Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Lewis Returns to Where Stellar CFL Career Started as Alouettes Visit Riders

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Lewis Returns to Where Stellar CFL Career Started as Alouettes Visit Riders

Article excerpt

Lewis to make emotional return to Regina

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An otherwise insignificant game for the Montreal Alouettes will hold special meaning for veteran slotback Nik Lewis.

Lewis will return to where his stellar CFL career started on Friday, albeit seven blocks west, when the foundering Alouettes (3-13-0) face the playoff-bound Saskatchewan Roughriders (9-7-0) at Regina's new Mosaic Stadium.

Regina became a city firsts for Lewis -- first win, first catch, first touchdown -- back in June 2004 when his Calgary Stampeders beat the Roughriders 33-10 at the city's now-demolished Taylor Field stadium.

Thirteen years later, Lewis is the CFL's all-time leader with 1,048 receptions and he prepares to wind down a successful football career that includes two Grey Cups and a reputation for bowling -- or hurdling -- over defenders.

"I remember my first game being in Saskatchewan. And it'd be kind of special to know that my last game, potentially, is there as well," Lewis said. "I remember the catches well. I remember my first celebration going into that atmosphere there, and getting the win for my first game was huge to start my CFL career."

Lewis said he doesn't know if Friday's game will be his last, but he's at peace with that possibility.

"I think moving forward it's based on who the new head coach is going to be here next year, what direction they want to go in as far as me playing, me coaching or me moving forward," he said.

But before any of that's on the table, Lewis said he wants the Alouettes to finish what's been a season of struggles on a positive note.

"We haven't performed well. We've had a lot of changes. And you just look for any kind of positive. To be able to go out and beat a good team (the Roughriders) is something positive."

Montreal sits last or near last in most of the CFL's statistical categories, including points for, points allowed, offensive points scored, touchdowns scored and touchdowns scored on offence.

The 35-year-old Lewis said he doesn't want to use the word "salvage" when discussing Montreal's two remaining games this year. …

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