Percival Molson Memorial Stadium experienced a real blast of energy tonight! Everyone, players and fans alike, had the same goal in mind: take first place in the East Division away from the Popp and Trestman troop.
The stakes were high, the challenge equally so. But with great poise our Alouettes began the second third of the season by dominating their opponents from Toronto by a final score of 21 to 9.
An impressive return
It didn’t take long for the intensity to kick-in, with the friendly reunions among former colleagues quickly taking a more serious turn. Stefan Logan ran the ball for 27 yards on the opening kickoff, giving his quarterback good field position to start the game. It took the Als just over 11 minutes to open the scoring with a perfect 41-yard pass from Durant to Ernest “Action” Jackson. And while patiently waiting for the team to get on the scoreboard, fans got to enjoy some great plays. On defence, Tyree Hollins knocked down a pass from back-up quarterback Matthews destined for the dangerous S.J. Green. On offence, in addition to Jackson getting into the end zone, Tyrell Sutton was also a force to be reckoned with. After missing the previous two games, Tyrell reminded us how valuable he is to the team. Jacques confirmed as much in his post-game press conference, when he said the multi-talented Sutty provides the offence with some real excitement. A key target for Durant tonight, the running back had 15 carries and three receptions. We were happy to hear his name being announced on the stadium’s P.A. system!
When the cat’s away…
It must be said that the Argos were feeling the absence of their starting quarterback Ricky Ray. The Boatmen were only able to put three points on the board in the 1st half via a Hajrullahu field goal. That left Durant and his colleagues the opportunity they needed to take an even bigger lead before halftime. With 7:53 left in the 2nd quarter, youngster George Johnson scored the second touchdown of the game, which also happened to be the first of his CFL career, on a 16-yard pass from Durant. Congratulations, George! Following a ferocious tackle by Brandon Stewart, a single and a field goal by Boris Bédé, the scoreboard read 18-3 in favour of Chapdelaine’s men at halftime.
Special mention has to go to our veteran quarterback Darian Durant: He is now in the prestigious club of the fifteen best passers of all time, moving past the legendary Sam Etcheverry for 14th spot. We tip our hat to you, Darian!
A first step
The defence held up their end of the bargain throughout the 2nd half. After a rather quiet 3rd quarter and a quarterback change for the Argos (Fajardo took the reins coming out of the locker room at halftime) Noel Thorpe’s men took control of the game.
With less than three minutes to play and a 12-point lead, the Argos were threatening and nearing the end zone. But Coombs was nailed by cornerback Jonathon Mincy, and it was obvious to everyone that our talented #29 was not going to let this potential victory slip through his hands: In the 4th quarter alone, he had five solid tackles! He and his teammates can feel good about tonight’s win, but we know that the group will have to keep their feet firmly planted on the ground.
The battle is far from over. As Jacques said, the month of August is especially important for the team, just as it is for the other eight teams in the league. Although we’d like to believe that scores have now been settled with Popp, Trestman and their players, we know they won’t be feeling the same way. Our guys are going to have to continue working hard throughout the week if they want to continue their winning ways next week at BMO Field. We’re willing to bet that following tonight’s loss, the Argos will be greeting us with clenched fists…
Make sure to catch the game on either TSN television or TSN 690 radio starting at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 19.