Canadian Football League

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Ricky Williams makes his Canadian Football League debut a good one

Star running back Ricky Williams enjoyed a winning CFL debut Saturday, but the victory came at a cost for the Toronto Argonauts.

Quarterback Damon Allen, last season's CFL outstanding player, broke the middle finger on his right hand during Toronto's first drive in a 27-17 Argos victory over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats at Rogers Centre.
Backup Spergon Wynn put in a gutsy effort in relief of Allen, tossing a pair of touchdowns, including a 26-yarder to Tony Miles on his first play, and throwing for 224 yards in the season-opening triumph.
"There's always a jolt of reality," Wynn said of Allen getting hurt on an innocent-looking play. "You never know what can happen. You're relaxed on the sideline and suddenly you're in."
Williams rushed for just eight yards in the first half, but exploded for 89 yards in the second to finish with 97 yards on 18 carries.
"Ricky did his job very well," Hamilton coach Greg Marshall said. "He's a load."
Many of 27,689 spectators in attendance roared every time Williams was able to find any open space to run.
"Even if I had 10 yards today and we won, then I did my job," Williams said. "It's easy to get caught up in personal [stuff] but if you have individual players on your team, then you're not going to win.
"Just me being here, my presence, really opened up a lot of things for us and helped us get the win."
But Allen's injury overshadowed Williams's debut. The veteran quarterback, who turns 43 next month, sustained the fracture during a late hit by Tiger-Cats safety Wayne Shaw, who was penalized on the play.
"Four to six weeks is the initial diagnosis," said Toronto head coach Mike (Pinball) Clemons when asked how long Allen would be out. "But you look at Spergon and the way he played, that's why we went out looking for a guy who can come in and do the kind of things you need your No. 2, now No. 1, quarterback to do."
Arland Bruce III scored Toronto's other touchdown to give the Argos some insurance.
Bruce hauled in a 30-yard pass from Wynn at 9:09 of the second quarter to put the Argos ahead 15-8 before kicker Noel Prefontaine booted a 12-yard field goal with 17 seconds remaining in the half to make it 18-8 Toronto.
All of the second-half points came courtesy of the kickers, with Prefontaine booting three field goals and Hamilton's Jamie Boreham booting a field goal and a single.
Julian Radlein scored Hamilton's touchdown in the first quarter.
With files from Canadian Press and Associated Press


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