Argos 'D' puts on a show

ROB LONGLEY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:11 AM ET

One of the immediate advantages Robert Edwards received in joining the Argos mid-season was not having to get punished by the Double Blue defence.

Yesterday, the former Montreal Alouettes running back saw what providing a little offence can do to make that unit pump up even more.

After opening up a big early lead on the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, the Argos defence shifted into attack mode then cruise control on the way to a 31-23 win that was nowhere near that close.

"As long as we can keep our defence fresh, we're going to be hard to beat," said Edwards, who rushed for 85 yards as the Argos moved to 5-7 in front of a season-low crowd of 26,423 at the Rogers Centre.

"We're starting to grow the offence at the right time and that will only help our defence. When we get a lead, those guys get hungry and when they get hungry they're very different."

The Bombers flattered the final score and quarterback Kevin Glenn's personal stats with a big second half.

The Argos led 21-1 at the break and 31-2 late in the third quarter before they powered down. Glenn, who completed 30 of 54 attempts for 453 yards, put up 380 of those yards, including two touchdown tosses in the second half.

But other than defensive co-ordinator Rich Stubler --who head coach Mike (Pinball) Clemons said was "pulling out his hair" on the sidelines -- the Argos weren't too worried about the mostly harmless rally.

"They could have 800 yards passing, I don't care," Argos linebacker Michael Fletcher said. "We still give up the least touchdowns in the league. That's fine with me.

"We feel like when we get a cushion -- a 10-13 point lead, we feel like it pretty much is lights out."

After getting blown out 40-7 by B.C. last week, the Argos came out with a game plan to shut down the most productive offensive player in the league -- Charles Roberts.

The normally elusive running back found no room and was stuffed for a minuscule seven yards on six carries.

Anice trifecta of plays from all three units gave the Argos a slice of balance they haven't seen much of this season.

There was Kenny Wheaton's 84-yard interception return for one touchdown. Special teams got their major on a 97-yard kickoff return from Dominique Dorsey and on offence, Michael Bishop hit Frank Murphy with a perfect strike on an 18-yard strike in the end zone.

"I think when we start to put some points on the board, it brings a lot of energy (to the defence)," said Bishop, who completed 14 of 24 attempts for 225 yards.

"If we can get the lead early in the game, the sky is the limit for us."

The Argos now face home-and-home dates with both Montreal and Edmonton, two teams they are battling with in the early stages of the CFL playoff race.

"I thought it as well as we have played with all things working together since weeks two and three of the season," Clemons said. S"We still have some things that are still gnawing us that we have to get better at.

"Right now we are a better team than we were a week or two ago. We need to get six or seven weeks better to truly be a contender."


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