May 24, 2022

A game that lived up to the hype

The Alouettes held their intra-squad game on the fifth day of training camp. Roughly 1,500 fans were in attendance at Stade Diablos on Monday night.

The players had gone through a couple of padded practices leading up to this game, but this was the first time they were able to play a physical brand of football.

Two defensive backs came up with interceptions early in the scrimmage, as Rodney Randle Jr. picked off Vernon Adams Jr. on the opening drive and Jarnor Jones intercepted Trevor Harris on his first snap at quarterback. In fairness to both quarterbacks, they both came back and threw touchdown passes later on. Adams Jr. hit Geno Lewis near the goal line and Harris threw one to Fabian Guerra (you can see that touchdown in the video below).

Randle Jr. is a second-year player that started several games at corner during the 2021 season. He’s been working with the starting secondary for most of training camp. The 25-year-old also laid a solid hit on Canadian receiver Kaion Julien-Grant on the second drive of the game.

In 11 contests last season, he had 22 defensive tackles, nine special teams tackles and two interceptions. He showed some versatility last year when he was forced to fill in at safety after Marc-Antoine Dequoy suffered an injury early on during a game in Ottawa.

If Jones’ name is familiar to you, that’s because he spent the 2019 season with the Als. He finished that campaign with 23 tackles on defence and 11 more on special teams.

The 28-year-old missed the 2020 season because of the Covid-19 pandemic, and he was out of football last year, too.

Jones is 6-foot-3, 209 pounds, which is huge for a cornerback, and he isn’t shy about throwing his weight around on a consistent basis.

He started the scrimmage with the number one defence, which probably indicates that the coaches have liked what they’ve seem from him so far.

“They’re running around,” head coach Khari Jones said of his secondary after the intra-squad game. “They look good. They’re tough to play against. I think they’re going to give us a great look from the offensive side every day. There’s going to be some real competition there. I’m looking forward to the rest of camp and the preseason games. I can’t wait to see how they progress as it goes on.”

A pair of rookie American receivers have performed well in training camp so far and that continued Monday night.

Cole Spieker, who is wearing number 71 in camp, has been getting open consistently during practice and he broke free for a 35-yard gain near the right sideline on a pass from Dominique Davis.

That catch put the offence in great scoring position and it eventually set up this Krishawn Hogan touchdown.

Hogan has good size and hands, and he’s in the mix for a roster spot in 2022.

“(Davis) threw a great ball,” Hogan said of his touchdown reception.

“The sun was in my eyes. That was a little tough, but I came down with it through the tackle. I was just happy I was able to make a play.

“It felt good being out here, under the lights. Everybody was eager to make some plays with the fans out here, especially during a scrimmage. I was able to make one.”

Regis Cibasu is in his second full season with the Alouettes and his he’s entering his third in the CFL. During his time as a pro, Cibasu has primary been used as a fullback/tight-end, but he was a wide-receiver for the University of Montreal during his time there.

In this year’s camp, the 28-year-old has gone back to lining up as a wideout, and he’s looked comfortable in that role.

During the scrimmage, he caught a touchdown pass at the back of the end zone from Ben Holmes.

The Als will play their first preseason game of the year this Saturday in Hamilton at 7pm ET.