Trevor Harris carves Alouettes in Eskimos debut

By Grant Deme

Photo by Scott Grant /
Photo courtesy: Scott Grant/

For the longest time, the game wasn’t close. And then all of a sudden, it was.

Trevor Harris sparkled in his Edmonton Eskimos debut as he completed 32 of his 41 passes for 447 yards in a 32-25 win over the Montreal Alouettes.

Edmonton put up 608 total yards of offence to Montreal’s 325, which turned out to be barely enough to negate the five turnovers and 118 yards in penalties.

Before the game talks surrounded Harris’ and Greg Ellingson’s Eskimos debuts, and it was also Antonio Pipkin’s first chance to show why he is the man behind centre for the Als.

Montreal also fired head coach Mike Sherman six days ago and installed Khari Jones as the interim bench boss while their ownership woes deserves a Daytime Emmy.

The Alouettes led 7-2 after Pipkin found DeVier Posey in the end zone a few plays after a Boris Bede punt slipped through the hands of Esks returner Monshadrik Hunter.

Edmonton then found pay dirt in quarter number two.

A 12 play drive ended in Harris’ first touchdown. He found an open Kenny Stafford for 28 yards to put the Esks in front.

Then ugliness ensued. Defensive Lineman Jessie Joseph brought Pipkin down with a vicious facemask before Hunter hit the pivot as he was sliding onto the turf a couple of plays later, similar to Simoni Lawrence’s hit on Zach Collaros in Thursday night’s game. Montreal ended up wasting the field positioning.

After some big runs by C.J. Gable on the following drive, it was Harris finding Stafford for a second time in the end zone as the Esks led 16-8 at the break.

Gable played lights out especially down the stretch, rushing for 154 yards on 20 touches and a receiving touchdown.

Defence and penalties ruled the nest for most of the third quarter, a conceded Montreal safety the only points on the board. But an injury was the unfortunate takeaway.

Pipkin left the game in the third after coming up hobbling following a Josh Johnson sack and Vernon Adams Jr. came into his place.

It took just one play for points to be scored in the fourth as Harris wrapped up another lengthy drive with a 25 yard pass to Gable in highlight-reel fashion.

Adams sparked the Alouettes’ offence right away from his first full drive. A 42-yard William Stanback run set the table for the running back to score a few plays later.

The former Oregon Duck toyed with his food the next drive, playing catch with B.J Cunningham for 27 and 17 yards with a run in between and suddenly it was a three point game.

The 26-year-old Adams completed his first seven passes and led the team to a tie after a Boris Bede field goal.

But he threw a game-sealing interception looking for Posey after Edmonton took the lead. Harris found Ricky Collins for 45-yards, Gable ran for over 20 and the quarterback plunged it across the goal line for the game winning score.

That capped off a remarkable night for Collins.  Harris found the 27-year-old 9 times for a whopping 175 yards.

The Als have a Week 2 bye upcoming while the Esks will stay home to face Mike Reilly and the B.C. Lions.