Maurer power

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 9:55 AM ET

The Montreal Alouettes are probably getting tired of seeing Mike Maurer.

Named the Most Outstanding Canadian in the Grey Cup last fall in Vancouver, where the Esks defeated the Als, Maurer delivered another fine outing on Friday night in a losing cause for the Green and Gold.

In fact, it was likely one of his best regular-season games in three seasons.

Not only did the 10-year CFL veteran handle the long-snapping chores on punts with relative ease in his first game replacing former starter Taylor Inglis, Maurer also led the Esks in special teams tackles and scored the club's only major on a 13-yard reception.

It marked his first touchdown in the regular season since 2003, when he played in Ottawa, but Maurer wasn't smiling in the Esks locker-room Friday night after the 21-13 loss to Montreal.

"It doesn't really mean much when you don't get the win," he said.

"That is all I really care about."

CROWD COUNT: Aiming to be at or above 40,000 fans for every home regular-season game, the Esks are now 4,011 behind their targeted average following three games after just 32,441 showed up Friday. A rocky start to the season, poor weather and off-field competition from Capital Ex and the Grand Prix have all hampered the team at the gate. Fortunately for the Esks' bean-counters, the club is virtually guaranteed a great gate for the next home game when the Saskatchewan Roughriders visit Aug. 11.

SHORT HIT: Mookie Mitchell admits his right hamstring was a little sore after the game, but with continued ice therapy through the weekend, he believes he'll be ready for practice tomorrow.

"With the game on the line (Friday) night, the adrenalin (took) over," he said.

Mitchell nabbed a team-high - and a game high - 10 passes Friday.


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