Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Edmonton Eskimos Defence to Present Crompton, Alouettes with Stiff Challenge

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Edmonton Eskimos Defence to Present Crompton, Alouettes with Stiff Challenge

Article excerpt

Eskimos defence to present Als with challenge

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These are indeed heady times for Jonathan Crompton and the Montreal Alouettes.

Crompton rallied Montreal to a 38-31 home win over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats last weekend, the first time since last season the Als (3-7) had registered consecutive victories. What's more, they moved into a tie with the Toronto Argonauts atop the East Division standings.

And they did it by outscoring Hamilton 31-10 in the second half. Crompton, in his second CFL start, finished 18-of-27 passing for 206 yards with a TD and an interception.

But it was James Rodgers who delivered the key blow, his 82-yard punt-return TD breaking a 24-24 tie and giving Montreal a lead it would never relinquish.

The Alouettes' defence also figured prominently, sacking Hamilton quarterback Zach Collaros five times and intercepting him once.

But Crompton and the Als certainly face a stiff test Friday night when they visit an Edmonton Eskimos team that's dropped two straight.

Edmonton (7-3) lost a Labour Day home-and-home series with the Calgary Stampeders and is 0-3 this season against its provincial rival. After dropping a 28-13 decision at McMahon Stadium, the Eskimos lost 41-34 last Saturday.

The Eskimos' defence had trouble stopping Calgary running back Jon Cornish in both games. Cornish rushed for 163 yards in the Labour Day contest, then ran for 109 yards Saturday.

Quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell threw for 468 total yards in the two games but still improved to 12-1, the best record to start a career in CFL history.

Unfortunately for Montreal, it has neither timing nor history on its side.

Edmonton won the previous meeting this season 33-23 in Montreal and is 5-0 versus East Division clubs. There's also the matter of the Eskimos seeking redemption following their struggles against Calgary.

Quarterback Mike Reilly missed both games against Calgary with a thumb injury but backup Matt Nicholls was 25-of-43 passing for 333 yards and three TDs on Saturday. Despite the losses to Calgary, Edmonton's defence remains one of the CFL's best and the expectation is the unit returns to that level here.

Pick -- Edmonton.

Toronto Argonauts at Calgary Stampeders, 7 p.m., ET on Saturday night

A potentially dangerous game for Calgary (9-1) following its Labour Day sweep of Edmonton. Toronto (3-7) comes off the bye week and could have veteran slotbacks Andre Durie and Chad Owens back. That would be good news for quarterback Ricky Ray, who has dealt with a relatively inexperienced receiving corps for most of the season yet only relinquished the CFL passing lead to Winnipeg's Drew Willy last weekend. …

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