STREAMING CFL PPV Eastern Final: Montreal Alouettes @ Toronto Argonauts, Nov. 13, 19:00 CET (7 pm, 1 pm ET)

As problems go, it’s not a bad one for the Toronto Argonauts to deal with.

The return of Andrew Harris from injury means Toronto head coach Ryan Dinwiddie must figure out how to share the workload between his running backs when the Argonauts play the Montreal Alouettes in Sunday’s Eastern Final at BMO Field.

The winner advances to next Sunday’s Grey Cup in Regina.

It appeared Harris’s season was over when he suffered a torn pectoral muscle during a loss to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in August. At the time the 35-year-old was third in the league in rushing with 490 yards on 114 carries in eight games.

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A.J. Ouellette, a second-year player from Ohio University, stepped in and earned himself a spot on the East Division All-Star team by rushing for 516 yards and two touchdowns on 98 carries.

At five-foot-10 and 216 pounds, Harris is an inch taller and about eight pounds heavier than Ouellette. They both have similar rushing styles.

“We both look at being the hammer not the nail,” said Harris, who signed as a free agent with Toronto this year after winning back-to-back Grey Cups with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. “We look forward to those opportunities to get some licks in when we can.

“That’s going to be the fun part, feeding off each other, being fresh, coming in and out of the game.”

Harris, who became a father for the second time on Thursday, is happy to work in tandem with Ouellette.

“I’m going to compliment A.J.,” he said. “He’s been doing an amazing job. I’m just looking forward to being that two-headed monster with him.”

Watch the game live here PPV. Montreal Alouettes @ Toronto Argonauts, Nov. 13, 19:00 CET (7 pm, 1 pm ET)

Dinwiddie expects Ouellette will play “60 to 65 per cent” of the time while Harris will be eased back into the offence.

“We can’t give (Harris) too much of a load,” said Dinwiddie. “We can’t take A.J. out, he’s too darned good a football player.”

The Argonauts earned the bye last week by finishing first in the East Division with an 11-7 record. The Alouettes, who were second at 9-9, defeated Hamilton 28-17 in last weekend’s Eastern Semi-Final in Montreal.

Toronto won two of the three regular-season games the teams played against each other. Each of the three meeting have been close games, two of the games were decided by a single point while Montreal won the last meeting by five points.

Toronto’s McLeod Bethel-Thompson led the CFL in passing yards (4,731), completions (387) and attempts (579). His 23 touchdowns passes ranked third best in the league, but his 15 interceptions were the second most.

His favourite receiver this season has seemingly been Kurleigh Gittens Jr. who had 81 catches for 1,101 yards and five touchdowns. Gittens is the East nominee for Most Outstanding Canadian and was named an East Division All-Star.

Also returning to the Argos lineup is linebacker Wynton McManis who has been out since early October with a knee injury. He’s part of a Toronto defence that led the league with 48 forced turnovers and tallied 29 interceptions this season.

“It’s just communication and knowing we’re all flying around and somebody is going to be around the ball,” said McManis, who had two sacks and three interceptions this year. “You can take your shot because somebody will be there to have your back.

“We’re all breaking on the ball, we’re all moving.”

Montreal quarterback Trevor Harris completed 27 of 34 passes for 243 yards, a touchdown and an interception in last week’s win over Hamilton.

Harris respects the Toronto defence but isn’t intimidated.

“They are opportunistic, they do a good job of jumping routes, they play a myriad of zones and mix their coverages,” he said. “It’s about us executing. There’s that old cliché, scared money don’t make money.

“I feel like we’re a dangerous offence to defend as well. We’ve got quite a few weapons.”

Montreal receiver Eugene Lewis, the East nominee as the CFL’s Most Outstanding Player, likes the diversity of the Montreal attack.

Lewis had seven catches for 98 yards against Hamilton. Running backs Walter Fletcher and William Stanback combined for 143 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries, with Fletcher finding the end zone on a 33-yard run.

“The sky is the limited for us,” said Lewis, who was third among CFL receivers with 1,303 yards and 10 touchdowns on 91 catches. “We’ve got so many guys on the perimeter that can make so many plays.

“We’re capable of anything.”

McManis said the Argonauts have to harass and hurry Harris.

“He’s a great quarterback, he can make all the throws,” he said. “We just have to put pressure on him, make him uncomfortable in the pocket.

“You want to keep him on his toes and not let him fly around.”

Both teams enter Sunday’s game with something to prove.

The Argos will be looking for some redemption. Last year Toronto finished first in the East with a 9-5 record but were denied a trip to the Grey Cup after losing 27-19 at home to Hamilton.

“We had a lot of moments to kind of change the game last year, it came down to those little plays,” said Dinwiddie. “We had some good red zone opportunities (we) didn’t finish to score touchdowns. We kicked too many field goals.”

On the opposing sideline, Montreal had to overcome a 2-6 start to the season.

In July general manager Danny Maciocia relieved head coach Khari Jones and defensive coordinator Barron Miles of their positions. Many of the Alouettes believe their season turned around when Montreal used a 20-17 overtime victory in Week 10 to hand the Winnipeg Blue Bombers their first loss of the season.

“I don’t know that we played a full 60-minute game yet,” said Harris. “For us, we’ve got to make sure that we’re good in our details. We bring our energy and bring our A game.

“There’s been a lot of things going on, and the ability this team has to overcome the adversity and be where we are now, speak volumes of the character that Danny Maciocia has put in the locker room. It’s about us putting our character on the line this week.”

Maciocia was asked this week if his team was peaking at the right time of the season.

“We have to peak between one and four o’clock,” he said. “We don’t have to be the best team throughout Sunday. We just have to be the best team between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.”

AFI, Visaic and the CFL

American Football International is collaborating with Visaic and the Canadian Football League to present 2022 CFL games live. This is more than a livestream. This is a stream of the topflight TSN network television broadcast.

Watch the game live here PPV. Montreal Alouettes @ Toronto Argonauts, Nov. 13, 19:00 CET (7 pm, 1 pm ET)

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