MONTREAL - The respect for Chad Owens in the opposing locker room went only so far.
Owens didn’t solely kill the Montreal Alouettes’ season, but his fingerprints were all over the Als’ death in the Argonauts’ 27-20 East final victory at Olympic Stadium.
The Alouettes couldn’t stop the Flyin’ Hawaiian, who had 207 yards receiving and a combined 139 return yards.
“One of our concerns was to take Chad out of the game, and that didn’t happen,” Alouettes defensive back Dwight Anderson said. “Chad played a great game, man. You can’t take nothing from him. He made a lot of big plays on a lot of second downs. We’re trying to get off the field and he is making big plays.”
Linebacker Shea Emry wasn’t in the mood for throwing around compliments.
“I don’t even know if Chad had a big game,” Emry said. “I couldn’t tell you. I’m not really worried about what happened in the game right now.”
How sharp was Owens in a game that, for both teams, meant everything? In three regular-season games against Montreal in 2012, Owens had a total of 207 receiving yards. He equalled that in one stellar 60-minute day at the office.
AT THE HALF
The Argos won a playoff game in Montreal for the second time since 1946 ... The Argos had noise pumped into the Rogers Centre during practice in the days leading up to Sunday. But with 50,112 packed into Olympic Stadium, the fake noise in Toronto sounded like a whisper in comparison to what the deafening sound was like in the concrete bowl ... If you’re looking for a bad-news blueprint of how to start on the road in the playoffs, the Argos might have a document that would interest you. A Chad Kackert fumble thanks to a messy exchange with Ricky Ray, failure to convert on third down, and failure to score a touchdown (or a field goal) after starting first-and-goal ... Kackert, whose fumble was caused by tackle Ollie Ogbu and recovered by the same player, fumbled just once during the regular season. And the Argos recovered that one ... Bringing in the backup quarterback on short yardage became a football habit years ago, but it still doesn’t fully explain the Argos’ play-calling with Jarious Jackson trying to ram the ball over the goal line in the second quarter. Getting zero yards on three tries is almost impossible and happens rarely, but the Argos managed to pull it off ... After a mostly disciplined start, the Argos were burned by a pass interference call on Ahmad Carroll, a flag that brought the Alouettes to the Toronto one-yard line from the 26. Carroll interfered with receiver Eric Deslauriers, but it certainly was not blatant, and had it not been called, few would have noticed ... Toronto won the time of possession battle in the first half, controlling the ball for 16 minutes 31 seconds. That’s usually a good thing, but it was erased by the turnovers. Anthony Calvillo, usually a passing machine, had just 10 attempts in the opening 30 minutes, and completed seven ... Neither team had a penalty in the first quarter.
The first query put to Alouettes head coach Marc Trestman in his post-game conference regarded the status of Marc-Olivier Brouillette, who was taken off the field on a stretcher in the fourth quarter. “That’s really the most important question of the night,” Trestman said. “It looks like he is going to be fine. More concussionary than anything.” ... Jason Barnes threw a great downfield block on Owens’ 70-yard gain deep into Montreal territory. The block didn’t make the gain happen, but it helped ... Kackert redeemed himself in the third quarter when he ran 49 yards for a touchdown and the Argos’ first lead of the game. Kackert resembles a human bowling ball when he goes for those kinds of runs. Nothing can stop him ... One of Kackert’s hobbies is writing and recording songs. His housemates — third-string quarterback Trevor Harris and Swayze Waters — have been known to get a hold of Kackert’s iPod and crank the homemade tunes on the trio’s speakers ... Pacino Horne took a dumb penalty for unnecessary roughness and heard all about it from defensive co-ordinator Chris Jones, who was standing about 10 feet away from the infraction. No wonder Jones went nuts. It’s the kind of foolishness that should have been eradicated early in the season, when the games weren’t as important ... Horne made up for it on his leaping play to get a finger on a Calvillo pass on the Als’ final possession. It was enough to make Brian Bratton drop what would have been a game-tying touchdown ... The Argos didn’t really miss cornerback Patrick Watkins, who was out of the game with an ankle injury. Watkins was replaced by Jalil Carter, but Calvillo didn’t go after Carter a whole lot ... He may be defensive at times with media, but Trestman also is classy. He went out of his way to wish his former offensive co-ordinator, Argos head coach Scott Milanovich, good luck in the Grey Cup. “I could not be more excited for him now that the game is over,” Trestman said. “He and his team are well-deserving of winning the football game. They will be a great representative for the East.” ... More than a few Argos were concerned with the idea that another team would be in their Rogers Centre locker room for the Grey Cup if they lost to Montreal. Now, they can’t party with the rest of the Cup revellers this week, but we can’t imagine that matters to them ... Defensive game ball? Marcus Ball, hands down.