Alouettes 50 Eskimos 16
MONTREAL — S.J. Green has spent two years biding his time on the Alouettes practice squad, waiting for a chance to make his mark.
On Thursday night in Montreal’s home opener, he did just that.
Green’s touchdown catch triggered a 31-point fourth quarter explosion that gave the Alouettes a 50-16 win over the Edmonton Eskimos in front of a sellout crowd of 20,202 at Percival Molson Stadium.
Green, who finished with five catches for 113 yard, was starting in place of Alouettes star slotback Jamel Richardson, out with an injured shoulder.
“It was very frustrating, a very humbling experience for me having to sit and wait two years on the practice squad knowing that I could play and contribute,” said Green, who recently turned down a contract from the Toronto Argonauts to remain Montreal’s practice roster.
“I waited my turn and made the best of the opportunity I received.”
The game marked the first time Montreal (2-0) has scored 50 points since July 24, 2003, and they got them every way possible with two touchdowns through the air, two on the ground, one on a punt return and another on an interception return, to go along with two field goals and two singles.
Kerry Watkins caught nine passes for 119 yards with a touchdown for the Alouettes while Anthony Calvillo had a rushing major and completed 24-of-32 passes for 343 yards and two touchdowns.
Alouettes return man Larry Taylor, who burned the Eskimos (1-1) with two punt return touchdowns in last year’s East final, struck again with a 68-yard run back to ice the game in the fourth quarter.
“The game was close up until that fourth quarter, and then all of a sudden there’s a special teams touchdown, then we score a touchdown and the defence as well,” Calvillo said.
“Things just kind of fell in place in that fourth quarter for us, but it definitely wasn’t easy. The score may show it, but it wasn’t easy.”
The Eskimos offence was unable to mount much of an attack all night, and on two impressive drives of 77 and 93 yards had to settle for Noel Prefontaine field goals.
“From start to finish we didn’t play as well as we’re capable of playing, and after a while we sucked out there,” said Eskimos head coach Richie Hall.
“That’s not us. We got our butts kicked.”
Eskimos rookie running back Arkee Whitlock, starting in place of the injured Jesse Lumsden, had a debut to forget. In the first half alone, he dropped two easy touchdown catches and lost a fumble, but he scored the Eskimos lone touchdown with only 1:08 to play in regulation and finished with 29 yards on 12 carries.
Hall, however, said Whitlock will get another chance to redeem himself.
“He had an opportunity to make some plays and things just didn’t work out for him, but there were some good things that he did out there,” Hall said. “You don’t give up on a person after one game just like you don’t give up on a team after one game.”
Eskimos quarterback Ricky Ray completed 19-of-33 passes for 280 yards, while Maurice Mann had seven catches for 139 yards for Edmonton.