Larose's hometown debut memorable

ROBIN BROWNLEE -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 10:20 AM ET

J.R. Larose wasn't trying to show off for his mom, his fiance, his friends or his Edmonton Huskies teammates at Commonwealth Stadium last night - it just worked out that way. He's simply trying to earn a job with the Edmonton Eskimos.

It turns out Larose, a Strathcona grad looking for work with the Eskimos at cornerback, may have accomplished both in a 20-20 tie with Winnipeg Blue Bombers. At the very least, he certainly didn't hurt his chances.

Larose made his CFL pre-season debut a memorable one, picking off an errant Spergon Wynn pass in the second quarter on a night the local-boy-made-good looked right at home in Green and Gold silks.

A happy homecoming it was.

"It turned out just the way I hoped it would turn out, but I wish we got the win," said Larose, who has gone from being a member of the Knothole Gang to contender on the corner.

"My goal was to come in here and make plays and I did. I'm happy with my performance. I'm soaking it all in."

Larose, 21, who earned conference all-star honours in 2004 as the Huskies rolled to a Canadian Junior Football League title, picked off a Wynn offering that skipped off the hands of Keith Stokes. That gave his personal cheering section something to yell about.

After impressing with his composure and competitiveness through the first dozen days of training camp, Larose has also given coach Danny Maciocia something to think about, when you factor in this performance.

"I know I'm a rookie and I know my chances aren't all that great, but my main focus is to make this team," Larose said. "I want to show that I can play with these guys."

While veteran Malcolm Frank is pencilled in ahead of Larose on the corner, you'd have to think he's earned himself another look, at the very least, when the Esks tangle with in a rematch with the Bombers in Winnipeg Thursday.

"When I first walked out of the igloo and saw 37,000 fans, it was crazy," he said.

"Once I got hit out there a couple of times, I started to settle down a bit. I just played my game."


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