CFL Prarie throwdown among friends

FRANK ZICARELLI, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:16 PM ET

TORONTO - A visit to the Prairies will provide Cedric Gagne-Marcoux an opportunity to visit with Keith Shologan.

And if the opportunity presents itself on the field, the Argonauts’ starting left guard would like nothing better than to pancake Shologan — within the rules that is.

The two share a relationship that is as unique as the CFL itself.

When Shologan was looking for a collegiate place to call his football home, it was Gagne-Marcoux who recruited the defensive lineman to Central Florida.

For a guy who wears his emotions on his sleeve, Gagne-Marcoux readily admits Saturday’s game in Regina has a layer not many of his peers can appreciate, yet alone experience.

“It’s always a fun game,’’ the affable Gagne-Marcoux confided. “To this day, we remain good friends.”

It’s hard to tell how many snaps the Central Florida products will actually go toe to toe with each other, but each is competitive and each leaves everything out on the field.

In Saskatchewan, Shologan lines up on the team’s goalline offence, capable of hauling touchdowns when defences somehow overlook this big body.

Against the Bombers last week, Darian Durant overthrew a wide-open Shologan on one play to the right side of the line of scrimmage.

On another series, Shologan ran a route to the left that actually cleared space for one of Saskatchewan’s more established pass catchers.

Gagne-Marcoux isn’t asked to catch passes, but he did catch some slack following last week’s loss in Vancouver.

Plenty of blame must be spread on an offence that managed but six points, but one of the most telling sequences that summed up Toronto’s afternoon involved Gagne-Marcoux.

When Jeff Johnson hauled in a screen pass that was perfectly conceived, Gagne-Marcoux was called for holding.

On the same series, Gagne-Marcoux allowed Khalif Mitchell to sack Steven Jyles, one of four sacks Toronto’s revamped offensive line would yield.

Given his nature, Gagne-Marcoux punched the ground in frustration.

“I didn’t see the play like I should have,’’ Gagne-Marcoux said. “It’s just like a goalie in hockey who allows a bad goal. You get mad because you know you should have done it (make the block). Everyone saw me punching the ground.”

Gagne-Marcoux makes no apologies for his actions and nor should he.

Afterall, it would be completely out of character for a character guy such as Gagne-Marcoux not to express how he feels, good or bad.

“I’m emotional,’’ he added. “And I want to do well on every play. On that one play, I got mad.”

For most of his two-year run in Toronto, the native of Baie-Comeau, Que., has lined up between centre Dominic Picard and tackle Rob Murphy.

In B.C., Edawn Coughman started at left tackle for the injured Murphy.

“Because a lot of people can relate to hockey, it’s like a centre playing with a new winger,’’ added Gagne-Marcoux. “They’ll be a glitch here and there, but you adjust and you grow.”

From his perspective, Gagne-Marcoux sees a lot of potential in Coughman.

“He has the best feet I’ve seen in a long time.”


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