That Green and Golden touch: Esks bury Alouettes | | Official Site of the Canadian Football League
Recap: Edmonton 33, Montreal 23

MONTREAL -- The Edmonton Eskimos wanted to come out strong following a week off, and they couldn't have asked for a better start on Friday night.

The Eskimos scored 30 first-half points and never looked back, freezing the hometown Alouettes 33-23 in Week 7 action at Percival Molson Stadium.

Mike Reilly completed 15 of his 22 passes for 208 yards, two touchdowns and one interception, while tailbacks John White and Kendial Lawrence combined for over 225 total yards and two touchdowns to lead the Esks offensively.

Related: Esks vs. Als

» View Game Stats
» Images: Edmonton at Montreal
» Video: White's 58-Yard Touchdown
» Video: Eskimos Strike Early
» Preview: Eskimos visit Als on FNF

Receiver Adarius Bowman hauled in six passes for 74 yards and a touchdown as well.

Montreal, meanwhile, finally reached the endzone, snapping a slump of 12 quarters, as Brandon Whitaker scored with just over 30 seconds to go in the fourth quarter.

Last week saw the Als fall in a lopsided 31-5 affair against the Argonauts, while the Eskimos dropped their first loss of the season two weeks ago against the Stampeders, before heading into their first bye week of the campaign.

The week off must have made the high-powered Green and Gold offence hungry for the end zone, as they immediately went to work on silencing the Percival-Molson faithful.

After a quick two-and-out opening drive by Troy Smith and the Als, the Esks offence countered with a swift and effective drive, one that ultimately ended up with them celebrating in the end zone.

Playing in just his second game of the season, tailback Kendial Lawrence introduced himself to the Als defensive front; first carrying the rock for a gain of 20 yards, and then hauling in a 35-yard pass from Reilly for his first career CFL touchdown.

But retribution wasn’t too far off for Alouettes defensive coordinator Noel Thorpe and his troop.

With the score now 10-2 Edmonton thanks to a 30-yard field goal by Grant Shaw, and two punt singles by Montreal’s Sean Whyte, Reilly tried hitting running back John White, but saw his pass picked off by veteran DB Geoff Tisdale, who returned 25 yards into Edmonton territory.

Fortunately for Reilly, the Als’ offence continued to have trouble putting points on the board, as they were forced to settle for a 30-yard field goal by Whyte.

Early and Often

Mike Reilly wasted little time finding the endzone on Friday night, hooking up with Kendial Lawrence for a touchdown on their third play from scrimmage.

» WATCH: Eskimos Strike Early

The interception seemed to have injected a surge of momentum into Montreal.

With the offence back on the field thanks to another stop by the defence, Smith hooked up with second-year receiver Duron Carter for a massive 53-yard gain that brought the Als into Eskimos territory for the second time in as many possessions.

But once again, the Als weren’t able to capitalize on the advantageous field position, as Whyte booted his second field goal of the half, this time splitting the uprights from 32 yards out.

Now leading by just two points, the Esks took to the field, and almost instantaneously took away any momentum that may have been in Montreal’s favour.

Following a seven-yard run by Adarius Bowman, Reilly handed the ball off to White, who surged ahead for a massive 58-yard touchdown down, increasing Edmonton’s lead to nine.

Two possessions later, the Esks reached the end zone for the third time of the half.

With their lead now up to 12 as a result of another field goal by Shaw, Reilly orchestrated a seven-play, 79-yard drive that was capped off by a 25-yard touchdown strike to Bowman.

On the drive, Reilly completed four-straight passes to Bowman for a total of 53 yards.

The two teams entered the half with the Eskimos leading 30-8.

In the half, Smith was good on just eight of his 18 passes for 102 yards and no touchdowns. Reilly, meanwhile, completed 12 of his 15 throws for 172 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.

Also in the first half, Alouettes receiver Chad Johnson was hit hard by Rennie Curran during the opening drive, and did not return.

Despite his less-than-stellar first half, Smith still found himself under centre when the second half got underway. His first drive was a long one, as he guided the Als on a 14-play drive that ended with a 28-yard field goal by Whyte.

Whyte's successful boot proved to be the only points of the third quarter, one that saw the Alouettes dominate in time of possession, hanging onto the ball for all but three minutes.

Whyte added another field goal to cut Edmonton's lead to 16 early in the fourth quarter.

With less than four minutes remaining, Nic Boulay recovered a mishandled punt by Eskimos returner Jamal Miles inside Edmonton's 30-yard line.

After Smith failed to hook up with Brandon London and Bo Bowling on consecutive passes, the Alouettes, still down 16 points, opter to kick another field goal, rather than try for the endzone.

Whyte connected again to cut Edmonton's lead to 13.

There was a delay with just under three minutes to go, as Eskimos linebacker Eric Samuels had to be carted off the field with an apparent neck injury, but gave a thumbs up as he was exiting the field.

Shortly thereafter, Whitaker, found the endzone on a 58-yard catch-and-run with Smith.

That would be as close as the Alouettes would get, though, as time expired, giving them their fifth loss of the season.

Next week, the Alouettes will hit the road and travel to hostile territory, as they'll take on the Roughriders at Mosaic Stadium. The Esks, meanwhile, will visit the Nation's Capital for a Friday night contest with the REDBLACKS.

Fan Comments
Montreal has nothing to lose they should put John crompton in for a game and see what he has and not waste him on practice squad.
August 10, 2014 - 12:01pm
als rule
@M61: remember QB Crompton has only been with the alouettes a few weeks after being released by Edmonton and needs weeks to learn the system!!
August 12, 2014 - 8:54pm
110 yards
Can`t believe how poorly the Eskie played in the 2nd half of this game.
August 09, 2014 - 11:28pm
With Whyte out Lawrence shifted from SB to RB and the porous Als run D could finally key on one backfield threat, but it was too late as this one was never in doubt and the Esks were on coast.
August 10, 2014 - 12:25pm
If Smith didn't throw the ball 100 mph and had some accuracy may the receivers could catch some balls.
August 09, 2014 - 3:25pm
I suppose you could make a case for some improvement in the Als' O but the D & special teams uh uh. As many have said, there's still a lot of talent on the team so it's likely they have something wrong in the coaching/play calling area. Bringing in a passel of consultants just confuses things I'd think. Even AC in good shape would probably have trouble in the present system. (I feel for your pain ar.)
August 09, 2014 - 1:15pm
als rule
@GTC: thanx BUT NO pain!!
August 09, 2014 - 1:39pm
Who wasn't struck by the call on Stafford's apparent in bounds catch? Pierre Vercheval of RDS was dumbfounded.
August 09, 2014 - 11:28am
The Eskimo Empire rises again ... loved the running game with 191 yards on the ground ... White, Lawrence, Bowman and Reilly were all very solid ... hope White is healthy next week as he has been the best RB in Edmonton for some time ... The D was the strength of the team again with another 4 sacks and two turn overs ... this one was never in doubt.
August 09, 2014 - 9:49am
I agree that was a bizarre challenge process and decision. Perhaps a turning point in Montreal's attempted comeback. Both feet looked in bounds to me - and to the TV commentators.

In general, anyone who does not see progress in Montreal's game this week is delusional. Lots of work still to be done, but the Alouettes are gradually pulling things together. The rest of the East also keeps on losing.
August 09, 2014 - 8:38am
50+years a fan
Have to admit that Montreal (Smith) showed some signs of improvement, except the receivers (who continue to drop passes they should catch).
August 09, 2014 - 7:54am
Hate seeing the Alouettes struggling so badly especially offensively but glad to see that they finally scored some points. Hopefully they can get things turned around before it's too late to try and salvage their season if it's not too late already
August 09, 2014 - 3:03am
als rule
a lower body injury?!! REALLY?!! carted off the field on a stretcher with a neck brace on!! okay everybody MONTREAL FINALLY SCORED AN OFFENSIVE TD!! now what I really want to know is why in the 2nd half when als WR Stafford made a sideline catch with both his feet in bounds one official called a catch and another official waved it off!! the referee ruled no catch and als HC Higgins challenged it!! 1st the referee talked to Toronto which then talked to the official that called it a NO catch and then back to the referee and the command center!! why did Toronto speak with the official other then the referee which was NEVER DONE BEFORE?!! the referee then announced no catch with NO further explanation and als HC Higgins never even argued the decision with the referee WHY?!!!!
August 09, 2014 - 12:07am
Sorry @AR Als fans deserve better than Higgins ... you are finding out why some Esk fans called him ... Mrs. Higgins ... no guts no galaxy ... As an Esks fan all I can do is agree with you on the officiating ... it has been horrible for years and the review process should have helped, but it often seems like a CYA effort. On a positive do not disrepair I did see some things that the Als can build off of ... I am betting Popp is the HC with other coaching changes being made very soon.
August 09, 2014 - 9:58am
als rule
@S99: thanx BUT I don't have a problem with HC Higgins!! NO I don't see any coaching changes especially not GM popp moving into the HCing position!! the review process was exactly why I believed it was a dumb move!! it causes more anger and leaves the fans even more frustrated then before!! the latest mix up is caused by some guy in Toronto who controls the game now instead of the on field referee!! your right S99: the officials still leave a lot to be desired!!
August 09, 2014 - 3:29pm
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