipeg quarterback Kevin Glenn last week.

Befitting a play that was such a springboard to the Argos winning the championship, England remembers the Calvillo takedown of two years ago as if it were yesterday.

"I just remember coming around the corner and getting hold of him and thinking, 'I've got him,' " England said. "When we went down, I thought I just hurt him a little -- it definitely wasn't anything intentional.

"But right after that it was the turning point and we went on to victory."

So does England expect Calvillo will be hearing those big footsteps this Sunday at Olympic Stadium?

"I think he's dismissed it by now," England said. "It's been two years. He knows we're going to come after him (on Sunday) but for the most part, he's going to do what he does."


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