Alouettes eliminated from playoffs after losing to Esks

The losing streak is over for the Edmonton Eskimos, but the misery goes on for the Montreal Alouettes.

Recently acquired running back C.J. Gable scored a pair of touchdowns as the Eskimos (8-6) eliminated Montreal (3-12) from playoff contention with a rain-soaked 42-24 victory on Monday afternoon. The result stopped Edmonton’s slump at six games while extending the Alouettes’ losing run to eight.

“It gives us a moment to breathe and celebrate hard work paying off,” said Eskimos coach Jason Maas, whose team moved into a tie with Saskatchewan for third place in the West Division. “This was a character win, being down 15-0 on the road, in bad conditions, and taking the lead at the half and sustaining it.

“We needed to feel this moment. We needed to feel what it was like to win again and have a good feeling going home. From there, we’ve still got to play good football. We have to play better. We’re far from perfect. But we’ll enjoy the moment and get ready for Saturday (against Toronto).”

It poured rain throughout the match, which caused fumbles, interceptions, dropped passes and missed tackles for both teams before mostly empty grandstands at Percival Molson Stadium, where attendance was announced as 18,849.

The Alouettes, who hadn’t scored a first-quarter touchdown in six games, had two while taking a 15-0 lead in the opening 9:33 of play before Gable’s touchdown on a four-yard sweep at 13:42 put the Eskimos back in the game.

“Not holding onto the ball and not catching it and not being able to throw it perfectly – all that plays in,” said Maas. “One of the hardest games to play is in a driving rain.”

The result put Montreal out of the playoffs for a third straight year.

“We weren’t mentally ready,” said Alouettes kick returner Stefan Logan. “It’s preparing yourself each week.

“I take pride on catching the ball. I take pride on working on ways to catch the ball on punt returns. I’m not pointing out anyone on the team, but we have to do a better job. They had turnovers at the beginning but they didn’t fold. They stayed together and they rallied back. We were so excited and then we lost it, and that’s not a good football team. That’s the part that really sucks.

“So now we’re not making the playoffs. Now we’re playing three more games for free. Just playing to build your stats or to get a job next year.”

Brandon Zylstra, who caught seven passes for 201 yards, Duke Williams and cornerback Chris Edwards also scored TDs and Swayze Waters added three field goals for Edmonton. Gable had 22 carries for 111 yards.

Williams’ 25-yard TD catch with 4:09 left to play came from James Franklin who replaced Mike Reilly at the start the fourth quarter.

Maas said it was precautionary, that Reilly, who appeared to have an ankle or leg problem, will be evaluated to see if he can play Saturday. He added the team is confident it can move the ball with Franklin behind centre.

Reilly went 13-for-29 for 286 yards and two touchdowns while Franklin completed two of five for 34 yards and one TD.

Tyrell Sutton and defensive back Brandon Stewart had touchdowns and Boris Bede kicked four field goals for Montreal. Drew Willy was good on 19 of 29 for 193 yards and was picked off twice.

A blocked punt recovered by Chip Cox gave Montreal the ball on the Edmonton 39 and two plays later Sutton ran in from the nine 2:40 into the game. Then Gable fumbled into Stewart’s hands and the defensive back ran it 55 yards for a touchdown at 4:14.

A 39-yard Logan kick return set up Bede’s 20-yard field goal at 9:33.

After Gable scored, Samuel Giguere fumbled the ensuing kickoff to allow Waters to hit from 25 yards only 28 seconds into the second quarter.

Montreal answered with Bede’s 31-yard effort, but a 56-yard pass to a wide open Zylstra put the Eskimos in position for Gable to take a shovel pass and score from the nine at 5:44. Zylstra was left open in the end zone for a 28-yard TD reception at 13:54, but Montreal marched back for Bede’s 37-yard placement to end the half.

Stewart picked off a Reilly pass to set up Bede’s 44-yard boot 6:21 into the third quarter, but the Eskimos answered with Waters’ 26-yarder at 9:56.

Edwards grabbed a ball that went in and out of the hands of Alouettes receiver Ernest Jackson and went 68 yards untouched into the end zone 6:22 into the fourth quarter.

“I went to squeeze it and it popped right out,” said Jackson.

Montreal linebacker Cox got his 900th career tackle.

Notes: Cornerback Jonathan Mincy was a surprise scratch for Montreal. The team said it was an injury. Edmonton scratched defensive end John Chick.

– CP


21 Comments on Alouettes eliminated from playoffs after losing to Esks

  1. Rick cowan // October 9, 2017 at 5:27 pm //

    I think you will see the Al’s making a few trades

    • Well that would be a neat trick. Who do you think would bite on any excess Montreal has to offer.

  2. I’m not going to beller out too loudly about game officials, but sure be interesting for the zebras to explain the fumble by one of the Eskimos that appeared to be recovered by an Alouette and awarded to the Eskimos in the second quarter. Is this another blunder by the greenhorns??? It certainly appeared to be a ball recovered by the Alouettes with the Al’s up 15-0 at the time. Could that be a TSN turning point (blunder by the officials)? Even Rod Black was certain the Alouettes had the football. And secondly, the objectionable conduct by T.J. Graham after flipping the ball? Oops, I’ve seen better endzone theatrics by the Roughrider receivers on scoring plays. I guess I will put my name in, Mr. Ambrosie, if you’re willing to take a chance. I also have a friend fanatic suggest his name be on the list for game official hopefuls. And if you should wish to really “upgrade” officiating, why not give a call south of the border? Just trying to help, because I’m getting tired of these wannabees flubbing nearly every game. Please help, Mr. Ambrosie!!!

    • I started a petition for the league, not that it will do much good but we fans have to let the league know we are fed up with the same guys making the same mistakes. These are big errors, game changing blown calls and in a 18 game season one or two games can make a big difference.

      • greenrider89 // October 9, 2017 at 8:08 pm //

        I would sign in a moment. This nonsense is chaotic. For fans who love this game, game officials are trying to take this away by making some absolutely horrible calls. I can only hope and pray the CFL takes a long hard look at the way the game is being officiated. I’ve been a fan, now, for nearly 45 years. The officiating, I believe, hasn’t been this bad. And I think what riles most CFL fans up is that the command centre was to improve all this. What improvement? It costs us $160 per game plus fuel, hotel and food. If I am to pay this fee, we better talk about the football players, not game officials. And yes, I’ve contacted the CFL and raised my ire 4-5 times in the last few years. I’ve received complimentary replies that the officiating is batting 95% and higher. Possibly so. But if that is the case, it better not cost a team a victory because of blundered officiating. And apologies from the league doesn’t really garner much to the CFL fan who’s team lost the biggest of the season. Get better, make the necessary improvements, and give fans the opportunity of talking about the game product on the field instead of the zebras. As mentioned in my first statement, I don’t have a problem putting my name to something if it’s meant to improve the brand of the CFL.

  3. The only bright side, one game closer to securing the 2018 first round draft pick. Hamilton, keep your hands off that prize please.
    Any chance one of the contenting play-off teams would want two sub par quarterbacks at the trading deadline? No? Didn’t think so…..

  4. South-west cowboy // October 9, 2017 at 6:12 pm //

    There will be consequences!

  5. Lancaster/Reed // October 9, 2017 at 6:27 pm //

    Well Kavis, that was $400,000 well spent for a QB who has yet to get back to his 2013 ( and early 2014) form .

  6. Eskies win but can’t stop the run

  7. Scottsask // October 9, 2017 at 8:24 pm //

    There has to be consequences.

  8. Congratulations John Chick on your first victory of 2017.

  9. Zylstra is the best receiver in the league by a bit, doesn’t matter who Edmonton plays , he seems to get 100 yards. Leads the league despite missing several games. Returns kicks.

  10. Sorry Mr.Chick, did not realize you were a healthy scratch.

  11. greenenvy? // October 9, 2017 at 9:52 pm //

    Despite the win, may be a controversy of sorts in E-town. Maas was livid that the clock ran down on 3rd & 2 when it was obvious Eskimos couldn’t draw Als offside. Reilly never saw the field again, though only 26-23 at that time. Eskimos have, by far, the most procedure penalties in the CFL. Reilly says he’s ready for next week & could be dinged up, Maas only commented they can go with Franklin if need be. The Eskimos so-called hurry up offence has been no such thing. Reilly is always running the clock down into the 3 second red zone. They might as well huddle – the whole point of the no-huddle is get the play off quickly. Will Reilly play, absolutely, even though they play in 5 days. But Maas walked over to Reilly & said something to him, my guess was he was done for the remainder. He was some upset & my guess he wanted to prove a point. I don’t think there is an injury concern – maybe a fractured ego.

  12. The Lions should trade for DE John Bowman

  13. I like Drew Willy as a person but he’s a 3rd string QB at best. He has no mobility and can’t extend plays at all

  14. Antlerman // October 9, 2017 at 11:06 pm //

    Fire Kavis at the end of the year get a real Gm he has no vision gor the future only for the past

  15. Edward Leslie // October 10, 2017 at 9:20 am //

    Montreal shouldn’t have let a stud like Brandon Bridge go. Durant looks washed up and saying he has some dubious injury is just trying to make excuses for his awful play.
    Firing Noel Thorpe, who consistently lead a good defence in Montreal was a second mistake by Reed.
    Getting rid of Bear Woods, for no apparent reason with no viable replacement was another Kavis Reed blunder.
    Scrapping Montreal’s vaunted all-Canadian Offensive line was yet another Kavis Reed mistake.
    Kavis Reed needs to go as both Coach and G.M., the team needs a new QB and a youth movement.
    My suggestion is Brendan Taman as G.M., with either Noel Thorpe or Anthony Calvillo as Head Coach.

  16. If there were 18k at the game it appeared to be 1.8K. Disaster season in every way for the Als sorry to say. Bad trades and can u say Darian Durant and releases of players – can u say Bear Woods and CJ. Bad choice of HC and or coaching staff with lack of patience in the process that a new staff has. Team needs a strong GM/VP who calls all the shots from top to bottom rather than one of the owners.Simple as that.

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