The passing game clicked. The kickoff and punt returns were dazzling. The defense dominated. And Mike Pringle was his usual self, running around and over tacklers while racking up 281 all-purpose yards.
And just as important, none of the Stallions was seriously hurt in Saturday's 41-14 romp over the Toronto Argonauts at Memorial Stadium.
Coach Don Matthews had removed Pringle in the fourth quarter, but put him back into the game because replacements Chris Wright and Robert Drummond had minor ailments. But that's as serious as it got on the injury front, more good news as the Stallions (7-3) head to Hamilton for Saturday's game against the Tiger-Cats (6-3).
"We just have to get some nicks and bruises cleaned up," Matthews said. "We got Chris off the cover teams because he said his hamstring or something was tight. And Drummond cramped up, but he should be healthy."
Only three players sought treatment at the stadium yesterday: quarterback Tracy Ham (groin) and defensive backs Courtney Griffin (groin) and Charles Anthony (back). All three will be ready for the Tiger-Cats, who have been one of the CFL's bigger surprises this year.
They were 4-14 last season, including two losses to Baltimore by a combined 26 points, and weren't expected to present much of a challenge in the North Division. But they have won four in a row and are only two games out of first place after defeating Winnipeg in overtime, 36-33, Friday.
Hamilton quarterbacks Anthony Calvillo and Steve Taylor better keep a watch on Stallions rush end Elfrid Payton, who set a franchise record and tied a league record with five sacks Saturday. He originally was credited with four, but a review of the game film showed that he should have been given another when he dropped Toronto quarterback Kent Austin for a 1-yard loss.
Payton also made six tackles and knocked down a pass. O. J. Brigance had five tackles and one sack, which also was awarded after reviewing the film.
The Tiger-Cats also could see Baltimore's sixth starting combination on the offensive line in as many games if left tackle Shar Pourdanesh returns, as expected, from injuries to both ankles.
Mike Withycombe would move back to left guard in place of John James. But the changes wouldn't be due to ineffectiveness. The line didn't allow a sack against Toronto.
"I thought [the line] was very good," Matthews said.
So was Ham, who threw for 166 yards and two touchdowns, without an interception. He also ran for a score. The Stallions were off yesterday and won't practice today, and Ham will sit out tomorrow, as well, before resuming work.