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Boyd leads Boatmen

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TORONTO - To say Cory Boyd has adjusted well to the Canadian Football League would be an understatement.

In just three games, the hard-nosed running back has become the main offensive treat for the suddenly formidable Argos.

Boyd rushed for 142 yards, and became the early-season CFL leader with 283, in Toronto's come-from-behind 27-24 win over the Calgary Stampeders on Wednesday night at the Rogers Centre. It was Toronto's second win in a row and its first win in a home opener since 2006.

If all Boyd needed to shine was an opportunity to play, he's found it with the Argos.

"I love the CFL. They actually give you a chance," Boyd said. "If I was in the NFL I'd probably be on someone's practice squad right now, or on special teams.

"To come here and be a starter and battle through all the elements I had to, and be here with a great team, you can't ask for much more."

Boyd was a star at the University of South Carolina and was drafted in the seventh round of the 2008 NFL draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He also spent time on the Denver Broncos' practice squad before being released in 2009.

He has certainly found a home in Toronto -- and is taking advantage of the bigger field in the Canadian game.

"When you're out on the field [you don't notice it]. Football is football …but it's good to have a couple extra yards to make moves. I appreciate it."

Boyd carried the Toronto offence for most of the game, but the Argos couldn't cash in on several opportunities. Boyd had 88 yards in the first half alone. Overall Toronto settled for three conceded safeties, one short of the CFL record, and four field goals by rookie kicker Grant Shaw.

The Argos finally scored their only touchdown with 1:57 remaining in the fourth quarter on a one-yard run by veteran back Jeff Johnson, sending the crowd of 20,242 at the Rogers Centre home happy. A two-point convert sealed the win.

"We should be 3-0 right now. That's the mentality that everybody feels in the locker room," Johnson said. "It's a great feeling, it's something I haven't been used to the last few years. It's great to be a part of it and we're going to keep moving in the right direction and dominate teams the way we should have tonight."

Despite Toronto's inability to finish drives, the Stampeders struggled trying to stop Boyd and the Argos' running game.

"[Boyd's] a tough back to tackle. Calgary is fast on defence but very small. When you put the ball in Cory's hands he's hard to bring down," Argos coach Jim Barker said. "I was proud of how Cory played, he battled. He kept us in the game with his running."

"I fight for every yard, it's a game of inches," Boyd said. "I'm not going to let one person take me down."

Boyd was injured late in the game and didn't return, but said he was fine.

"I was dizzy a bit and I had concussion problems earlier in the year. Just a precaution."

The Argos defence once again did its part, keeping Calgary scoreless in the fourth quarter. Stamps quarterback Henry Burris tied a career high by throwing four interceptions while running back Joffrey Reynolds was held to 44 yards on the ground.

"Our defensive staff had a great game plan and the guys went out and executed it," Barker said.

The Stampeders were trying to start the season 3-0 for the first time since 2000, but had to settle going 1-1 on their trip to Southern Ontario. They will now get some much-needed rest before hosting the Saskatchewan Roughriders next Sunday.

Toronto, which has a winning record for the first time since opening day of the 2009 season, hosts the B.C. Lions next Friday.

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