Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Roughriders Look to Continue Season-Ending Surge against Visiting Alouettes

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Roughriders Look to Continue Season-Ending Surge against Visiting Alouettes

Article excerpt

Riders look to keep improving against Als


REGINA - The Saskatchewan Roughriders and Montreal Alouettes have similar records, but their recent play shows two teams going in different directions heading into Saturday's match at Mosaic Stadium.

Though eliminated from the playoffs, the Riders (5-10) are riding a four-game win streak and look poised to finish 2016 on an upswing.

The team has been in sync on offence, defence and special teams through most of those four wins. They've maintained stability over the past two months despite a rash of injuries.

On the other hand, the Alouettes (4-11) who were eliminated from the playoffs with Hamilton's 39-36 double-overtime win over Ottawa Friday night, are on a two-game losing streak and have found little consistency on offence amid several personnel changes.

The team cut receiving yards leader Duron Carter on Monday, along with fellow receiver Kenny Stafford. Veteran quarterback Kevin Glenn was traded to Winnipeg in September, and Jacques Chapdelaine replaced general manager Jim Popp as Montreal's interim head coach a week later.

On Saturday, offensive co-ordinator Anthony Calvillo will look to rookie quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. to turn around the Als' sputtering offence against the Riders' stubborn defence.

Calvillo said Adams' ability to see the field as a play progresses is a valuable strength.

"I think if his first read's not there, he's able to go to a second and third read," he said. "And to me, for a young quarterback, that's pretty impressive, because that just doesn't happen overnight."

The 23-year-old Adams has seen limited action throughout the season, and Saturday's game will be his first professional start.

Through three seasons at Eastern Washington University and one season at Oregon, Adams amassed 13,081 yards passing and 136 passing touchdowns. He also rushed for 1,379 yards and 13 touchdowns.

Adams said he's excited to get the start and build off what was a productive work week for the Alouettes.

"I just know (the Riders) have some really good athletes on defence all around, especially up front," he said. "The front four, (defensive linemen A.C. Leonard and Jonathan Newsome) are very athletic," he said. …

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