Special deliveries for Argos' Ball
By Frank Zicarelli, QMI Agency
|Argos' Marcus Ball intercepts a pass against the Alouettes in the second half of Sunday's East final in Montreal. Ball is heading to Florida on Monday for the birth of his child. (REUTERS)
MONTREAL - Marcus Ball delivered on the field and he’ll soon experience a delivery that will forever change his life.
Ball was one of many players Sunday who stepped up, making plays when plays were needed, turning the tide when all seemed to be going wrong for the Argos.
The first order of business for Ball on Monday is to board a plane for Florida, where his first child, a baby girl named Marley, will be born.
In time, Ball will reflect on back-to-back weekends where the rookie linebacker recorded three interceptions, including two in Sunday’s East final versus the Als.
Down at intermission, there was no sense of panic inside the locker room, no reason to think that plays weren’t going to be made in the second half.
“I don’t want to say this, but we had them right where we wanted,’’ Ball said. “We knew what they were doing. All that was missing from our end was that one play that needed to be made.
“Nothing changed. We could have been trailing by seven or by 20. We were going to fight to the very end.”
Ball picked off Anthony Calvillo in the third and fourth quarters.
On the first play, Ball said he read Calvillo’s eyes.
Ball had to reach high to haul in the football, but he executed it to perfection before displaying his running ability.
All season long, Ball has been working with receivers Mo Mann and Jason Barnes.
“Those guys are on the hands team and they taught me a lot,’’ Ball said.
On his second pick, Ball said the Als ran the identical play twice, a sequence that featured running back Chris Jennings coming out of the backfield as a receiving threat.
The Argos played the game without all-star corner Pat Watkins, whose injured ankle forced him to serve as a defacto coach on the sideline.
In his place, Jalil Carter stepped in.
“Jalil did a great job,’’ Ball said. “Pat has always been an on-field coach for us when he plays. (Sunday) he was coaching us up on the bench.
“Hopefully this win gives Pat an opportunity to heal up.”
Ball now gets a shot on the CFL’s biggest stage, the 100th Grey Cup.
“Guys such as myself came here for one goal and one goal only,’’ Ball said. “It’s been one heck of a ride, it’s been fun, but our business is not finished.
“Everyone on this team knows there’s one game to be played and one more game for us to win.”