Als must be feeling good about win over Argos
By TERRY KOSHAN, QMI Agency
|Argos' Chad Owens is leveled by Jerald Brown of the Montreal Alouettes on Sunday. (Michael Peake/QMI Agency)
TORONTO - Marc Trestman’s Montreal Alouettes are not the unstoppable juggernaut they have been in the past.
But the Als’ head coach couldn’t help but feel good about his club, even after a difficult outing from an offensive standpoint, in the hours that followed a 24-12 victory against the Argonauts at the Rogers Centre.
“You have to win the line of scrimmage, and I don’t know that we did, it was a pretty even match,” Trestman said. “You have to take care of the football, I don’t know if we did as much as we would have liked. You have to keep composure, and we did.
“You have to have heart. You don’t see that in the stats. That’s what our team showed today, was a collective heart beat. We’re a team with heart, a team that has convictions.”
Montreal has won seven of its past eight meetings in Toronto, and reminded the crowd of 25,348 that the Argonauts have a long way to go before they are ready to move into the upper echelon of the Canadian Football League.
Where the Argos are a game under .500 and are more or less assured of a playoff spot because the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Winnipeg Blue Bombers (who visit the Rogers Centre on Friday night) are brutal, the Alouettes clinched a home playoff game. In all likelihood, it will be the East final on Nov. 18.
And though the B.C. Lions are the Grey Cup favourite with three weeks remaining in the regular season, the Alouettes ask that you don’t count them out yet.
“B.C. is playing at a different level right now,” Alouettes quarterback Anthony Calvillo said. “You can see it on tape. But right now we don’t have to worry about that. We just have to worry about getting out of our division.”
At the half
The Argos showed some moxie on their only touchdown, when Andre Durie sidestepped several potential tackles to go in from 24 yards after taking a short pass from Jarious Jackson. A few plays earlier, Chad Owens had what he thought was a 14-yard touchdown pass, but the major was wiped out by a holding penalty on Gerald Riggs. Rather than crumble and eventually settle for an easy field goal, the Argos regrouped mentally ... Noel Prefontaine’s hip could not have bothered him that much. The veteran Argos punter evaded two Alouettes after bobbling a snap and got off a 59-yard punt for his second single of the afternoon ... Argos head coach Scott Milanovich got a Brandon London reception overturned when he threw the challenge flag after a 12-yard gain. Replays showed the ball popped out of London’s hands and hit the turf before he did. Even better, the play was shown a couple of times on the video board, so fans and everyone else in the building knew the call would be reversed before it was announced. London was later knocked out of the game with a right knee injury ... The Argos were stingy on defence but didn’t have a real test — one that they passed — until late in the second quarter, when the Als advanced to the Toronto 24-yard line. On second-and-three, Calvillo passed to Victor Anderson, who was dropped immediately by Ejiro Kuale for a four-yard loss. The visitors had to be content with a 35-yard field goal by Sean Whyte ... Argos linebacker Marcus Ball had a couple of interceptions that weren’t in the first half. He caught a deflected Calvillo pass and fell to the turf, with what appeared to be a pick. But Trestman challenged the call, and was reversed as the replay showed the ball hit the ground. Earlier, a Calvillo pass to Patrick Lavoie bounced off the latter’s number and into the hands of Ball. The interception did not stand as Ronald Flemons was flagged for roughing the passer ... Jackson was sacked for a 10-yard loss by Montreal linebacker Rod Davis, but the play might not have happened had Owens not slipped and fallen. It appeared that Owens was Jackson’s intended receiver, but when Owens fell, Jackson had to scramble and was chased down by Davis.
A good day by the Argos defence was blown up on a 75-yard touchdown reception by Jamel Richardson late in the third quarter. Patrick Watkins supplied shoddy coverage on the play, but a tackle attempt by T.J. Williams was terrible. Near the Argos’ 10-yard line, Williams tried feebly to knock Richardson out of bounds, but barely touched the speedy Montreal receiver ... There is not much as dumb in football than an unnecessary roughness penalty. The Argos were lucky that one on Watkins did not cost them more in the final minute of the first half. Richardson caught a 12-yard pass, and Watkins’ penalty tacked on another 15 yards. But with time about to run out, the Als had to settle with a 27-yard field goal by Whyte on second down ... Not that Montreal didn’t hurt itself too. A 68-yard punt return by Bo Bowling was cancelled thanks to a holding penalty on Lance Milton ... A fake punt in the third quarter by the Argos went nowhere when Prefontaine’s pass to Jordan Younger was incomplete ... The Alouettes lost Eric Deslauriers (ribs), London (knee) and Anderson (shoulder) to injury ... Tough afternoon for the Argos’ offensive line, which gave up five sacks. This after Toronto had allowed a league-low 18 sacks heading into the game ... The crowd was the Argos’ best of the season but lowest of the four CFL games this weekend.