Alouettes come off bye week to host Tiger-Cats in pivotal game

5 days ago

Match at Molson Stadium could go a continued way in chief a playoff anchorage as Montreal sits 2nd in the East, two credibility advanced of Hamilton.

Hamilton Tiger-Cats wide-receiver Steven Dunbar Jr. loses the affray afterwards actuality hit by Montreal Alouettes cornerback Mike Jones all through 2nd bisected in Hamilton on July 28, 2022. Hamilton Tiger-Cats wide-receiver Steven Dunbar Jr. loses the affray afterwards actuality hit by Montreal Alouettes cornerback Mike Jones all through 2nd bisected in Hamilton on July 28, 2022. Photo by Peter Power /The Canadian Press

Heading into each game, Danny Maciocia repeats the aforementioned mantra. If the Alouettes appear to play, he believes the roster’s able abundant to attempt with any CFL team.

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“That’s absolutely how I really-feel about this team,” the accepted administrator and acting arch drillmaster said. “I apperceive that’s a pretty acceptable football aggregation in the locker room, about you’ve got to appear to play.”

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The Als host the Hamilton Tiger-Cats Friday (7:30 p.m., TSN1, TSN3, TSN4, TSN5, RDS, TSN Radio 690, 98.5 FM) in a cardinal East Division showdown. Montreal (5-7) sits 2nd in the division, two credibility advanced of the visitors (4-9) while adequate a bold in hand.

For the third time this season, Montreal will attack to win arriving off a bye week in the schedule, accepting failed adjoin Edmonton and Ottawa. Both amateur were at Molson Stadium. Against the Elks, it apparent the Als’ first bold afterward the firings of head drillmaster Khari Jones and arresting co-ordinator Barron Miles.

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That disability to win while the aggregation is well-rested continues to astonish Maciocia.

“I can’t define why it happens,” Maciocia said. “Are we dialed in? Are we refocused while we get back? What’s the affection in the locker room, in the affair rooms? What’s the affection which first day you airing to practice? I faculty which was once a little bit altered this week, maybe because they apprehend what’s at stake. I’m acquisitive that’s the case. I alone faculty a altered mindset. I’ll let you apperceive (Friday) night.

“We’re ambidextrous with developed male here. They know. If they don’t know, we don’t have the correct guys. And I do apperceive we have the correct guys.”

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The Als are arriving off a acutely acceptable 31-10 home victory adjoin B.C. on Sept. 9. Montreal had a 21-3 advance at halftime but, afterward a scoreless third quarter, the Lions bargain the arrears to 21-10 and were active afore committing two cher turnovers — including an interception alternate for a touchdown by new cornerback Nafees Lyon — sealing their fate.

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Whether the Als abridgement a analgesic aptitude or artlessly aren’t advancing enough, it needs to be rectified branch into the final amplitude of the schedule.

“We apperceive how big of a bold this is,” quarterback Trevor Harris said. “We accept what’s at stake. This is while it affairs what kind of aggregation you’re becoming.

“If we appearance up to play, we’re activity to be fine. That’s the mark of a abundant aggregation — they appearance up each distinct game, abnormally appear the end of the year, and hit their stride at which point. A lot of this time has been agitated … a lot of changes and a brace of off-field distractions. We’ve fought by anytime adversity. But we’ve all ashore together.”

While the Ticats, who represented the department in each of the aftermost two Grey Cups, and lost, have underachieved, they’re arriving off a 48-24 home win Saturday adjoin Winnipeg. Quarterback Dane Evans threw a career-high bristles touchdowns, commutual 25 of 32 passes for 327 yards. He was once called one of the CFL’s high performers of the week.

“We’ve played Dane in the past,” linebacker Chris Ackie said. “He played the best bold of his career aftermost week. We have to accomplish abiding we put a stop to that.”

This bold concludes a four-match homestand for the Als. The champ also captures the time alternation amid the teams.

hzurkowsky@postmedia.com

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