'Gades sock it to Als

DON BRENNAN -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 9:15 AM ET

MONTREAL -- For a team looking to turn over a new leaf, the Renegades started out in grand style last night.

And they did so by forcing a few turnovers.

After allowing a league-high points in 2004, the Renegades had four interceptions and two fumble recoveries on the home turf of the perennially powerful Montreal Alouettes.

A meaningless pre-season game for a club desperately in need of momentum both at the box-office and on the field, the Renegades kicked-off "Gliebermen Part II" with a 27-16 beating of the Als at a sold-out (20,202) Percival Molson Stadium.

"I was very encouraged," said new owner Bernie Glieberman, who travelled in from Detroit for the game. "We've heard from the coaches and from (VP of football operations) Forrest (Gregg) that we're going to have a pretty good team, but when I read in the paper that we're going to be a 'free pass on the bingo card' ... that one kinda struck me.

"I should keep that article. I'd love to call the person later on and ask if they'd like to restate that."

Indeed, the biggest negative could be a possible foot injury to all-star centre George Hudson, who will have X-rays taken today. After the game, Hudson didn't think the problem was serious.

Keeping in mind Als star QB Anthony Calvillo played only the opening series and Montreal kept its starters on the sidelines for much of the night, the Ottawa secondary turned in an exceptional game.

The Renegades scored 17 unanswered points in the third quarter, with Kerry Joseph and much of the starting offence on the field, but the key was the way they were able to add or stop points with co-ordinator Greg "The Undertaker" Marshall's defence stealing the ball from the Als.

They had an interception at the back of the end zone by former B.C. Lion Bo Lewis. Then there was:

- An interception by the delightfully chatty Korey Banks, who grabbed a Ted White pass deep in his own territory and sped it back 55 yards, setting up Ottawa's first score of the game.

- A fumble recovery by noseguard Jerome Haywood after White was separated from the ball on a blindside belt by linebacker Chris Shelling.

In the third quarter, there was an interception by rookie DB Greg Moss, whose grab of a Joe Wiser pass set up a 21 yard Joseph to Jason Armstead scoring strike.

Then rookie Sean Weston intercepted another Wiser pass and after a pass interference call, the Renegades wound up with possession on the Montreal one. Joseph scored on a keeper the next play.

The run continued on the ensuing kickoff, when veteran DB Dave Donaldson recovered a fumble and, a few plays later, rookie fullback Cory Hathaway on a seven-yard TD pass from Brad Banks.

"I like the fight we showed," said Joseph, who played less than a quarter. "The defence did a great job of getting us the ball ... this was a good start for us."

Pat Fleming booted two first-half field goals for the Renegades.

"We haven't won very much here, whether pre-season or post-season or regular season," said coach/GM Joe Paopao.

That was then, this is now.

A new era?

The new Renegades?

We've all got our fingers crossed.


Videos

Photos