Let’s see how well this insurance policy pays off!
The Montreal Alouettes will host the Hamilton Tiger-Cats this Sunday at Percival Molson Stadium and Montreal has season sweep on their minds. After narrowly edging the Tabbies both at home and at Tim Hortons Field earlier this season, the Alouettes are hoping that the third time is the charm to snap a three game losing skid and keep pace with the BC Lions and Winnipeg Blue Bombers for the crossover playoff spot.
The last time these two squads met, it was Rakeem Cato taking on Zach Collaros. This time around, two new QBs will line up under centre. Hamilton will send Jeff Mathews out to try and get the Tiger-Cats’ first win at Molson Stadium since 2002. After hastily replacing Collaros when he was felled by an ACL injury, Mathews found his form and was able to post his first CFL victory last week.
Slinging the ball for Montreal will be Kevin Glenn, joining the Alouettes via trade this week. Despite only participating in two practices, he has gained enough of GM/Head Coach Jim Popp’s trust to be given the starting job for this divisional showdown. Glenn is by no means a rookie; he knows what is at stake for Montreal and is beyond excited for the opportunity to help get this Alouettes team back on track and heading towards a playoff berth.
This game will truly be the tale of these two quarterbacks; Mathews has already faced Glenn last week and was the victor, but this Montreal Alouettes defense will be a far bigger test for the former Cornell pivot. Montreal will have Mitchell White returning to the lineup while Aaron Lavarias will also slot back into the defensive line. The Tiger-Cats also didn’t have to contend with Henoc Muamba the last go-around and he’ll want to build on his impressive debut for Montreal.
Mathews has the tools to be successful in this league and he’s well-ingrained with Hamilton’s coaching staff, most of whom worked with the young pivot at Cornell University. He does have capable receivers in Andy Fantuz, Tiquan Underwood and Luke Tasker that can get open and create some major opportunities for him. But his biggest weapon will be Terrell Sinkfield, who had himself an outstanding performance last week against a listless Roughriders defence.
Don’t expect much of a running game from either team, as Hamilton’s run defense has done a great job the past two games in corralling Tyrell Sutton and Brandon Rutley. The Tiger-Cats don’t have much of a ground attack themselves, as Ray Holley and Michael Ford barely have 400 yards between the two of them this season. Given the chance, Montreal’s backfield can run circles around the competition all day long. But the Tiger-Cats front seven is highly unlikely to give up much in the way of real estate. Rest assured that this game tomorrow will be won and lost in the air.
Montreal could have a decent advantage overall as Glenn has already faced this team twice this season. The added security of knowing what he will be doing for the rest of this season and beyond should breathe new life into KG’s psyche as well. A week ago, he was on the sidelines watching his 2-13 team being eliminated from the playoffs. Now Glenn has been tasked with getting a slightly more capable football team into the playoffs for their 20th straight season.
Suffice to say, this is a must win for both teams. Even though Hamilton is tied for first with Toronto and Ottawa, they will want to get this monkey of not winning in Montreal off their backs and punch their ticket for this year’s playoffs. Montreal needs this win just to keep hope alive. It’ll make for a fun afternoon of football on the mountain tomorrow, that’s for sure.
Tomorrow is also the CFL Pink game for the Montreal Alouettes, as players from both teams will be wearing pink accessories during the game in order to raise awareness of women’s cancers. Fans will also be able to purchase pink hats and shirts with the Alouettes logo as well.
Each team has a player acting as an ambassador for this movement and this year’s representative for the Alouettes is Jonathan Crompton. You may remember the long flowing hair Crompton had last season as he was growing it for Locks for Love, a charity that makes and donates wigs to cancer patients.
The decision to grow out his hair was inspired by his former fiancée, who battled and lost her battle with ovarian cancer last year. Injuries are unfortunately keeping Crompton from playing in this game, but I can’t think of a better person in the Alouettes lineup to help raise awareness for this league-wide campaign.
Montreal will also be sporting its Signature Look uniforms like they did in their first game against Hamilton this past July. Montreal still hasn’t tasted defeat while wearing these stylish duds, which were inspired by the Royal Canadian Air Force 425 Squadron that in turn inspired the name Alouettes for this football team. A flyover of two CF-18 Hornet jets is planned for tomorrow as well, so if you’re the type that is scared easily or doesn’t care for loud noises, consider yourselves warned to grab some earplugs.
Lastly, dress warm! The forecast is calling for sunny skies and single digit temperatures, so be sure to bundle up. Montreal was hit with a bit of snow this weekend, but it had melted before lunch. A vast difference from this past Monday’s game, which featured summery warmth and plenty of sunshine. Then again, what better opportunity is there than tomorrow to stock up with some cold weather Alouettes gear, which will be available for sale at the stadium?
And of course, be sure to swing by the Original Alouettes tailgate put on by Les Gars Qui Vivent. Last game’s deep-fried Thanksgiving turkey dinner was a roaring success and their goal is to keep on improving up the experience for fans with every single outing. All are welcome at the park on the east side of the stadium; just keep an eye out for the silver trailer and blue tent. I’ll see you all there!
If nothing else Alouettes Nation, YOUR team isn’t giving up on this season! The mood at practice this week was one of refusing to give up. The general thought is that if they can just get into the playoffs, anything is possible.
And it’s true! The time has come to support this team like never before as they look to silence the critics yet again. It all starts tomorrow at Percival Molson Stadium.
Enjoy the game tomorrow, regardless of where you watch it.
GO ALS GO!!!