Alouettes take Round 1 in home-and-home series with Lions
The BC Lions return home from Montreal with their 4 game winning streak snapped by the Alouettes. The Als always seemed to have a counter-attack for the Leos as this game came down to the wire.
A last second pass deflection snuffed out he Lions hopes in a game that finished 30-25 in favour of the home squad.
Montreal’s QB, Anthony Calvillo, remained the league’s top passer going off for his eighth consecutive 300+ yard passing game. And with his two TD strikes to Arland Bruce III, Lions QB, Travis Lulay has now gone 20 consecutive games with at least one touchdown pass.
Time now to get further connected with this week’s Love ‘Em and Hate ‘Em.
Loonies and Twonies
As I mentioned above, it was Lions Slot-Back Arland Bruce III that provided most of BC points.
Bruce III finished with 6 catches for 76 yards and the two scores. It was a complete game for the charismatic pass catcher, who was also a dominant force on the Lions rushing attack.
Bruce has now reached the end-zone 3 times in the past 3 games and is the club’s leader in TD’s caught.
I have been critical with the Lions return game as of late so I’ll give them some love in a contest where they showed a spark. It was Brown’s legs that generated the momentum for the Lions second half offense.
Whether it was the split time with Marco Iannuzzi the last two games, or a change in protection, Brown just looked more explosive. Look for him to build on this success in the re-match.
#2 is Number 1
For the first time since week 4 against Edmonton Lions LB Adam Bighill did not lead the team in tackles. For this week, that honour goes to HB Lin-J Shell. The dynamic defensive back lined up at both HB and Linebacker in Montrreal and made his presence felt all over the field.
Shell’s efforts resulted in 6 tackles, remarkable since he is still coming off the bench in a backup role.
RB Andrew Harris, a bona-fide contender for the CFL’s Most Outstanding Canadian, touched the ball a total of 13 times. Harris finished 8 rushes for 56 yards and 5 receptions also for 56 yards, and 0 touchdowns.
The Lion’s offensive coaching staff must start to realize that when Andrew Harris conducts the offensive train, the Lions look so much more impressive.
The BC Offensive Line entered the season shorthanded and the immediate forecast doesn’t get any better as sensational Rookie Guard Matt Normanhas officially retired in order to go back to school.
Coming out of training camp the Lions had lost both starting Guards, while the guards have returned they have been dinged up, and veteran Center Angus Reid is playing with a high ankle sprain.
Against Montreal this unit looked sloppy and out of sync as they conceded 2 sacks and Lulay was pressured most of the game.
Most of the offensive inconsistency can be attributed to the O-Line but this unit should only get stronger as they take regular snaps together, the guys on the line now are the same starting five that clinched last year’s Grey Cup.
While I give props to Tim Brown this week I must point out that the Lions O couldn’t capitalize on the returner’s success. After returns of 63 and 52 yards, the Lions were forced to settle for Paul McCallum Field Goals.
On a short field presented to them, BC needs to strike in a major way, it’s nice not come away empty handed but Tuddies in these situations would have resulted in a Lions victory.
It was a classic punch, counter-punch, game typical of when these two teams face each other.
The Lions had a chance to secure a last second win but it was the Als who laughed last in round one of the home-and-home affair. With no love lost between them and eight days to prepare, the re-match in Vancouver should be as every bit as exciting as the opener.
Cheers, The Bartender