'Gades easy pickings

CHRIS STEVENSON -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 10:26 AM ET

MONTREAL -- There are probably a few folks from Ottawa who would look forward to a "business" trip on a Friday night here.

This is a city where the Renegades' ill-fated Mardi Gras promotion, in some quarters, would be viewed as a slow Friday night.

Unfortunately for the Renegades, the only thing they see stripped bare here are their weaknesses.

In what had been billed as their biggest game to date, the Renegades got smoked 41-18 at Molson Stadium by the Montreal Alouettes in a game in which the score flattered the Renegades. Their futility in this city since returning to the CFL continued (now 1-5 and outscored 231-105).

"We let them take it to us (last night)," said Renegades quarterback Kerry Joseph, who was 26-for-43 for 333 yards and one touchdown, but threw two interceptions, including one that was returned 81 yards for a touchdown by Montreal's Richard Karikari to put the game away in the third quarter.

"We've got to take the fight to people. They played aggressive. They set the tempo."

The loss was the Renegades' second in row, dropping them to 5-5 and into a tie with the Alouettes in the East Division standings.

Things won't get any easier next Thursday when the undefeated B.C. Lions visit Frank Clair Stadium.

"We've just got to regroup," said Joseph. "We've got a good football team coming into our place next week. We've got to plant our feet and come out swinging. We can't lay down our let negativity set in."

The Alouettes had supposedly abandoned their pressure defence for a more conventional approach, but don't tell that to Joseph.

He was under pressure all night and suffered through five sacks at the hands of the Als. He didn't help himself when he did have some time with some questionable decision making and some off-target throws.

The Renegades, who had looked like the class of the East at times this season, looked like an expansion team for much of last night.

The Renegades got touchdowns from Jason Armstead on a 56-yard pass-and-run play late in the first half and a nine-yard run by Josh Ranek with a minute to go in the game. Rookie kicker Mark Irvin chipped in a 42-yard-field goal.

SECOND-HALF COLLAPSE

It was all Montreal in the second half as the Als appeared to overwhelm an Ottawa defence that was on the field far too long because of another short night by the offence.

Joseph's night might have been summed up with about five minutes to go in the game. A pass to Armstead in the end zone bounced out of his hands, over his shoulder and into the hands of Alouettes defender Almondo Curry for an interception.

"I don't know how many two-and-outs we had," said Renegades coach/GM Joe Paopao. "We've got to find some answers to have some more consistency. We're not getting it and depending on our defence to keep us in the game. We've got to look at it closely. We've got a short week and another big test for us.

"We've got to do a better job."

The Renegades looked like they might have a glimmer of hope early in the third quarter. Despite being outplayed to that point, they had a chance for a 14-yard field goal by Irvin to make it 12-10 after a good punt return by Armstead.

Irvin never got the kick off as the hold was botched.

On the Renegades' next possession, what might have been the turning point of the game came when Joseph was picked off by Karikari and 81 yards later, it was 19-7.

"(The Alouettes) made some big plays. That interception for a touchdown seemed to turn it for them a little bit," said Paopao.

A question the Renegades must ask themselves this morning: If this was such a big game, how could they come out as flat on offence as they did?

It has become a familiar theme this season. The Renegades offence had another awful first half last night (they only had the ball for five minutes and 54 seconds in the first quarter). As a result, the Renegades defence had to once again shoulder the workload.

Armstead's touchdown with 14 seconds left in the half might have served to give them a spark, but the Renegades couldn't take advantage of that momentum.


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