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article imageCFL: Montreal Alouettes avoid starting season 0-2

By Joseph DeClara     Jul 12, 2010 in Sports
Montreal - Having lost the first game of the season and then having to try to even their record in a stadium that hasn’t produced a win for the Alouettes since 2006, Montreal head coach Marc Trestman wasn’t excited about his team’s start to the season.
Going into the fourth quarter trailing 18-23 didn’t help. Then in just a few seconds Jerald Brown made a play that could by the end of the season be considered a turning point for this team.
Brown in this game, like the Alouettes this season, wasn’t off to the start he wanted. Ricky Ray seemed to be picking on Brown throwing to Fred Stamps, who was often covered by Brown, 6 times for 119 yards. Add three pass interference calls and Jerald Brown was having a bad day. But as it is with sports a goat can quickly turn into a hero and Brown showed some grit and determination in the fourth quarter by picking the ball off on the Eskimo’s 22 yard line and running it into the endzone for the game winning touchdown.
"You have to have a short memory," Brown said. "If anyone would have hung their head and not gone to the next play, we wouldn't have been able to fight. They would have broken our spirits."
Ray was picked off by Montréal native Étienne Boulay on the next drive which set up a 6 yard touchdown catch by Kerry Watkins sealed the fate of the Eskimos. The final score was 33-23 Alouettes.
Arkee Whitlock ran for 99 yards and Ricky Ray threw for 340 yards but the Montréal defense keep Edmonton out of the end zone enough times to keep themselves in the game. Edmonton ended with 5 field goals on 6 attempts.
Ray may have been able to keep his team in the lead were it not for dropped passes by the Edmonton receivers. Both Kelly Campbell and Stamps dropped what looked to be sure touchdowns.
“Coach called a perfect play, I get wide open, Ricky throws a perfect ball, I just lose focus and dropped the ball,” said Stamps. “A touchdown would have put them away, the nail in the coffin. I feel like I let the team down.”
It could have easily been Brown saying something about letting his team down.
The CFL is often entertaining in unexpected ways and the defending champs are proving that so by starting the season off by losing in overtime in the third highest scoring game in CFL history, and then immediately coming back to win in a comeback .
The 1-1 Alouettes finish their three game western road trip on Friday in BC. Their long overdue home opener will be the following Thursday against Hamilton.
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