Argos feels urgency to win Labor Day Classic as CFL East suddenly congested


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Argos head coach Ryan Dinwiddie wasn’t immune to the shifting dynamics of the Eastern Division standings following Friday night’s loss to the host Montreal Alouettes against the Ottawa Redblacks.

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By the time late Monday afternoon rolls around, there’s no potential for any Eastern team to boast a winning record.

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The Argos, however, can help shape the East with a victory over the Tiger-Cats in the annual Labor Day Classic at Tim Hortons Field.

If they lose – and it seems the Argos always fail on Labor Day – the East becomes a quagmire where the suddenly expanding Rougenoirs find themselves within reach of first place with two home games to play against. the Argos in the coming weeks – the first of which comes the following Saturday afternoon, with the boatmen on a short week.

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That’s how dramatic the split can get if the Argos succumb to the Ticats, who have lost two of three to their rivals.

Ottawa has won two in a row, including its last win on Friday against a turnover-prone Montreal team that, three weeks earlier, handed Winnipeg its first loss.

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The Rouge et Noir, whose first victory came at BMO Field, played a full game in three phases against the Alouettes and well deserved the 38-24 victory.

At 3-8, Ottawa is tied with Hamilton, who narrowly beat the Redblacks at Tim Hortons Field in Week 6.
The Alouettes are 4-7, while the Argos remain atop the division with a 5-5 record.

When the Argos reunited on Saturday, Dinwiddie made a point of telling his team how the race in the East is about to heat up.

“Teams start playing better towards the end of the year and you want to get into your groove,” he said.

“It’s (Labor Day) a big game, but we can’t get too big on it. Players have to go out and do their job, play fast and smart.

“It’s an important game and we have to be ready to play, but we can’t play tight.”

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Labor Day is normally considered the unofficial start of the season and this year will be no different.
Toronto can take control of the East with a win. One loss and the East will officially be up for grabs with all four teams in contention.

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THE RETURN OF HARRIS?

So you’re saying there’s a chance?

The smallest of cracks has been opened that will allow Argos running back Andrew Harris to return late in the season after undergoing surgery to repair a torn right pectoral muscle.

Harris’ post-op appointment is scheduled for next week

He was in constant contact with the surgeon who performed the procedure in Harris’ hometown of Winnipeg.

“Now it’s about how fast I can start pushing that to get back on track,” Harris said.

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Whether it’s an ultrasound or another imaging method, Harris will visit a Toronto hospital to get a better idea of ​​pec progress.

“Everything is on schedule, everything is fine,” Harris said.

Harris has been in meetings with coaches and his presence is felt in practice.

“I’m just trying to bridge the gap between player and coach,” said Harris, who had the makings of a coach once he decided to retire. “Helping to be a second pair of eyes. I always want to make an impact in any way possible. I still can’t rule out eventually being back.

“I will push as hard as I can to make this happen. It’s definitely a long shot, but it’s something I want to do.

JUST DON’T DO THIS

Rookie Eric Sutton was ejected from last week’s game against Hamilton for unsportsmanlike conduct.
In football, the term used to describe any strike in the groin area is known as a ‘junk punch’.

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The league fined the defensive back for his actions toward fellow rookie Kiondre Smith.

The selfish act cost the Argos field position as the momentum in the second quarter changed.

It also cost Sutton in the wallet.

“He has to learn from this and it can’t happen,” said Dinwiddie of Sutton, who started at safety when the Argos visited Regina earlier in the season. “You can’t have that stuff.”

Dinwiddie spoke to Sutton, as did many veterans of the team.

“The veterans were pretty tough on him,” Dinwiddie added. “He really hasn’t done much here. He did this selfish act, which anyone can have.

“You can’t react that way.”

ADD-ONS

The Argos have announced the signings of RB Adam Cofield and DL Ali Fayad. Cofield’s father, Tim Cofield, played on the 1996 Argos Gray Cup champion team, which included current general manager Michael Clemons. Adam Cofield played in Western Kentucky last season after attending North Dakota State. Fayad is a West Michigan product who was named the 2021 MAC Defensive Player of the Year… Gray Cup champion Bob Bronk will replace Natey Adjei in the Argos’ radio booth on Monday. With Adjei unavailable, the Argos have turned to the murderous former fullback as the 1983 champion joins the inimitable Mike Hogan on the call… The Argos will make their pre-game visit to Toronto and then spend Sunday night in the Hamilton area. “We leave tomorrow (Sunday),” Dinwiddie said when discussing the team’s travel plans. “The organization has spent the money to ensure that we are as prepared as possible to win a football game.”

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