Former front-office help is something special

ROB LONGLEY

, Last Updated: 8:15 AM ET

Far from the team's best-paid player, Ray Fontaine worked in the Argos' front office last winter, learning the ins and outs of corporate sponsorship.

The off-season employment helped the Ottawa native make ends meet and yesterday he proved to be a good company man by getting his team that much closer to clinching first place in the CFL's East Division.

A pair of huge special teams plays by Fontaine set up the Argos' two lone touchdowns in a 16-8 win over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

TWO KEY PLAYS

A blocked punt in the first half and forced fumble in the second by the reserve linebacker/defensive end were the key plays in a game desperately crying out for them.

"I was told I was brought up here because I take special teams seriously," said Fontaine, a second-year Argo who played college ball at the University of Kentucky.

"I understand that may be the only way I get on the field, so I'm going to give it my all."

The first effort came late in the first half when the Argos' scheme found Fontaine alone and he went in unblocked to knock down Pat Fleming's punt.

After scooping up the ball on the six-yard line, he was tackled at the one, narrowly missing the score, but setting up an easy plunge for running back John Avery on the next play.

"You just visualize your plays the day before, go over your assignments and, when the opportunity comes, you just pray you can make it," Fontaine said of the challenge of playing on special teams.

"My teammates were happy because, at that time, we needed that score."

Meanwhile, the crowd of 40,116 at Rogers Centre gave the Argos a season average of 30,931, the largest for the franchise since 1992.


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