For Moreno, a win is a must

TERRY KOSHAN, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 11:21 AM ET

HAMILTON -- Finally, a pro athlete who gladly recognizes that the next game is not just another one on the schedule.

The Argonauts carry the worst record in the Canadian Football League into the Labour Day Classic this afternoon at Ivor Wynne Stadium against the Tiger-Cats and linebacker Zeke Moreno knows victories have to start coming ... now.

"It's a must-win and more," Moreno said yesterday. "I'm not saying it's just another game. We win this game, we're still in the (playoff) race."

The Argos play host to the Ticats on Friday night and a sweep by their biggest rivals in the home-and-home set would put the season on life support. From Kerry Joseph's inability to get on track to blowing late leads to bad coaching decisions, the Argos come by their place in the CFL basement honestly. Nine games will remain after today, but how much deeper can the hole get before the Boatmen bottom out?

There could be some hope in the form of Dominique Dorsey, who was not added to the Washington Redskins practice roster yesterday (though defensive tackle Corey Mace, another whose CFL rights are owned by the Argos, was put on the Buffalo Bills practice roster). But even if Dorsey returns, it might be too late.

The Argos have lost four in a row and will try to shut down receiver Arland Bruce, who is itching to show up his former team in the first time he has faced them since his July trade. An expected sellout of 29,600 today should give Bruce a bit more juice.

"I am looking to give my boys high-fives before the game and let's go play football," Bruce said, referring to his old mates. "Have fun, it's the Labour Day Classic. I'm bringing my 'A' game, so make sure they bring theirs."

But Bruce wouldn't bite when it was suggested to him that Ticats (4-4) can all but bury the Argos with two wins.

"I can't really worry about them," Bruce said. "I had a great time when I was there and all I can focus on is helping this team get to the playoffs."

One of the other subplots will see two close friends -- Argos tackle Adriano Belli and Ticats centre Marwan Hage -- lock horns. Hage said that, for the past few days, he has been ignoring messages left on his phone by Belli.

"His game is to be a bully, and the only way to stop a bully is to hit him in the jaw," Hage said. "Do that and he sits down. But I'm not taking anything away from the guy."

Cody Pickett will make his third consecutive start at quarterback for Toronto, and punter Eddie Johnson has been activated.

"We're not where we want to be," Argos head coach Bart Andrus said of the record, "but I think we're really close to turning the corner."

The Argos and their fans will find out later today if it's another brick wall around the corner or a glimmer of light.

TERRY.KOSHAN@SUNMEDIA.CA


Videos

Photos