Monday, November 30, 2009

Monday Morning Meissnervations











It's Monday again. Here we go....

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The Montreal Alouettes took advantage of a too many men penalty on the final play of the game yesterday, negating a missed field goal and then getting a 33 yarder with no time left from Damon Duval to defeat the Saskatchewan Roughriders 28-27, in the 97th edition of the Grey Cup, in front of 46,020 fans at McMahon Stadium in Calgary, Alberta.

Montreal came in as 9 1/2 point favorites, but it was the Riders who controlled the game from the start. After forcing a 2 and out, Saskatchewan took the lead with 6:57 left in the opening quarter, on a 45 yard field goal from Luca Congi. Then, later in the first, Als quarterback Anthony Calvillo fumbled deep in his own end. Tackle Keith Shologan picked up the loose ball and ran it to the Montreal 8, where Darian Durant hit Andy Fantuz with an 8 yard touchdown pass on the next play. Congi converted and, with 1:17 to go in the first, the Riders were up 10-0.

The Alouettes got on the board early in the second, continuing a drive that started in the closing moments of the first. Duval's 28 yard field goal with 12:47 to go in the half, cut the deficit to 10-3. Saskatchewan got the three points back on a 45 yard Congi field goal with 1:32 remaining, then got another point on a single on the ensuing kickoff by Louie Sakoda. Then, with time winding down, Durant hit Jason Clermont with a deep ball down the left side at the Montreal 2. The officials initially ruled both no catch and no time left, but the play was overturned on review, allowing Congi to kick a 9 yard field goal on the final play, pushing the Rider lead to 17-3 at the halftime break.

The Als closed to within 7 to start the third. After holding Saskatchewan to a 2 and out, Montreal marched deep into Rider territory. On the 9th play of the drive, Calvillo found Jamel Richardson for a 9 yard touchdown. Duval kicked the point and with 7:47 left in the third, the Alouettes trailed by just 7, at 17-10.

Montreal threatened to tie the game at the start of the 4th, but pressure exerted on Calvillo by Rey Williams forced an Alouette punt. A Duval punt single was negated by a penalty, but Duval repeated the feat on the next play and with 1:42 gone in the fourth, Montreal was within 6, at 17-11. Saskatchewan reassumed control on their next possession, driving fromt their own 35 deep into enemy territory, where Durant finished things off with a 16 yard scoring scamper. Congi booted the convert with 10:32 left, sending the pro-Rider crowd into a frenzy, as the Saskatchewan lead grew to 27-11. The Alouettes didn't panic however. After returning the kick out to their own 36, they moved quickly into scoring position. Avon Coubourne, named the game's Most Valuble Player, bulled his way in from 3 yards out, then Calvillo hit Kerry Carter with the 2 point conversion pass and with just 6:46 remaining in regulation, the Rider lead was down to 8, at 27-19. On Saskatchewan's next possession, Durant rolled to elude pressure and missed Andy Fantuz with a pass that Montreal intercepted. The Als drove the field, culimating in Calvillo passing to Ben Cahoon, the game's Most Valuble Canadian, for an 11 yard touchdown pass. However the 2 point conversion pass fell incomplete, leaving the Riders on top by 2, 27-25, with 1:45 left. After failing to gain a first down and hold on to the ball in an attempt to run out the clock, Sakoda boomed a 59 yard punt that was fumbled, then recovered by Montreal at their own 34. The Als worked their way into Saskatchewan territory, but Duval's field goal attempt from 43 yards sailed wide right, sending the Rider bench onto the field, believing they had won the game. However, Saskatchewan was penalized for having too many men on the field and Duval, who shanked two punts in the first half, got another chance from 33 yards away. His second attempt went right down the middle with room to spare, stunning the Riders and their fans, giving Montreal the incredible comeback victory, 28-27.

For the Alouettes, Anthony Calvillo was 26-of-39 passing for 314 yards and 2 touchdowns, Avon Cobourne had 16 carries for 85 yards and 1 touchdown, Jamel Richardson and Ben Cahoon had 1 receiving touchdown each, and Damon Duval kicked 2 field goals, 1 convert and 1 single. Darian Durant led Saskatchewan with 17-of-29 passing for 201 yards, 1 touchdown passing and 1 rushing, with 2 interceptions. Andy Fantuz caught a touchdown pass, Luca Congi kicked 4 field goals and 2 converts and Louie Sakoda had a kickoff single.

Montreal, which went 15-3 in the regular season, won the Grey Cup for the second time in 7 tries since 2000, while the Riders, who finished the regular season at 10-7-1, winning their first West title since 1976, were denied a second title in three years.

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In the NFL, week 11 ended last Monday, with Tennessee beating Houston 20-17. Week 12 started Thursday, with Green Bay beating Detroit 34-12(What a turkey), Dallas rolling past Oakland 24-7(More stuffing and cranberries please) and Denver stuffing the Giants 26-6. On Sunday, Tampa Bay let a win slip away, losing at Atlanta on a late touchdown, 20-17. Buffalo beat Miami 31-14, Indianapolis stayed unbeaten with a 35-27 come from behind win over Houston(The Colts won their 20th consecutive regular season game and also clinched the AFC South) and the J-E-T-S, Jets, Jets, Jets beat Carolina 17-6.

Seattle beat St. Louis 27-17(Lowest crowd in Rams' 15 years in St. Louis watched their team slip to 1-10), Cincinnati topped Cleveland 16-7(Bengals remain perfect against AFC North opponents), Philadelphia tipped Washington 27-24 and San Francisco plastered Jacksonville 20-3.

Tennessee won their fifth straight, beating Arizona 20-17, Minnesota pounded Chicago 36-10(Brett Favre was 32-of-48 for 392 yards and 3 tds), and Baltimore beat Pittsburgh in overtime, 20-17.

This week's Monday Night game has 10-0 New Orleans hosting New England.

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The Lightning played three games this past week. On Wednesday, they lost at home to Toronto, 4-3. Niklas Hagman scored twice for the Leafs, and Matt Stajan scored the eventual game-winner late in the second period. Tampa Bay got goals from Andrej Meszaros, Vincent Lecavalier and Ryan Malone. The loss was their first at home in regulation this season. Toronto goalie Jonas Gustavsson made 28 saves, six of those in the third period. Antero Niittymaki had 31 saves for the Lightning. Attendance was 15,333.

The Bolts rebounded for a 5-1 win over the New York Rangers on Friday. Kurtis Foster scored twice for Tampa Bay, who got singles from Steven Stamkos, Steve Downie and Paul Szczechura. Mike Smith made 26 saves. Ryan Callahan scored for the Rangers, who got 26 saves from the goaltending duo of Steve Valiquette and Henrik Lundqvist. Attendance was 17,608.

Tampa Bay hit the road to Dallas Saturday, losing to the Stars in overtime 4-3, on a goal by Tom Wandell at 2:12. Steven Stamkos and Jeff Halpern scored 47 seconds apart for the Lightning in the third to tie the game 3-3 and force overtime. Paul Szczechura scored a second period goal for Tampa Bay. Dallas got power play goals from the Stars, the first two 71 seconds apart in the second period from Stephane Robidas and Jere Lehtinen. Brendan Morrow scored in the third period for Dallas, who got 25 saves from Alex Auld. Mike Smith had 34 stops for the Lightning.

Tampa Bay is 10-6-8 for 28 points, third in the Southeast, 1 point behind second place Atlanta and 8 behind first place Washington. The Lightning host Colorado tonight at 7:30pm, travel to Boston for a 7:00pm game on Wednesday, play at New Jersey at 7:00pm on Friday, at the Islanders at 7:00pm on Saturday and host Washington at 7:30pm next Monday(All times Eastern). All games can be heard on 620 WDAE Radio and seen on Sun Sports.

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The biggest game in the 113 year history of the Civil War takes place in Eugene this coming Thursday, as the Oregon State Beavers meet the Oregon Ducks. For the first time ever in this series, the winner takes the Pac-10 championship and a berth in the Rose Bowl against Ohio State on New Years Day.

The Beavers, who lost to the 'ucks last season 65-38, are 8-3 overall, 6-2 in the Pac-10. They have won 4 straight and 6 of their last 7. Oregon is 7-1 in conference, 9-2 overall.

Thursday's game kicks off at 9:00pm EST and can be heard on http://www.kpam.com and the Beaver Sports Network. ESPN has the telecast.

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Bad enough Jimmy snatches stuff off Daddy's desk. Now, with the Christmas tree up and decorated, the next four weeks are sure to be busy, trying to keep him from pulling off all the dcorations and toppling the tree. Perhaps an extra helping of dog food daily will convince Snoopy and Smoke to guard the tree.

And my wife Kim and I are still looking for work. Wish us luck!

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That's it for this week. See you next Monday. Go Beavers!!!!

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