The coaches often say : it is necessary to have the best in terms of turnovers and be disciplined to win in the football. The Montreal Alouettes have been unable to get these two rules in the face of the Lions of British Columbia, who have defeated 25-16.
The Alouettes (4-6) gave up the ball seven times for the Lions (4-5) and have been sentenced to 115 yards of penalties against 92 for the visitors, victims of three shifts.
“It was tough,” admitted head coach Jim Popp. We committed turnovers, we have been sentenced to penalties, and costly, we have experienced all kinds of trouble in the protection password (Thursday) evening. I know that we have launched a lot of interceptions, but the protection issues have never been overcome in the course of this match. It’s been two times in the course of the last four games that it happens.
“From our side, the team of coaches, we need to be better. I also found that the team had started the game flat. It has not done enough to find our rhythm early in the game, and as soon as we managed to find our rhythm, we shot in the foot.”
Tanner Marsh has been more than ordinary in replacement of Rakeem Cato. The quarter has been the victim of five interceptions, including two in the last three minutes of the game, when his people were trying to come back. A quarter earlier, Eric Fraser had brought back another 56 yards for a touchdown, which then bore the mark to 24-6 in favor of the Lions.
“Even if this was only my second game, I can’t use that as an excuse. I need to know a better game, ” said Marsh, who has completed 16 of his 30 passes for 103 yards gains only. Our defense played an unbelievable match and, from my side, I have to play better. I have to win this game. This is horrible.
“I wasn’t nervous, I was well prepared, but it has not worked. (…) I have a missed free throw by my fault, because of a bad mechanic, and it cost interceptions. I have to pass these passes to be successful. In the second half, I tried to do too much.”
“We must watch again the match, but I don’t think we’ve given enough protection for it to be effective, has defended Popp. I did not throw the blame for the defeat : we have had some protection issues, and it was joined behind the line often. It must be the best in all these aspects of the game.”
From the beginning of the match, it was obvious that the evening was going to be difficult for Marsh. One-quarter of the Alouettes has been responsible for two turnovers in the first quarter, which led to the first 10 points of the visitors.
Jabar Westerman him first lose the ball, which was recovered by Michael Brooks, which led to an investment of 46 yards Richie Leone. And then at the end of the first quarter, the very bad pass from Marsh has been intercepted by Alex Hoffman-Ellis and returned 22 yards. Four games later, John Beck (14, 22, 114 yards, two touchdowns, two interceptions), who has replaced Travis Lulay injured his knee in the first quarter, has joined Lavelle Hawkins about 10 yards to make it 10-0.
The Alouettes have taken three points from their first possession of the second quarter. The spectacular race 47-yard Tyrell Sutton has set the table with an offering of 24 yards of Boris Bede. The Alouettes will get closer to the four points of the Lions on their next possession, but their indiscipline in turn, will allow the visitors to give a priority to 17-6.
While Beck had just missed a pass on a second trial, and four yards to cross, the Alouettes have now been sentenced to two penalties – obstruction offensive and to have entered the face protector – for a total of 45 yards, which allowed the Lions to return to the line 11 of the local. Beck then joined Austin Collie for a major.
Back from the break, Marsh was intercepted by Fraser on the first game to the attack of the Alouettes, who have, however, not abandoned. They are first reconciled to 11 points on the fourth interception of the season, Jonathan Hefney, who has scored his first hit, bringing the ball over 20 yards. Then, in the fourth quarter, Bede has managed a long investment of 52 yards to take back the premises to the eight points of the Lions.
The fourth interception of the game against Marsh, while the Alouettes were approaching dangerously close to the zone of the goals of the Lions, has sawn the legs of the premises and caused a rush to the exits of the 21 886 spectators – the largest crowd of the season at the stade Percival-Molson – who will have missed his fifth interception.