Pre-game preview: Alouettes add reinforcements for game against Stamps

– Close games between Alouettes (2-3) and Stampeders (2-4)

In recent years, the Alouettes and Stampeders have been involved in incredibly tight matchups. Since Oct. 2018, the Als and Stamps have played each other five times. Calgary has won three of those outings, but neither side has been victorious by more than six points.

Here’s the breakdown:
Oct. 8, 2018: Stamps by 6.
Aug. 17, 2019: Als by 6.
Oct. 5, 2019: Als by 4.
Oct. 29, 2021: Stamps by 6.
June 9, 2022: Stamps by 3.

The most memorable matchup between these two sides is the one that occurred on Aug. 17, 2019, in Calgary. The Als found themselves down by 11 points with under two minutes remaining, but they managed to fight back to force overtime. They eventually won the game in the second OT frame.

“He always has his guys well-prepared,” Als head coach Jason Maas said of Calgary’s bench boss Dave Dickinson. “When I look at penalties, they’re always one of the leaders in the league at that. They have great schemes. They’ve been together as a coaching staff for years, so you can tell their game plans are well-executed.”

Shawn Lemon to make first start for Als:

Shawn Lemon, who was signed on Monday, will be in the starting lineup for Sunday’s game. The 34-year-old played for the Calgary Stampeders last season. He was excellent in 2022, as he accumulated 14 quarterback sacks, five forced fumbles, and four pass knockdowns. Lemon was also named the West Division’s Most Outstanding Player.

“I have watched every (Alouettes) game (this season),” Lemon said. “I watched every preseason game; I watched every stream of every team in the league. This is a really aggressive defence. The offence is very explosive, so I want to bring my skill set to get to the quarterback. I don’t only want to get to the quarterback, but I want to take the ball away.”

Lemon will head into this game with 92 career sacks.

-Lineup notes:

Tyson Philpot will make his 2023 regular season debut. The Als have activated the second-year receiver off the six-game injured list. He has missed the first five games of the regular season with a lower-body injury.

The 23-year-old finished his rookie season with 39 receptions, 459 yards and two touchdowns in 18 games. He was the Alouettes’ leading receiver in their East Division Final loss to the Toronto Argonauts last year, as he amassed 127 yards in the game.

Kordell Rogers will be making his fourth appearance of the season. He’ll be back in the starting lineup because of the injury to Ciante Evans. Rodgers has made eight tackles in his first three CFL games. He also registered an interception against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in his first CFL start.

Right tackle Landon Rice will miss this week’s game, which means that Jamar McGloster will suit up in his place. The American tackle joined the Als last season, but this will be his first game with them. The 28-year-old played five games for the Ottawa Redblacks during the 2021 season.