Ray will make Boyd more dangerous

Argos quarterback Ricky Ray drops back to throw a pass against the Tiger-Cats at Ivor Wynne Stadium...

Argos quarterback Ricky Ray drops back to throw a pass against the Tiger-Cats at Ivor Wynne Stadium in Hamilton, Ont., June 13, 2012. (FRED THORNHILL/Reuters)

TERRY KOSHAN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:38 AM ET

HAMILTON - As much as Ricky Ray will be the man who drives the Toronto Argonauts offence in 2012, Cory Boyd often will be the one who keeps it in gear.

A 29-24 Argos victory at Ivor Wynne Stadium had a been-there, done-that feel for Boyd, who rushed for a pair of short-yardage touchdowns in the first half as the Argos built a 14-0 lead in the first Canadian Football League pre-season game of 2012 for both clubs.

The presence of Ray should be of great benefit for Boyd, who spent much of his first two seasons with the Argos pounding away as a one-man wrecking crew.

Now, defences won’t be able to simply key on Boyd and not have to worry about anything else.

“The last few years, teams would drop an extra player down in the box because they were not afraid of our passing game,” Argos general manager Jim Barker said. “If they do that against Ricky Ray, they will be in big trouble. The first thing is they have to stop Ricky Ray, then whatever happens with the running game, they will deal with that. Make (us) have to run. That was not the case in the past two years. All of that should bode well for Cory.”

Boyd finished with 10 yards on five rushes before his night ended early in the second quarter.

AT THE HALF

First impression of Ray in double blue: Calm under pressure. In other words, an element the Argos have not had at quarterback since the days of Damon Allen. But Ray, who started the game and was done early in the second quarter, can’t work miracles, and often couldn’t find open receivers downfield. And when he did, the result was not always great. Ray and newcomer Dontrelle Inman were clicking in camp, but Inman was the target three times in the opening quarter and didn’t have a reception. Twelve other Argos ended the game with at least one catch … Ray had five completions on eight attempts for 49 yards … Just as bizarre as it is to see Ray in an Argos jersey is watching Henry Burris wearing the Ticats’ black and gold. Of the juicy storylines that should be a result of the Argos/Ticats rivalry, none will be as provocative as the Ray/Burris duel. Both were acquired to take his team to the Grey Cup, which won’t happen for both, if either. After years of butting heads with the Edmonton Eskimos and Calgary Stampeders, respectively, Ray said of Burris: “I’m a little tired of playing against him because they had some good teams in Calgary. Labour Day is going to be fun again this year.” … He’s trying to win a job at linebacker but Marcus Ball didn’t help himself when he smoked Ticats running back Chevon Walker out of bounds, taking a 15-yard penalty. But Hamilton couldn’t take advantage, thanks to a fumble by quarterback Quinton Porter. A weird sequence then involved Ball, who recovered the fumble but fumbled himself, and the Ticats recovered … Samie Parker had nothing between himself and the Ticats end zone, but he tripped on the turf at the two-yard line, negating what would have been an easy touchdown. Boyd punched it in two plays later … If everything else was equal, one area in which the Ticats could separate themselves from the Argos this season is at receiver. Hamilton has depth Toronto can only hope for. And there was former NFLer Sam Giguere, the Ticats’ first-round pick in 2008, making a 52-yard catch to get to the Argos’ one-yard line. The Sherbrooke, Que., native spent the past four seasons with the Indianapolis Colts and New York Giants. Giguere is proof that it’s fine to wait if required, much like the Argos are doing with picks Cory Greenwood and Joel Reinders … Not long after Giguere’s catch, which led to a one-yard plunge by Burris, Chris Williams hauled in a 75-yarder, getting in behind defensive back Patrick Watkins, for Hamilton’s second major.

EXTRA POINTS

Parker popped right back up after he was drilled by Jamall Johnson midway through the first quarter on a return. So hard was Parker hit that the crowd emitted a collective gasp when Johnson collided with him near at midfield … As if to underscore how change can happen quickly in the CFL, even with players who are considered cornerstones, none of the Argos’ four captains from 2011 are with the team. In fact, all of them — Jeremaine Copeland (offence), Willie Pile (defence), Bryan Crawford (special teams) and Rob Murphy (linemen) — retired in the off-season. Ray, Jordan Younger (defence), Chris Van Zeyl (linemen) and Matt Black (special teams) all have the potential to take those roles this season. Players will vote after the second and final pre-season game next week … That’s a heck of a leg on kicker/punter Anthony Alix, who was signed by the Argos as a free agent two weeks ago. The 25-year-old St. Francis Xavier product has power, but there is no replacing the experience and ability to place the ball that veteran Noel Prefontaine brings … Rookie Derrick Summers had two sacks for the Argos, veteran Ricky Foley one. Foley, whose level of play always is something beyond intense, also had a forced fumble.


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