Redemption time for Argos' Boyd

ROB LONGLEY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:48 AM ET

HAMILTON Give an offensive lineman the choice to run block or pass protect and the ground game will get the call almost every time.

And when the ball gets in the hands of a bull like Cory Boyd rather than quarterback Cleo Lemon with an upset playoff victory in the balance, well, all the better.

The scoreboard and the first-down markers showed the stark reality of a situation that, from the Argos perspective anyway, shouldnt have come to this.

Guest 16, Home 13. Time remaining, 4:51. First and 10 from their own three-yard line and the Ticats faithful looking for blood.

They knew we were going to run the ball, we knew we were going to run the ball, its just line up, man-to-man and see who wins, Argonauts guard Taylor Robertson said afterwards.

We were in the huddle and said this is it. Were either going to the next round or its going to be over for us right here.

In the next nine plays, Boyd got the rock seven times to take his team out of danger and on to the next round.

It won the game for us, period, said Argos kicker Noel Prefontaine, who did his part with a punt that forced the Ticats to start a drive at their own 10 with just 52 seconds remaining. We needed that drive. It was so crucial.

No one, you might argue, needed it more than Cory Boyd.

The first-year Argo had a season that, had he not missed two games due to injury and the final contest of the regular season to rest, would have made him the CFLs runaway rushing leader.

Then there was the business of settling a score with the Tiger-Cats. In three losses to their division rivals this season, Boyd was barely a factor. In the final meeting in October, he was held to 26 yards on 11 rushes giving him his lowest average per carry (2.4 yards) in his season.

A lot has been said about (Hamilton) stopping the run and stopping me, said Boyd, who had 1,359 yards in the season, just 36 less than league leader Fred Reid of Winnipeg. I couldnt bow down to that. In the back of my mind, I wanted to come in here and punish this team.

Im still upset at the fact I didnt get that rushing title. Im a humble guy, but my offensive lineman wanted to get that through me. I wanted to come out and show the rest of the country I am the true rushing champion.

When Boyd talks about punishing, he means it. Its why the big dudes in front of him love to do the hard work to spring him free. Getting stronger as the game went on, Boyd finished with 93 yards on 19 carries.

I played with Eddie George at Ohio State, hes exactly like him, Argos tackle Rob Murphy said of one of the great downhill runners in recent NFL history. When hes about to get hit, he lowers the boom. Hes a bull.

It had been close to three long years between games that really mean something for Boyd and he remembered. As a senior at South Carolina, the team needed a win against Clemson to get into an NCAA bowl game and a chance for the biggest exposure of his career.

Came down to winning and going to a good Bowl game or lose and go home, Boyd said. In my last outing, we lost. All these years it boiled down to right now.

Its better to get it when you are a pro than when you are in college.

And what about that rushing title that got away?

Were here to win a Grey Cup not win rushing titles, Robertson said so well on Boyds behalf. The guys that have that, I think they are sitting at home right now with their titles and were moving on to the second round.

rob.longley@sunmedia.ca

twitter.com/longleysunsport


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