THE CANADIAN PRESS
TORONTO -- Jordan Younger has enjoyed the spoils of playoff success against the Montreal Alouettes, that being a 2004 Grey Cup ring.
But mostly Younger's post-season experience versus Montreal has been bitter disappointment, a trend the veteran safety hopes to change Sunday when the Toronto Argonauts face the Alouettes in the East Division final.
"I've been in the league nine years and was fortunate enough to win a Grey Cup my first year but spoiled in the sense I thought that was just going to be how it was,'' Younger said following Tuesday's practice at Rogers Centre. "It's been eight years since I've been back and that's a long time.
"When you think about everything I've been through leading up to this moment, I'm just first thankful to have it again and don't want to waste it.''
As a rookie, Younger helped Toronto earn a 26-18 road win over Montreal in the Eastern Final before downing B.C. 27-19 in the Grey Cup game in Ottawa.
But since then, the Alouettes have sent Younger packing in the playoffs - 2005, '06, and 2010 with Toronto and '08 with the Edmonton Eskimos.
"You respect the fact they've earned the right to compete against you, the ultimate opponent in that sense as far as my career is defined,'' Younger said. "I know they'll be ready to play.
"When they get that bye week, their preparation is always top notch and at a high level so it's exciting because you know you're opponent is worthy. They're the man and if you want to be the man you've got to beat the man. It won't come easily but you don't want it to.''
Montreal finished atop the East Division and is hosting the conference final for the fourth time in five years and ninth time since 2000. The Alouettes are looking to make their ninth Grey Cup appearance in 13 seasons.
But a Toronto win would give the Argos definite home-field advantage for the 100th Grey Cup on Nov. 25 at Rogers Centre.
Toronto finished second in the East and advanced to the Division Final with a 42-26 home win over Edmonton last Sunday. The Argos lost the season series to Montreal 2-1, their lone victory being a 23-20 decision at Molson Stadium on July 27.
Montreal and Toronto meet at Olympic Stadium on Sunday, with more than 42,000 tickets already been sold. The 2004 East final there attracted more than 51,000 spectators and Younger can't wait to return to that hostile environment.
"I want the crowd in it, that's what makes it special and memorable,'' he said. "I remember in '04 it was like leaving a nightclub because my ears were ringing two hours after the game.
"That's something I look forward to, being the enemy in another team's home arena.''
Toronto's defence was solid against Edmonton, registering a fumble recovery and an interception to set up two touchdowns in the Argos' record 31-point outburst in the second quarter. The Eskimos scored 16 points in the fourth after the outcome was decided.
Montreal's offence presents a much more formidable challenge.
|2||Blue Bombers||DE||Mulumba, Andy|
|3||Alouettes via EDM||LB||Edem, Mike|