Argos riding the momentum of a three-game win streak

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As the Argos were building momentum and showing character during their Thankgiving Day comeback win over the Tiger-Cats in Hamilton, head coach Ryan Dinwiddie felt a vibe on his bench.


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“You can feel it on the sidelines,’’ said Dinwiddie on Sunday. “That was the biggest thing. The guys kept that belief and they found a way to get it done.

“The fact they believed they were going to get it done always helps out in the execution part of getting it done. As soon as guys are dropping their heads, doubt sets in and you know they’re not going to play well.”

Dinwiddie felt the inner belief among his players and he could also hear them pulling for each other.

What ensued in the dizzying final moments was a walk-off 51-yard field goal by the Argos’ Boris Bede that gave the Boatmen a 24-23 victory.

It was only the second time since Tim Hortons Field opened its doors in 2014 that the Argos left there with a win — their most significant of the CFL season.


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It was a battle pitting two historic rivals with first place in the East at stake.

But this week’s challenge is just as big as the Argos will head to Montreal for a Friday night matchup against the second-place Alouettes.

The Als, who lost to the Argos at BMO Field on Sept. 24, can move into a first-place tie with a win. An Argos win solidifies their hold on first.

The Boatmen have now won three straight, each with McLeod Bethel-Thompson at quarterback.

MBT was lights out in the second half in Hamilton, throwing for more than 300 yards and elevating his game to an elite level.

Even after Hamilton kicked a field goal to take a late lead, Dinwiddie felt

“Guys were saying: ‘Lot of football left, lot of football left, we’re going to win this game,’’’ said Dinwiddie. “The guys knew deep down we were going to find a way to make plays at the end to win.”


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Belief goes a long way and the Argos have a chance to go far this season if they continue to believe and execute.

They were far from clean in Hamilton. In fact, the Argos have yet to play a complete game in all three phases from start to finish.

It’s why Dinwiddie spent much of Sunday with his group cleaning up the issues that plagued Toronto’s play against the Ticats.

When they ventured into the Hammer, the Argos were coming off a short week following a win over Ottawa.

Beginning this week, they won’t have to worry about short weeks with the next four games providing ample time for players to heal and recover.

Following Friday’s game in Montreal, the Argos will be home to play B.C. on Oct. 30.

They will then travel to Ottawa to play the Redblacks on Nov. 6 before returning home to play the Ticats on Nov. 12, which should have been Toronto’s season finale.


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But a COVID-19 outbreak among the Edmonton Elks players and staff in late August forced a postponement to Nov. 16.

By then, though, the game may not mean anything to the Argos.


One-time Als fullback and Argos special-teamer Patrick Lavoie won’t be suiting up against his former club.

Dinwiddie got Lavoie more involved in the offence and dialed up a screen pass to him against the Ticats.

Lavoie caught it only to have the play negated by a penalty on what was his first touch as an Argo.

However, he also hurt his hamstring on the play.

“He pulled his hammy on the one play we designed for him,’’ said Dinwiddie. “We had some more. It was sort of that way for us in the first half because we couldn’t get out of our own way.”
Lavoie is out this week.


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“I probably see him missing the next two games and then coming back,’’ added Dinwiddie.

Running back John White IV will be back.

“He’s fully healed,’’ said Dinwiddie of White, who was also sidelined with a hamstring injury.

Eric Rogers, another veteran nursing a hamstring, is getting close, but Dinwiddie does not see the veteran slotback playing this week.

“I don’t want to push it and then lose him for the rest of the season,’’ said Dinwiddie. “I’m going to have to be patient with Eric and see what’s the best way to approach this.”

The next-man-up philosophy has served the Argos well, but eventually they’ll need players of Rogers’ ilk.

Others on the mend include linebackers Cameron Judge (ankle) and Henoc Muamba (hamstring), who have yet to resume practising.


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Both, according to Dinwiddie, are hoping to work out this week.


Veteran sack specialist Charleston Hughes is fully healthy.

His presence as an Argo, however, has been quite minimal.

“He’s been a healthy scratch for us the past few weeks,’’ said Dinwiddie. “I wanted to get him back, I wanted to give him some rest. There’s a good chance he’ll be up this week.”
The decision to sit Hughes in Hamilton was Dinwiddie’s way of sending a message, though he insists the all-star lineman is not in the doghouse.
“I thought after he missed some time, he lost a little focus,’’ said Dinwiddie. “I felt it was a way to set an example.”


The Argos may have to rethink their game plan slightly for their next match after the Alouettes acquired veteran QB Trevor Harris on Sunday from the Edmonton Elks for defensive end Antonio Simmons.

Harris broke into the CFL with the Argos in 2012 and played for the Ottawa Redblacks for three years before signing with Edmonton prior to the 2019 season as a free agent.

But with the Elks off to a slow start this season, Harris was a healthy scratch for their most recent game against Winnipeg on Friday.

The Als, meanwhile, needed some experience with starter Vernon Adams Jr. on the six-game injured list and backup Matthew Shiltz leading them past the Redblacks on Saturday.



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