Another week, another tough night for the Alouettes’ offence.
Montreal’s high-powered attack managed just one touchdown and again struggled to find a consistent rhythm in the Alouettes’ 22-14 loss to the Calgary Stampeders on Friday night at Percival Molson Stadium.
“It’s very disappointing,” said centre Luc Brodeur-Jourdain, who with the rest of the offensive line managed to better protect Calvillo after giving up seven sacks a week earlier. “Our defence and special teams come out to play every game and have been playing good football for us since the start of the season. I can’t even imagine what the score would be if we didn’t have these strong performances from those units.
“We have to stay positive. I’ve been saying that since the beginning and I still believe,” he continued. “I came in tonight in a really good mood. I’m leaving p***ed off.”
Four days of practice appeared to have set the offence back on track on the Alouettes’ opening drive. Calvillo led his team 81 yards down the field, capping off the series with a 19-yard strike to Brandon London in the end zone. It marked the 20th straight game with a touchdown pass for Calvillo, the fifth longest streak in CFL history and one shy of the pivot’s personal best.
“We wanted to come out strong, which we did but again, we weren’t very consistent,” Calvillo said. “We had a couple of two-and-outs, then a couple of first downs, then two-and-out again. It’s still not good enough for us to win.”
But, after a promising debut, the Alouettes’ offence hit a wall, mustering just five yards on the three drives that followed.
Montreal’s other score would come in the fourth quarter courtesy of defensive back Ed Gainey, who blocked a punt and recovered the ball for his first CFL touchdown.
“Our defence and special teams are playing their hearts out and we’re not contributing enough to help this team win,” said Calvillo, who also eclipsed the 79,000 passing yards mark in the third quarter. “We have to get our act together because to be in this locker room and feel the pain from everybody, it’s tough.
“We’re trying to improve but we’ve got to get our act together,” he added. “We just lost two games at home. I can’t remember the last time we did that.”
The Alouettes’ stalled attack opened the door for the Stampeders, who cut the lead to one after a pair of field goals before Nik Lewis snagged a deflected pass to give the visitors the 13-7 lead at the half.
Calgary appeared on the verge of adding another touchdown to its credit in the third quarter but was denied at the goal line, instead settling for another field goal. The Stampeders finished the night with five field goals and just the one touchdown.
“(The defence) did a great job in there (in the red zone). Unfortunately we had some penalties and events that kept some drives going and helped them advance that way but certainly played great,” head coach Dan Hawkins said.
The game wasn’t the only loss the Alouettes suffered, with veteran guard Scott Flory leaving in the third quarter with what appeared to be a biceps injury. The team was already without fellow starting guard Andrew Woodruff, sidelined with reportedly a concussion, against Calgary.
“Scott is our leader. He’s the brain, the experience. He means more to us than people know,” Brodeur-Jourdain noted.
How long the Alouettes will be without Flory remains to be seen. But, even without him, the once mighty offence will still have to find a way to take flight.
“We know it’s on us. We know we have to go out there and have to take control and stop putting our defences in situations where they have to play a perfect game each game,” London said. “We just have to go back to work. That’s all we can do. No pointing fingers in here.”