Whitaker, Cox help Alouettes down struggling Lions

MONTREAL — Troy Smith is looking like he will grow into the job as the Montreal Alouettes starting quarterback after all.

Montreal 24 B.C. 9

MONTREAL — Troy Smith is looking like he will grow into the job as the Montreal Alouettes starting quarterback after all.

After the offence was stifled in a season opening loss last week in Calgary, Smith and the entire Alouettes team were a notch better in a 24-9 victory over the struggling B.C. Lions on Friday night.

Montreal (1-1) posted the first win by an East Division team over a western club this season and dropped the Lions to 0-2.

“There wasn’t a lot of difference in play calls, it was just the quarterback making different reads and doing different things,” said Smith. “Obviously, having a little more time with the co-ordinator and the offensive line coach is going to help you.

“I’m kind of greedy in the sense that I like throwing touchdown passes and I didn’t get one, so I’m still chomping at the bit to get my first one of the season, but if we keep getting wins, that’s the most important statistic.”

Running back Brandon Whitaker and linebacker Chip Cox scored first quarter touchdowns and Sean Whyte kicked three field goals and a single for the Alouettes.

The defence made the real difference, sacking B.C. starter Kevin Glenn five times, picking off two passes and recovering a fumble. Smith was sacked only once and was not picked off.

Smith completed 17 passes for a relatively modest 187 yards, but he helped the Alouettes pick up 203 yards on the ground with a few timely rushing first downs.

The Lions produced only one Paul McCallum field goal with Glenn at quarterback. Backup John Beck had an eight-yard TD toss to Courtney Taylor with 1:20 left in the game on a drive aided by three Montreal penalties.

It was their first TD since they got two in the first quarter of a loss last week at home to Edmonton.

“This is a tough business to be in because you can be so high one day and so low the next,” said the 35-year-old Glenn, who became the starter when Travis Lulay was placed on the six-game injured list with a shoulder injury. “We’ve just got to make sure we stick together and try to turn this thing around.

“It’s a long season. The most important thing is to stick together as a team.”

The concern for B.C. going into the game was having newcomer Ryan Cave starting at left tackle after only two practices with the team this week.

It wasn’t all his doing, but Montreal spent much of the first half in the Lions’ backfield, either sacking Glenn or hurrying throws.

Bowman said the defence didn’t key on Cave.

“The way (defensive co-ordinator Noel Thorpe) called the game, it wasn’t anything against Cave,” said Bowman, whose four sacks was one short of a team record. “I actually thought he played OK.

“Coach Thorpe called a masterful game. We didn’t take advantage of one player, but their scheme in general.”

The defence came up with the first score 7:36 into the game on a play that had the crowd of 20,018 on its feet.

Defensive lineman Scott Paxson reached up a hand to pick off Glenn’s throw, then flipped the ball to Cox to run 20 yards into the end zone. It was a fifth career TD for Cox.

“I had contain on that play,” said Paxson. “The quarterback threw the ball a little low and I got my hands on it. After that, I wasn’t really thinking. I saw I was about to be tackled so I pitched it to Chip.”

Cox had one defensive tackle, leaving the 2013 outstanding defensive player two short of moving into the top-10 in CFL history.

Smith led a nine-play, 71-yard drive capped by Whitaker’s 32-yard TD run at 13:27.

Whyte added a pair of field goals in the second quarter, one of them set up by an Andrew Harris fumble that was recovered by Jerald Brown on the B.C. 43 yard line.

The other came after Smith’s 37-yard pass to S.J. Green, which appeared to hit the ground. However, B.C. coach Mike Benevides said spotters got the replay late and the referee ruled that the next play had started before the challenge flag was thrown.

“That would have been a difference of three points,” Benevides said. “I’d love to get the replay on time.”

Montreal back-up quarterback Tanner Marsh fumbled on a third-and-short play into Solomon Elimimian’s hands at the Montreal 40 to set up McCallum’s 24-yard field goal to put B.C. on the board 5:41 into the second half.

Glenn had a promising drive die when he was intercepted by Marc-Olivier Bouillette in the end zone early in the fourth quarter. Glenn threw only seven picks all of last season with Calgary, but has six in two games with the Lions.

B.C. finally scored with Beck in the game.

“I wanted Beck to get some work,”said Benevides. “He had some time to warm up, so I got him in there to get some game reps.”

The schedule doesn’t get easier for the Lions, whose next game is at Saskatchewan on July 12.

The Alouettes stay home to face 2-0 Winnipeg next Friday.

Just Posted

WATCH: Setters Place grand opening in Red Deer

Red Deer’s Setters Place officially opened to the public Saturday afternoon.… Continue reading

Women’s marches underway in Canadian cities, a year after Trump inauguration

Women are gathering in dozens of communities across the country today to… Continue reading

Red Deer councillor balks at city getting stuck with more funding responsibilities

Volunteer Central seeks municipal funding after being cut off by government

Olds chicken barn burns to the ground, no livestock harmed

More than 100,000 chickens were saved as fire crews prevent the blaze from spreading

Bear video meant to promote conservation: zoo owner

Discovery Wildlife Park says it will look at other ways to promote its conservation message

In photos: Get ready for Western Canadian Championships

Haywood NorAm Western Canadian Championships and Peavey Mart Alberta Cup 5/6 start… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer city council debates cost-savings versus quality of life

Majority of councillors decide certain services are worth preserving

Got milk? Highway reopened near Millet

A southbound truck hauling milk and cartons collided with a bridge

Stettler’s newest residents overcame fear, bloodshed to come here

Daniel Kwizera, Diane Mukasine and kids now permanent residents

Giddy up: Red Deer to host Canadian Finals Rodeo in 2018

The CFR is expected to bring $20-30 million annually to Red Deer and region

Ice dancers Virtue and Moir to carry flag at Pyeongchang Olympics

Not since Kurt Browning at the 1994 Lillehammer Games has a figure… Continue reading

Beer Canada calls on feds to axe increasing beer tax as consumption trends down

OTTAWA — A trade association for Canada’s beer industry wants the federal… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month