MONTREAL – The Montreal Alouettes lost to the Edmonton Eskimos by the score of 40 to 20.
Mike Reilly threw for 346 yards and a pair of touchdowns, John White ran for 145 yards and a pair of majors, and rookie Brandon Zylstra hauled in his first-career touchdown reception as the Esks cruised to their second road win in as many weeks.
After a defensive start to the football game, Montreal kicker Anthony Fera got the hosts on the board with a conceded single. Fera pulled his 41-yard field goal attempt wide left, and Eskimos return man Tro-y Stoudemire knelt in the end zone to put the Als up 1-0.
League-leading kicker Sean Whyte put the Esks on top late in the first quarter with a 23-yard field goal.
With Fera battling an injury, Montreal receiver Kyle Graves was forced into a punting role late in the first quarter. Graves’s first punt, a knuckleball, was fumbled and recovered by the Als inside the Edmonton 10-yard line on the final play of the opening quarter.
The Als wasted no time taking advantage of Edmonton’s special-teams slip-up, with a pair of Brandon Rutley runs on the first two plays of the second quarter taking Montreal into the end zone. Fera returned to the game to hit the extra point, and the Als took an 8-3 lead.
Edmonton responded quickly with a pair of bombs to Derel Walker (42-yarder) and Brandon Zylstra (29-yarder), the latter landing the visitors in the end zone and back in the lead at 9-8 following a missed convert from Whyte.
After forcing a two-and-out on Montreal’s ensuing possession, Edmonton marched down the field on an eight-play, 63-yard drive capped by a 1-yard John White touchdown plunge to make it 16-8.
Anthony Fera then hit his first field goal of the afternoon in the later stages of the first half from 38 yards to cut Edmonton’s lead to five points.
Als defensive back Jovon Johnson closed out the first half by hauling in his team-leading third interception on the final play of the opening 30 minutes.
Momentum swung palpably on the first play from scrimmage of the second half, which saw Montreal quarterback Rakeem Cato picked off easily by Edmonton’s Cord Parks after a miscommunication with receiver Kenny Stafford.
Four plays later, Mike Reilly and the Esks were back in the end zone after an 8-yard touchdown pass to veteran Chris Getzlaf. Whyte added the extra point and the visitors extended their lead to 23-11.
Edmonton continued its dominant third quarter, with the Eskimo defence forcing a two-and-out on Montreal’s subsequent possession to get the ball back. Reilly and co. marched back down the field again, and the Eskimos gunslinger polished off the drive himself with a short 3-yard trot into the Montreal end zone. Whyte added the extra point, and Edmonton opened up a 30-11 lead.
The Esks continued to roll late in the third quarter, following up another defensive stop with a two-play, 67-yard touchdown drive that featured a 59-yard Adarius Bowman reception and 8-yard touchdown run by John White. Whyte hit the extra point and the Esks led 37-11.
Rakeem Cato and the Alouette offence found the end zone for just the second time all afternoon in the fourth quarter, as Cato hit Sam Giguere for a 26-yard pass touchdown. Fera drilled the point after and Montreal had cut its deficit down to 19.
The Eskimo defence shut things down in the closing stages of the fourth quarter, ultimately allowing just 228 yards of Alouette offence until the final minutes of the blowout.
Mike Reilly took a knee in the end zone on the final play of the football game, handing the Alouettes a free two points to close out the football game and bring the final score to 40-20.
Brandon Zylstra was the unexpected hero for the Eskimos on the offensive side of the ball, racking up over 100 receiving yards and his first-career touchdown reception.
While Edmonton only managed two sacks on Rakeem Cato, the Eskimo defensive line did well to eliminate the Alouette run game: Montreal feature back Brandon Rutley was limited to just 36 yards on 11 carries.
Defensive leaders for the Eskimos included JC Sherritt (seven tackles) and Cord Parks (one interception), while Winston Venable led the way with seven tackles in the losing effort for the Als.
Montreal will be back in action next Saturday on the road in Alberta against the Calgary Stampeders. Don’t miss the next home game, Sunday, October 30th at 1 p.m. During this game, players and members of the organization get to thank fans who have come up to watch the team this season. For this final home game of the regular season, many gifts will be handed out throughout the gameé
And Halloween is one day away, so why not come to the stadium wearing a costume and win prizes.