Alfieri’s Day 7 training camp notebook: intra-squad game recap
The Alouettes concluded their first week of training camp, which is presented by le Salon de jeux de Trois-Rivieres, with an intra-squad game at a packed Stade Diablos.
The game had an element of physicality to it, but there was no tackling to the ground and no sacks or hits allowed on the quarterback.
This contest wasn’t available on television or via stream, so I’ll do my best to fill you in on what happened over the course of the two 30-minute halves.
Fajardo looks sharp:
Fajardo came out of the gate slinging, as his first three pass attempts were all deep shots to different receivers. Defensive back Ciante Evans made a great play to break up Fajardo’s first pass, which was intended for Hergy Mayala, but the Als quarterback responded with long completions to Tyler Snead (roughly 27 yards) and Kaion Julien-Grant (roughly 38 yards).
Fajardo finished the night 11/14 for 154 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.
“He’s feeling more comfortable with the receivers,” head coach Jason Maas said of Fajardo. “Right now, we have a couple of guys that we’re in (the first team offence) the first day and they haven’t been in since. He’s adjusting to everybody. Obviously, everything is new to him except for the offence, and that’s what I loved for him to see. There has been a lot of retention in his mind and in his ability. He’s healthy and that’s awesome to see. The way he’s moving, the way he’s throwing, he’s as good as I have seen him, and I’m very excited about that. His command of the offence, every day, has gotten better.”
Austin Mack finds the end zone twice:
Both of Fajardo’s touchdowns were thrown to rookie receiver Austin Mack. The first one came inside the 10-yard line, while the second came on a 37-yard throw. Mack had to jump over a defensive back in the end zone on the second one.
Mack finished the night with four receptions and didn’t look out of place with the starting offence. He has now been rolling with the starters for three days.
“This has been an awesome experience being up here with Montreal,” Mack said after the intra-squad game. “The people are amazing. For me, being able to come up here and just trying to execute as best as I can, that’s my biggest priority. Cody and I are starting to get our chemistry together and I’m excited for what’s to come.”
# 81 – Austin Mack😤 pic.twitter.com/6g9HEZGNqZ
— Alouettes de Montréal (@MTLAlouettes) May 21, 2023
Kevin Kaya’s big-play ability:
Global receiver Kevin Kaya had the longest reception of the night when he caught a pass from Davis Alexander in the middle of the field. Kaya made a couple of defenders miss before crossing the goal line for a 65-yard touchdown.
Overall, he finished the game with three receptions for 83 yards and one touchdown. The former University of Montreal Carabins has looked good in camp.
The 28-year-old had played in one game during his rookie season in 2021, but he managed to get into five games last season. Kaya had his first two career receptions in last year’s regular season finale in Toronto.
Kabion Ento shines on defence:
Scrimmages aren’t made for defensive players to shine, but defensive back Kabion Ento found a way to stand out on Saturday night.
The 27-year-old made a pair of interceptions during the scrimmage. On his first interception, he went stride for stride with Mack down the left sideline before he was able to snag the ball. His second pick was even more impressive, as he made a one-handed catch near the sideline.
Ento was a member of the Green Bay Packers from 2019 to 2022. He was a receiver prior to making the leap to the NFL, but he made a move to corner at the pro level.
Coming up next:
The Als won’t be on the field on Sunday, as they’ll be in meetings before attending a yoga session.
They’ll be back on the field at Stade Diablos on Monday morning.