Adieu, Alouettes

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:21 AM ET

The water is starting to subside from the floodgates outside the Edmonton Eskimos compound.

Desperately needing a win to relieve the incredible pressure mounting against the organization, the Eskimos finally delivered in style.

Parlaying a stunning performance by receiver Jason Tucker and a standout effort from the defence, the Esks beat the Montreal Alouettes 47-28 last night in front of 36,280 fans at Commonwealth Stadium.

The victory stops a three-game Edmonton losing streak and gives the club - at least temporarily - sole possession of the final playoff spot in the East Division.

"It is strange how good we can be if we decide to go out there and play 60 minutes' worth - play smart, play with passion and walk away from any of the B.S. that can come your way," said Edmonton head coach Danny Maciocia.

Added quarterback Ricky Ray: "It just shows - proves to everybody in this locker-room - that we have the capability to go out there and do this week in and week out."

In nearly every facet of the game, Edmonton owned Montreal.

- Tucker had 10 catches for a remarkable 217 yards - equalling his previous high mark in an Eskimo uniform. Included in that massive total was a 62-yard reception on the first play from scrimmage last night for a touchdown.

- Ray hit five different receivers - Tucker, Andrew Nowacki, Kamau Peterson, T.J. Acree and Mike Maurer - for touchdowns.

"We knew what we were going to get coming into this game," continued Maciocia.

"We knew their defensive backs were a physical bunch that were going to try to get up in your face and try to re-route you. We knew we had to try to get a nice little waggle to the line of scrimmage and try to come clean (to start the route)."

- The Edmonton secondary produced three interceptions, including an 82-yard pick for a touchdown by Jason Goss late in the first half to destroy any hope of a Montreal comeback.

Goss's first of two interceptions made it 31-7.

"The big turning point was probably the interception (for the touchdown)," said Alouettes pivot Marcus Brady. "We were getting some momentum. I was feeling good."

While the win will still taste sweet this morning, the Eskimos still find themselves in the West Division basement at 4-6-1, two points behind Calgary - which plays today.

Edmonton travels to Montreal to play a week from tomorrow. It also has to be noted that the Esks beat up on a depleted Alouettes squad that definitely missed starting quarterback Anthony Calvillo and top receiver Ben Cahoon.

After throwing for 300 yards last week, regular backup Brady would love to forget his trip to northern Alberta.

Before being mercifully pulled in the fourth quarter for Jason Maas, Brady was eight-for-19 for 142 yards and two interceptions.

Ray dwarfed those numbers, going 20-29 for 322 yards. The only blemish was a second-half interception to Mark Estelle, who ran 33 yards for a touchdown.

But on a night when he passed Warren Moon for the all-time lead in passing yardage in Eskimos history, Ray will gladly take the win over anything else.

GAME BALL

Jason Tucker, WR

Matching his career best in an Eskimo uniform, Tucker finished the night with 217 receiving yards on 10 catches.

GAME GRADES

OVERALL: A

Quarterback: A

Running back: A

Receivers: A

Offensive line: A

Defensive line: A

Linebackers: A

Secondary: A+

Special teams: A

Coaching: A

WHY ESKS WON

An all-around team effort. From Tucker ripping apart the Montreal secondary to the three Eskimo interceptions, Edmonton con trolled the ewntire game.

NOTABLES

As expected, Ron McClendon, Charles Alston, Quentin McCord and Pat Woodcock were the four members of the Esks' reserve squad last night.


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