AR­GOS SNAPS

Both Martese Jack­son and James Wilder Jr., had a feel­ing this game was go­ing to be some­thing spe­cial ... Trest­man lauds O-line for job done on Esks’ vaunted pass rush

Sunday Sports - - SPORTS -

Martese Jack­son isn’t new to be­ing over­looked.

At 5-foot-6, that tends to hap­pen a lot. But a 125-yard re­turn of a missed field goal for a touch­down would nor­mally get a guy top billing on a day when he’s on the right side of a 34-26 win over the vis­it­ing as ev­ery mem­ber of the Ar­gos was on Satur­day.

James Wilder Jr., who just hap­pens to be Jack­son’s roo­mate, stole some of his team­mate’s thunder, rum­bling for 190 yards on just 11 car­ries (17.3 av­er­age). And that was just Wilder’s rush­ing yards. He had an­other 67 yards through the air in eas­ily his big­gest day in the CFL to date.

Jack­son though, who learned the craft of punt re­turn­ing watch­ing Tyrell Sut­ton do it in Mon­treal when both were mem­bers of the Alou­ettes, had a pretty big day him­self and nei­ther Arg­onaut had any prob­lem shar­ing his mo­ment with the other.

In fact, they both woke up on game day feel­ing like this one might just be a lit­tle spe­cial.

“We were talk­ing about this game all week, “Jack­son said. “We had a great lunch to­day and we were talk­ing about it then too, and just stressed all week that we needed it, we needed it. It just felt com­fort­able. We were healthy, we were en­er­getic. I just kind of ex­pected us both to have a good game.”

As for shar­ing the limelight, Jack­son said that was never go­ing to be an is­sue.

“For sure ... there’s enough to share,” Jack­son said. “Share it with the whole team.”

In ad­di­tion to the 125-yard kick re­turn for a ma­jor, Jack­son had an­other five punt re­turns for 96 yards. Com­ing into the game, his punt re­turn av­er­age was just un­der 11. He al­most doubed that av­er­age on Satur­day and said it was just a prod­uct of good coach­ing, hard work that trust and be­lief in each of his team­mates to do their job just the way he did his.

MR. POP­U­LAR­ITY

Wilder’s phone was pre­dictably blow­ing up with mes­sages of con­grat­u­la­tions af­ter the game, but al­ready at hal­time he said he snuck a peek at his phone and saw a mes­sage from his dad to keep it go­ing in the sec­ond half

James and do even bett­ter. Wilder Sr.,

a Pro Bowl run­ning back in 1984 with the Tampa Bay Buc­ca­neers as part of his solid nine-year NFL ca­reer, re­mains based in Tampa and would have been at the game had it not been for the cleanup ne­ces­si­tated from Hur­ri­ance Irma last week­end. The Wilder home had some mi­nor flood­ing dam­age and lost power tem­po­rar­ily, but came out of the storm in de­cent shape. Wilder Jr. is ex­pect­ing his par­ents will be up for next Satur­day’s game when the Ar­gos host Mon­treal.

As happy was he was with the big num­bers he put up, Wilder Jr. said get­ting called out by his coach at the very be­gin­ning of the week and be­ing told in front of all his team­mates that he would be re­lied on this week to off­set what the en­tire CFL knows is a fierce pass rush courtesy of Ed­mon­ton’s stel­lar front four, made him just as happy.

“He told me right at the be­gin­ning of the week he would give me the op­por­tu­nity to get out there and see what I could do,” Wilder Jr. said. “The line just opened up the holes and I did what I had to do.”

Wilder Jr. said he didn’t feel like he even got touched by an Ed­mon­ton de­fen­sive line­man the whole game, giv­ing the Ar­gos of­fen­sive line its due as well.

“There was no rea­son to even open up the play­book,” said Wilder who af­ter al­most all 11 of his runs could be seen mo­tion­ing to the side­lines to keep feed­ing him the foot­ball. “Just keep run­ning and pound­ing and play­ing hard-nosed foot­ball.”

You could ar­gue Wilder didn’t take a bad step all evening ... at least un­til he threw his coach un­der the bus a lit­tle in his post-game ses­sion with the me­dia.

“Coach Trest­man could have run though those holes,” he said be­fore catch­ing him­self and adding: “No of­fence against coach, of course.”

QUICK HITS

Trest­man came away im­pressed with his of­fen­sive line af­ter this one. Quar­ter­back

Ricky Ray was sacked three times but the way the line han­dled the star-stud­ded Esks pass rush that in­cludes had Trest­man al­most giddy (for him) in his post-game com­ments. Part of it might have been that Trest­man be­gan the week send­ing an ail­ing of­fen­sive line coach Mitch Brown­ing

home to deal with some health is­sues

Jonathan and bring­ing back Hime­bauch

to take over. Clearly the Ar­gos han­dled the tran­si­tion ex­tremely well ... A warn­ing to me­dia types cov­er­ing the Ar­gos: The of­fen­sive line has a new rule. Any time any mem­ber talks to a mem­ber of the press, it’s a $5 fine.

Chris Van Zeyl Vet­eran was up to $15 mid­way through me­dia avail­abil­ity on Satur­day. His block in front of the Toronto bench that sprung Jack­son for the re­main­der of his 125-yard missed field goal re­turn for a touch­down made it all worth it.

COR­REC­TION

In a side­bar on Fri­day that ac­com­pa­nied an ar­ti­cle on Hall of Fame of­fen­sive line­man

Chris Walby’s opin­ion of the league’s de­ci­sion to elim­i­nate in-sea­son con­tact prac­tices, we in­di­cated that the night be­fore the 1984 Grey Cup, then Win­nipeg

Cal Mur­phy head coach

had his Blue Bombers put the pads on and run 20 of­fen­sive pos­ses­sions. The game in ques­tion was, in fact, the West­ern fi­nal the fol­low­ing year, 1985, when Mur­phy wanted to gauge the readi­ness of in­jured run­ning back Wil­lard Reaves

for con­tact and in­sisted his team pad up and run through a mini game to en­sure Reaves would be good to go. Walby and his team­mates’ an­noy­ance with the move only grew the next day when Reaves, now deemed healthy, was thrown out of the game for an al­ter­ca­tion

Wal­ter Bal­lard. with The Sun re­grets the er­ror.

CHRIS YOUNG/THE CANA­DIAN PRESS

Arg­onauts run­ning back James Wilder Jr., gets tack­led by Alex Hoff­man-El­lis of the Eski­mos in the first half of yes­ter­day’s tilt.

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