Als score early and often to down Eskimos | | Official Site of the Canadian Football League
Recap: Montreal 47, Edmonton 24

EDMONTON -- In a game that many had pegged to be crucial for both sides involved, the Montreal Alouettes came out flying and never landed, earning a convincing 47-24 win over the Edmonton Eskimos on Saturday afternoon at Commonwealth Stadium.

Quarterback Josh Neiswander registered his second-career win, completing 15 of his 25 passes for 251 yards and four touchdowns, while Arland Bruce and SJ Green collected two scores apiece to help the Alouettes register their highest point total of the season.

Defensively, the Als came up big once again. Jerald Brown notched his fourth and fifth interceptions of the season, while Chip Cox added 4 more to his league-lead in tackles and had one interception.

All the talk heading into today’s matchup surrounded Eskimos pivot Mike Reilly, who was knocked out of last week’s tilt against Toronto after taking a hit to the head from Argos defensive lineman Cleyon Laing.

Related: Als vs. Esks

» View Game Stats
» Images: MTL vs. EDM
» Video: Green's 1st of 2 vs. Eskimos
» Video: Green Notches 2nd Major vs. Esks
» Video: Neiswander Hits Bruce for TD
» Video: Bruce Leaps for Second Score
» Preview: Als visit Commonwealth

Reilly, along with backup pivots Jonathan Crompton and Kerry Joseph all shared first-team reps at practice this week.

On Friday, however, Reilly was deemed medically cleared to play by Edmonton’s training staff, and was announced as the starter just hours before kickoff on Saturday.

Despite having just six days to recover and prepare, Reilly showed no ill-effects on the Esks’ first possession of the game, as he connected with receiver Adarius Bowman for 25-yard gain on their second play of the game.

However, Reilly and the offence were unable to move the chains a second time, and were forced to settle for a field goal attempt, which was missed by Hugh O’Neill and taken out of the endzone by the Alouettes to keep the game tied at 0 apiece.

But the scoreless draw wouldn’t last long.

Making his third-straight start, Neiswander wasted little time in making an impact, as he found receiver Brandon London for a 54-yard reception to bring the Als inside Edmonton’s 35 yard line.

After gains of 16 and 12 by Jerome Messam and Bruce, Neiswander completed a six-yard strike to Green in the endzone, giving the Als an early 7-0 lead.

Trying to respond with a score of their own, Reilly and Edmonton’s offence ran into some trouble on their ensuing possession.

Nine plays into an impressive drive that saw them move into Montreal territory, Reilly heaved a pass in Fred Stamps’ direction, but saw the ball picked out of the air by Brown.

The interception was Brown’s fourth of the season, pushing him into a tie with Geoff Tisdale for the team-lead.

Reilly’s turnover proved to be a costly one for the Esks.

Taking over from their own 31 yard line, Neiswander again went big on the first play of the drive, this time hooking up with Bruce for a 62-yard catch-and-run gain, bringing the Als into Edmonton territory once again.

Two plays later, Green found the endzone for a second time, hauling in a 22-yard pass for the touchdown.

Keeping Pace

With the win, the Alouettes stayed just two points behind the Tiger-Cats for second place in the East Division and home-field advantage in the Eastern Semi-Final.

On his way to the endzone, Green fumbled the ball, but managed to recover it before any Edmonton player had the opportunity to make an attempt at it.

But Montreal’s first-half prowess didn’t stop there.

Following a 24-yard field goal by O’Neill to get the Esks on the board, Neiswander went back to work on extending Montreal’s lead.

The 26-year-old proceeded to orchestrate another impressive drive, leading the Als 74 yards downfield on 10 plays before Troy Smith plunged forward from one yard out for the Als’ third-touchdown of the half.

Montreal would tack on another touchdown before the first 30 minutes came to an end, as Bruce hauled in a seven-yard reception for his second major of the season.

The two teams went into the half with Montreal leading 31-3.

After a rough first half that saw him throw three interceptions, Reilly started the second half on the sidelines, giving way for Crompton to take over.

However, Crompton didn't fare much better against a tough Montreal defence.

In a third quarter that saw very little offence on both sides of the ball, Crompton threw two interceptions, one to Tisdale and another to Brown before the quarter expired.

The Alouettes would add to their lead in the early stages of the fourth quarter. Taking over from Edmonton's 21 yard line following the Brown interception, Neiswander heaved a 21-yard pass in the endzone towards Bruce on second down.

Bruce managed to fight off coverage by Eric Samuels and bring down pass to extend Montreal's lead to 36.

Midway through the fourth quarter, the Eskimos would finally reach the endzone, as Crompton found sophomore Shamawd Chambers for a 31-yard touchdown.

Later, Chambers scored his second touchdown of the quarter to cut Montreal's lead to 23.

On Montreal's next possession, Smith - who Jim Popp had inserted into the game to get some reps - saw his pass deflected and intercepted by Joe Burnett. The cornerback returned the pick 56 yards to Montreal's three yard line, giving Edmonton excellent field position for their next possession.

Three plays later, Crompton found Stamps in the endzone to pull within 16 of the Alouettes' lead.

But with 1:24 to go, Montreal officially put the game out of reach, as tailback Tyrell Sutton scored on a seven-yard touchdown scamper.

The win by Montreal keeps them within striking distance of the Tiger-Cats for second place in the East Division and home-field advantage in the Eastern Semi-Final. More importantly, however, is the fact that the Als now have a lengthy six-point lead over the Eskimos who were threatening to catch Montreal for the final playoff spot by way of a crossover.

Next week, the Als return home to Percival Molson Stadium to take on the Blue Bombers on Thanksgiving Monday, while the Eskimos visit Regina to take on the Roughriders.

Fan Comments
wild horse
Als will ROLL!!!!
October 07, 2013 - 3:12pm
Nice to see Sutton getting some time, and a touchdown. A Northwestern grad. Go Cats!
October 07, 2013 - 12:27pm
I must agree with telefunkin u47 that Jim Popp needs a lot of credit, wearing three hats - coach, general manager, and now chief spokesman for the team. Jim is as much a key player on this team as any player on the field. Four more games to go during the season.
October 06, 2013 - 8:36pm
A big much needed win for the Alouettes to keep their playoff hopes alive and to deliver a damaging blow to the Eskimos slim playoff chances. If the Alouettes can playing like this I could see them over taking the Ticats for 2nd place. I'm really glad to see the Als finally on a winning streak and hopefully they can keep it up
October 06, 2013 - 5:27pm
telefunkin u47
give credit to Popp as his team is changing for the better at the right time
October 06, 2013 - 5:19pm
Heh funny how all the Montreal fans are like, "OMG we're so amazing!!", even though they just killed the team with the second-worst record in the league. Blow out one of the better teams in the league, then maybe you've got something.
October 06, 2013 - 1:24pm
als rule
CoC: really?!! who said "OMG we're so amazing"? which montreal fans?!! inquiring minds want to know who is making fun of your eskimos?!! NOBODY!! we play the games on our schedule just like you do!!
October 06, 2013 - 5:47pm
Lots of Maroons fans jumping back on the bandwagon aren't there? Three weeks ago they were saying "wait until next year" LOL!!
October 06, 2013 - 6:20pm
als rule
Jhead: are you sure that's what was written or what you believed you saw and read!! LOL LOL LOL
October 06, 2013 - 9:59pm
With only one team really playing, it wasn't much fun to watch unless you were a big Als fan. The Esks were way overmatched, not only fighting a resurgent Als team but also their own numerous miscues & mistakes. Next up, the Als take on the hapless Bombers who have yet to find a consistent QB.
October 06, 2013 - 6:35am
wild horse
You gotta love a team that struggles back from adversity with everybody saying they are finished. The list of injured players is sickening, and yet the Alouettes keep bringing up unheralded players to step in and step up. As the Als play better and get healthier, we see their potential is HUGE!
October 06, 2013 - 3:59am
The Als have earned a lot of respect; no denying that, but they're not the only team to have had to struggle with injuries & other adversity this season. Argos, Ti-Cats, & Stampeders have all had their share & more.
October 06, 2013 - 6:44am
als rule
every year, every team has injuries SO WHAT?!! you play the cards you were dealt!!
October 06, 2013 - 12:47pm
wild horse
AND you must have depth.
October 06, 2013 - 8:16pm
wild horse
Neiswander performance was Excellent. He won the starting job. Troy Smith is a great athlete, terrific on short yardage. Did you see him come back and make the tackle on the interception? Messam AND Sutton ?!!! The Als with a balanced attack ?!! Wow!!! AB3 is making plays all over. Alouettes STs did not put them in bad field position OR give up big plays. Walter Spencer did some serious wedge-busting. Sean Whyte kicked OK. It was 40-3!! Game Over. Let the Als get healthy and keep playing well. Look-Out Baby - Als will Roll!!!
October 06, 2013 - 3:42am
als rule
hey WH please listen QB smith is not ready for prime time maybe after next year's TC!!
October 05, 2013 - 9:06pm
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