Avery shines in return

MIKE GANTER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:52 AM ET

Publicly challenged by his coach, running back John Avery rose to the occasion last night.

It didn't result in a win, but it will result in another start a week from now when the Argonauts and the Alouettes complete the home-and-home series in Montreal.

Avery, one of the few bright spots in a dismal Toronto showing, rushed for 105 yards on 20 carries, the first time an Argos back has been over 100 yards rushing in a game since Avery himself did so back in the 2004 season.

"I think John Avery did a good job of making himself irreplaceable today," Argos coach Mike Clemons said.

"He may deserve to be sour, but I still have a lot of faith in him and I think that a lot of other people have renewed faith, so John Avery will be our running back next week."

Avery, who carries a huge chip on his shoulder when it comes to his decreased playing time over the past three years, was downright offended when approached after the game and asked how it felt to be back starting.

"It's funny to me that tonight, after asking for the ball for three years and finally getting the ball, I have a good game and people are telling me: 'Oh you're back, You're back.'

"I get upset because I give all I have to this team. I was coming off knee surgery in 2004 and Pinball told me he needed me, so I played."

It was the second start for Avery this season. Jamel White, the third consecutive import brought in to supplant Avery, bruised his ribs last Saturday in Calgary and did not practise this week.


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