Als can give up the big play

TERRY KOSHAN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:09 PM ET

TORONTO - Some random thoughts and observations following the Argonautsí 16-13 victory against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats at Ivor Wynne Stadium on Sunday, a triumph that sent the Ticats packing after an East semi at home for the second year in a row:

Few people who donít work for the Argonauts will pick them to beat the Montreal Alouettes in the East final in five days.

But before those predictions are made, some important facts need to be considered.

The Alouettes have been known to give up a big play or two on defence, and it happened as recently as nine days ago, when Argos rookie Spencer Watt had a 50-yard touchdown reception.

Weíre not saying itís a guarantee the Argos continuously will stretch the field against Montreal, because thatís not their style, but the potential is there for Montreal to be exploited.

Itís something that should be a focal point for the offence once the Argos return to practice on Wednesday.

NOT THAT SOUR...

Perhaps because they gave up the most touchdowns in the air during the regular season ó 34 ó maybe itís not surprising that the Alouettes didnít shut Toronto quarterback Cleo Lemon down.

It might not amount to anything at Olympic Stadium, and it might, but of Lemonís 15 TD passes, no less than six were against the Alouettes. And remember that Lemon played less than a quarter versus the Als in the last game of the regular season. Lemon didnít get much done against the Tiger-Cats, but you can bet he will cling to whatever confidence he drew from the final drive that ensured Hamilton started deep in their own territory with 59 seconds remaining.

DEFENCE DOMINANT

Not only did the Argos constantly keep Kevin Glenn, and for a short time, Quinton Porter, in quick-think mode, the defence completely stripped the Ticats of their running game. DeAndraí Cobb, who was fourth during the regular season with 1,173 rushing yards, had just eight yards on six carries. Marcus Thigpen led the home team with 13 yards on two rushes. Cory Boyd, on the other hand, didnít have a great average, with 4.9 yards a rush on 19 carries, but he got the yards when they were needed, including 36 on the final drive. The Alouettes, incidentally, had the best defence against the run.

SAINT NOEL

With 10 points (three field goals and a convert), Noel Prefontaine padded his lead as the Argosí franchise scoring leader. In 14 playoff games for the Double Blue, Prefontaine has 91 points, 14 more than the 77 Lance Chomyc had in nine post-season matches. Prefontaine was saying on Saturday that his heart always was in Toronto, even when he was traded to Edmonton in 2008. Seeing Prefontaine in Double Blue again kind of makes the world seem right in Argoland.

IS IT COLD IN HERE?

Nothing says celebrating a big victory like going topless, apparently. The Argos partied after their playoff win at a downtown Toronto nightclub and decided at one point that relieving themselves of their shirts was the way to go. Whatever floats your boat, men, but try to keep your pants on if you win the Grey Cup, okay?

HEY, WEíRE ON TV

The Argos/Ticats game attracted an average audience of 1.1 million on TSN, with a peak of 2 million late in the game when the Argos sealed the win on Byron Parkerís interception. The West semi-final between B.C. and Saskatchewan had an average audience of 2 million, making it the most-watched CFL semi-final on record.

BRIEFLY

The victory marked the first time the Argos won a semi-final on the road since 1961 ... The Argos got out of the game without any major injury concerns, and both Bryan Crawford (abductor) and Jeff Johnson (hamstring) expect to play in Montreal ... Linebacker Jason Pottinger continued a strong second half of the year, forcing a fumble and recovering another one ... Boyd, of all people, led the Argos with eight receptions ... It makes no sense, but itís true. Lemon threw for only 134 yards, and only once during the regular season, when he had 90 in a game against Winnipeg, did he have fewer when he played in a full game. The Argos won both.


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