Montreal Alouettes wide receiver Mario Alford runs with the ball during second half CFL football action against the Calgary Stampeders, in Montreal, Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

Montreal Alouettes sign return specialist, Quebec-born defensive lineman

Montreal Alouettes sign return specialist, Quebec-born defensive lineman

MONTREAL — The Montreal Alouettes signed American kick returner Mario Alford and Canadian defensive lineman David Menard for the 2021 CFL season on Tuesday.

The five-foot-eight, 177-pound Alford scored a pair of touchdowns in his first two games with the Alouettes last year, returning punts 85 and 90 yards, respectively.

Alford added a 99-yard kickoff return touchdown in the East semifinal against Edmonton.

Menard, a native of Chicoutimi, Que., has 18 sacks and 55 defensive tackles in 94 career games with the B.C. Lions.

The University of Montreal product was a fourth-round pick of the Lions in 2014.

“We are happy to continue signing the players that we were aiming to keep in place for the upcoming season,” Alouettes general manager Danny Maciocia said in a statement. “Mario is an electrifying player that our fans will have the chance to see in action next season, while David solidifies our defensive front on top of giving us ratio flexibility.”

The Alouettes also signed Canadian defensive back Ty Cranston, American defensive linemen Michael Onuoha and Austrian Robinson, as well as American quarterback Quinten Dormady.

CANADIANS RETURN TO LIONS

The B.C. Lions signed Canadian linebacker Adrian Clarke, running back Wayne Moore offensive lineman Andrew Peirson and fullback Mario Villamizar on Tuesday.

Clarke, a fourth-round pick of the Lions in 2015, most recently played in 2018 with Saskatchewan.

Moore has been with the Lions since 2018 after being drafted in the second round in 2017 by Montreal.

Peirson will enter his third season with the Lions after spending most of last year on the practice squad.

Villamizar was the only 2019 Lions draft pick to play in all 18 games. He saw most of his action on special teams before taking over starting fullback duties in September.

“These are four solid football players that we wanted to get signed early in the off-season,” Lions co-GM and head coach Rick Campbell said in a statement.

The Lions also have signed American running back De’Veon Smith.

ROUGHRIDERS RE-SIGN SCHRAM

The Saskatchewan Roughriders have re-signed Canadian offensive lineman Braden Schram.

The 6-4, 312-pound Manning, Alta., native played 10 regular-season games in 2019 and was part of an offensive line that allowed just 37 sacks on the season.

Schram was selected by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the second round (13th overall) of the 2017 CFL draft.

He appeared in one game with Hamilton in 2017 and two games with the Roughriders in 2018.

The Roughriders also re-signed German receiver Max Zimmermann, who appeared in one game with the Riders in 2019 before being moved to the practice roster.

Additionally, American defensive linemen Demetrius Harris and Cory Thomas have opted back into their contracts for the 2021 season.

BOATMEN BRING BACK BOATENG

The Toronto Argonauts have re-signed Canadian defensive back Matthew Boateng.

The 24-year-old from Ajax, Ont., had eight defensive tackles and one special teams tackle over 12 games in his rookie 2019 season.

Boateng, a second-round pick in the 2019 CFL draft, spent his collegiate career at Kansas, Arizona Western College and Fresno State.

Toronto also extended the contracts of American running back AJ Oullette, Canadian offensive lineman Eric Starczala, American defensive back Ermon Lane, American defensive lineman Julian McCleod and American linebacker Jason Beck.

Ouellette joined Toronto in September 2019 and went on to play in three games down the stretch, rushing for a total of 114 yards with a touchdown reception in Week 20.

The Argos released Canadian defensive back Dondre Wright, American offensive lineman Randy Richards, American linebacker Kennan Gilchrist and American defensive linemen Prince Unaegbu and Whitney Richardson.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 15, 2020.

The Canadian Press

CFL