Als back in familiar spot

MIKE KOREEN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 10:24 AM ET

All of a sudden, the Montreal Alouettes are back in the thick of things.

An 18-10 win over the Argos last night at the Rogers Centre returned the Als (4-3) to familiar territory -- the above .500 club. Just over two weeks ago, the Als fell under .500 for the first time since 1996 when they lost 36-24 against the visiting Argos to fall to 2-3.

"It's good to send a message," Als defensive tackle Ed Philion said. "We had lost two times in a row to this team (including in the East final last season). Three times seems to be a trend. It was important for us to come in to their place and return the favour."

With the win, the Als moved into a second-place tie with the Argos (4-3) in the East Division, just inches behind the first-place Ottawa Renegades (5-3). Perhaps most importantly, the Als still have a shot at winning the season series against the Argos, with the rubber match coming Oct. 22 at Olympic Stadium.

PLAYOFF PREDICTION

"Obviously, Ottawa's playing real well but traditionally it has been us and Toronto," Philion said. "I think you'll see that near the end if we don't beat each other up before that ... We know we're going to face them at one point in the playoffs, whether it's first round or second round."

They won last night because of their revitalized strong defence and some important contributions from receiver Dave Stala and rookie running back Robert Edwards. Stala, taking the spot of injured star Ben Cahoon, caught a game-high eight passes for 103 yards and also made two pretty good punts after regular kicker Damon Duval was ejected in the fourth quarter. Duval and Argos special teamer Mike Crumb were thrown out after a fight.

"I'm not surprised. Dave has been doing that every week for us, filling in at different spots and he did it again (last night)," Als quarterback Anthony Calvillo said.

Edwards, an ex-Miami Dolphin, had his second 100-plus- yard game in a row in his second CFL start, rushing 21 times for 124 yards to eat up good chunks of clock for a team known for its passing game.

"As long as we can keep walking away with victories," Calvillo said, "we're going to keep feeding the guy the ball."

B.C. STILL UNBEATEN

The B.C. Lions improved their record to a perfect 7-0 with a 39-31 win against the Calgary Stampeders (3-4). Antonio Warren caught one TD pass and ran for two more.


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