Monday, October 13, 2014

First quarter lead evaporates in loss at Montreal









Montreal, QC -- The Saskatchewan Roughriders hit the road Monday to face to Montreal Alouettes in a Canadian Thanksgiving Day Matinee. And, after taking a lead after one, it was all Alouettes, in a 40-9 thumping of Saskatchewan in front of 23,069 at Percival Molson Memorial Stadium in Montreal.

Both teams struggled on offence to start the game. Just shy of the 9 minute mark, Montreal looked like they were about to get untracked, but turned the ball over on a fumble deep in their own territory, the ball recovered by the Riders' Rod Williams. With just under 4 minutes to play, Tino Sunseri found Anthony Allen in the left flat. Allen did the rest, scoring from 11 yards out, to cap a 5 play, 35 yard drive. Chris Milo kicked the convert, giving Saskatchewan a 7-0 lead, with 3:30 to play in the opening quarter.

The Alouettes got a takeaway of their own, forcing a Sunseri fumble at the Roughrider 25. On second down, Terrell Maze fouled a receiver in the end zone, giving Montreal the ball at the 1. Tanner Marsh bulled his way in from there, putting a major on the board. Sean Whyte kicked the convert with 9:43 to go in the half, tying the game 7-7. The Als took the lead on a pass over the middle from Jonathan Crompton to Duron Carter, who took it 61 yards for the touchdown. The Whyte convert, with 4:14 left in the half, gave Montreal a 14-7 lead.

Chris Rainey returned the opening kick of the second half 52 yards to the Saskatchewan 43, giving the Alouettes the ball in Rider territory. A scramble by Crompton on 2nd down netted a first down then, after a sack, Carter would out battle Williams to catch a lob pass from Crompton in the front corner of the end zone. The 25 yard pass play and Whyte convert, put Montreal on top 21-7 3:06 into the second half. Saskatchewan would get field position on a long kick return by Tristan Jackson. However, after gaining one first down, Milo would hit the crossbar on a 48 yard field goal attempt, leaving the score at 21-7 with 5:55 gone in the third. The Als took the ball and quickly moved downfield, with a good mix of pass and run. The drive would stall at the 18, bringing Whyte on for a 25 yard field goal. The kick upped the Montreal lead to 24-7 with 5:13 remaining in the third. Things went from bad to worse for the Roughriders, as a bad exchange between Sunseri and Allen resulted in a fumble that was recovered by the Alouettes' Winston Venable. Two plays later, Brandon London would outbattle a defender in the end zone, catching the Crompton pass from 30 yards out. Whyte's convert increased the lead to 31-7, with 4:04 left in the third quarter. The lead grew to 34-7 on a Whyte 42 yard field goal, with just 36 seconds still on the third quarter clock, putting the game firmly in Montreal's control.

Saskatchewan would get points early in the 4th, as Whyte conceded a safety touch. The two points, coming 4:07 into the final period, made the score 34-9 in favor of the Alouettes. Whyte would kick another field goal, this one from 25 yards out, put Montreal up by 26, at 37-9, with 3:40 to play in the contest. Whyte would add a 29 yard field goal 1:15 from the finish, making the final score 40-9 in favor of Montreal.

For the victorious Alouettes, Jonathan Crompton was 12-of-25 passing for 225 yards and 3 touchdowns, Tyrell Sutton ran 15 times for 81 yards, Tanner Marsh rushed once for a one-yard touchdown. Duron Carter had a big day, catching 4 passes for 107 yards and 2 touchdowns, while Brandon London caught 4 passes for 68 yards and a touchdown, Sean Whyte was 4-of-4 on field goals and 4-of-4 on converts. He also punted 7 times for a 44.6 yard average. Winston Venable led the defence  with 7 tackles and a special teams tackle, while Bear Woods had 7 tackles and 2 sacks. For the Roughriders, Tino Sunseri was 7-of-12 passing for 72 yards, 1 touchdown and 1 interception, Seth Doege was 3-of-6 passing for 37 yards and 1 interception. Anthony Allen ran 21 times for 105 yards and caught 3 passes for 21 yards and a touchdown. Chris Milo was 0-for-1 on field goals and 1-of-1 on converts, while Josh Bartel punted 10 times for a 41.3 yard average. Ricky Foley led the defence with 7 tackles.

Montreal had 20 first downs, 176 rushing yards and 225 passing yards for 376 yards net total offence. The Als had 9 penalties for 74 yards, 5 sacks, held the ball for 32:32 and turned it over once. For Saskatchewan, they had 14 touchdowns, 155 rushing yards and 109 passing yards for 223 yards net total offence. They committed 14 penalties for 90 yards, recorded 2 sacks, had the ball for 27:28 and turned the ball over 5 times.

Coming up next for the 9-6 Riders is a week 17 home game with the10-5 Edmonton Eskimos on Sunday, October 19th. Game time at Regina's Mosaic Stadium is 4:00pm EDT. Catch all the action with Rod Pedersen and Carm Carteri on 620 CKRM, the Rider Radio Network and 620ckrm.com. The game can be seen in Canada on TSN and in the U.S. on ESPN2. Montreal next plays at Toronto on Saturday, October 18th.

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