Alouettes defender sick of seeing hit

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:12 PM ET

MONTREAL — Mark Estelle was roadkill last week, but even at home, he couldn’t escape ‘The Hit.’

It was on the plays of the week and in every highlight package in the past nine days.

There were plenty of big plays during the Calgary Stampeders’ 46-21 victory last Friday at McMahon Stadium, but the highlight was Nik Lewis drilling the Alouettes defensive back to the ground and running in for a touchdown.

Estelle judged it wrong, thinking Lewis would try to jump over him, so he stood up tall to make sure it didn’t happen.

“It’s not a big deal,” Estelle said. “He caught me in a bad position. I was trying to stop one of his highlights and got caught in another highlight. It’s all good.

“I hated it … They replayed it five times in a row. I’ve been the other side giving the hit and that’s what I plan on doing this week.”

The Alouettes are thankful they have a chance at revenge so soon with a visit by the Stamps Monday at Molson Stadium (11 a.m., TSN).

Estelle wasn’t the only one who was flat-footed last week. The Stamps came out and scored two touchdowns on their first four plays en route to a pounding of the East Division leaders.

“We were flat and weren’t doing what we needed to do,” Estelle said. “We had horrible effort, we had horrible tackling. We didn’t play like a first-place team, so we got what we deserved. We are back to ourselves, and you will see a different defence in this game.”

The loss was the Alouettes’ biggest since losing 46-14

Aug. 31, 2007 at the B.C. Lions, and it was uncharacteristic of a Marc Trestman-coached team.

The Stamps expect much more of a battle in the return match. Since the start of 2008, the Alouettes have lost the first game of a home-and-home three times and won the second one.

“They will challenge us more and be more physical,” Lewis said. “It’s a new game and it’s never the same, whether you play teams back to back or not. We will be looking forward to hitting them in the mouth again.”

A year ago, the Stamps came into Molson Stadium and were thoroughly embarrassed during a 32-11 hammering. At that time, Lewis was blasted by Estelle on a would-be TD pass that made the slotback say: “He was trying to be Patrick Swayze in Ghost … He was trying to jump into my body.”

Lewis had no revenge in mind last week, but his hit did send a message.

“I wanted to set the tone and be physical,” Lewis said. “They are the bullies over there. People see us as the bullies. Two bullies on the school-

yard, it has to go down sometime. We wanted to come out on top.

“Now we have to focus on doing it again.”

The Alouettes are in the same position the Stamps were a year ago, trying to pick up the pieces after a horrible defeat against the other division’s top team.

Tensions were so high in the Stamps locker-room after that Thanksgiving game that players had to be separated during an argument.

The defeat was a wake-up call for everyone.

“I remember that game being so frustrated,” said Stamps left tackle Ben Archibald. “I felt they were doing anything they wanted to us. It was bad.

“We have to rise to the challenge. When people have been around the league for a year or two, they recognize Montreal is top of the league.

“We always want to have great outing against them. We do every week, but it’s more intense now.”


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