Wheels came off' in 'Gades' loss to Alouettes

CHRIS STEVENSON --

, Last Updated: 8:47 AM ET

Well, the good news is the only thing that wound up hurt for the Renegades was their pride.

The Renegades came out of Friday night's 41-18 humbling by the Montreal Alouettes with only some minor scrapes, Renegades coach-GM Joe Paopao said yesterday.

Receiver Jason Armstead, who had one of those all-or-nothing nights, missed a couple of series after getting his bell rung and receiver Pat Woodcock, who had six catches for 63 yards, hobbled off the field at one point.

"Armstead got dinged early and sat out maybe two series, but then he felt good enough to get back in there," said Paopao.

That was about the only positive the Renegades have to carry forward as they embark on a short week that sees the undefeated B.C. Lions visit Frank Clair Stadium on Thursday night.

Well, that and the play of the defence in the first half Friday night. The defence held the Montreal offence to four field goals in the opening 30 minutes. But with the offence struggling (three straight two-and-outs to start the second quarter), the over-worked defence lost some energy as the game unfolded.

KEPT ALS TO FIELD GOALS

"They played well, but ran out of gas,'' said Paopao. ''Toward the back end of the game, we gave up some big plays, but I was satisfied with our effort there. They kept a team like Montreal to field goals early and they've been doing that all year."

Linebacker Jason Kralt, however, wasn't using the workload as an excuse.

"Maybe a little bit, but more than anything we stopped doing our assignments," he said.

"On first down, they were dashing for eight, nine yards. It's second and short and they can use their whole playbook then. That's what they were doing.

"We weren't executing in the second half the way we were in the first half. Not that we executed that well in the first half. We gave up some big plays we shouldn't have. The wheels came off."

Kralt said just trying isn't good enough for the 5-5 Renegades.

"It's not for a lack of effort, either. Guys tried,'' he said. ''You can try all you want, but if you're not doing your job, it doesn't matter.

''We wasted another opportunity. Two weeks ago against Winnipeg, we wasted an opportunity. Then, (Friday) night. Montreal was struggling there on the ropes but to their credit, they came out, played hard and did what they needed to do to win.

"They keyed on our mistakes."

Quarterback Kerry Joseph got off to a strong start, running for 14 yards on Ottawa's first play from scrimmage. On their second possession, he moved the Renegades from their own nine to the Montreal 49 where they stalled with two incompletions. Then came that string of two-and-outs.

"(Joseph) looked like he was rested, had some legs underneath him and made some plays early," said Paopao. "But we're not having consistency (on offence). Put a drive together and stick it in."

A turning point came when Joseph, under pressure yet again, had a pass picked off and returned 81 yards for a touchdown by Montreal's Richard Karikari to make it 19-7 for the Als in the third quarter.

"He was just off target," Paopao said of Joseph's pass. "Even though he's got a guy in his face, he's got to execute that play."

NOTE: Paopao said he was satisfied with the punting debut of rookie Mark Irvin. He punted eight times for 244 yards with a long of 39. "He looked like a rookie kid. He was okay. Let's just say this -- he wasn't the reason we lost the game," said Paopao.

chris.stevenson@ott.sunpub.com


Photos