Emry 1st career pick-6 seals Als 24-12, clinches home playoff date
Shea Emry scored the first interception return touchdown of his career and first for the Alouette defense all season, to clinch a gritty comeback win over the Argos.
Emry also broke up a surprise trick play by the Argos near midfield that helped turn the momentum around and set up a field goal to give Montreal the lead for the first time in the 3rd quarter.
The Als trailed 2-0 after the 1st, 9-7 at the Half, with the offense completely frustrated (Calvillo just 8/18 through 30 minutes).
Anthony Calvillo got greedy in the 3rd quarter and that's a good thing for Jamel Richardson. J-Rich grabbed a long toss down the left sideline and took it another 45 yards to a touchdown for a Montreal lead.
Richardson scored for only the 5th time all season, though he grabbed a share of Alouette history tying Kerry Watkins for 3rd place alltime in TD catches. Only Peter Dalla Riva and Ben Cahoon have more than J-Rich. It was also the longest TD pass Calvillo's thrown all season long.
It was a costly win: Victor Anderson was knocked out of the game in the 2nd Half, Brandon London knocked out of the game in the 1st Half, forced to fire up Als' fans who travelled on the annual Fan Train experience by waving his crutches.
Like some of the runners in the Toronto Marathon, the Als and Argos appear to have already hit the wall long before the finish line. The fight for 1st place in the CFL East features 2 teams banged up physically but emotionally as well.
Unfortunately the Als' offense still looked tired and weary. Anthony Calvillo was unable to solve a patient Argo defense and was unable to generate 1st downs before the Argos Jarius Jackson found Andre' Durie on a screen pass for a touchdown with just over 7 minutes remaining in the 2nd quarter.
The Als are still missing SJ Green and an unsung hero on defense Ventrell Jenkins. The Argos are without the QB star who is supposed to capture the Big Smoke's football heart and lead the Argos to the 100th Grey Cup here at Rogers Centre---Ricky Ray.
Several hundred boisterous Als fans travelled by Via Rail to be at the annual Fan Train game, including Anthony Calvillo's wife and family. Alexia Calvillo and Anthony of course are no strangers to supporting cancer causes. This month will mark 5 years since Alexia's diagnosis.
The Als are thinking pink for Jenkins' mother who is fighting cancer at this time, but the team is also thinking red as in "redzone". Against Winnipeg the CFL leaders in redzone efficiiency were just 2/6. Calvillo must get Jamel Richardson and company to the endzone more often.
Sadly, the Als may have the best TD rate in the country, but their defense is the worst in coming up with goal-line stands. D-coordinator Jeff Reinebold is counting on an improved performance that has seen the Als drop to 6th in Points Against, 8th in QB completion rate yet leading the CFL in quarterback sacks.
Calvillo is hoping to rebound from a 2 interception, 1 fumble performance. Argos' emergency starter Jarious Jackson has rarely fared well against the Als' D: career 6 picks, 6 TDs, 52.2%. Only 2/16 appearances vs Mtl. had more TD's than ints.