"Marsh Madness" wins 1st CFL start, 20-9 Als upset Argos
Count on Arland Bruce to release the swag even before "Marsh Madness" hit Rogers Centre for the Als' first offensive series.
Bruce worked his way through a protective circle of Argo fans on the field to stomp on the midfield Argos logo when the Als hit the field in hopes of winning 2 in a row for the first time this season and to close within 2 points in the fight for 1st place in the CFL East.
As the veteran has often done, he talked the talk then walked the walk into the Argo endzone. Marsh hit Bruce for a 28-yard strike, the ex-Argo's 90th career regular season touchdown---2nd among active receivers and a share of No. 4 alltime.
"No disrespect," Bruce insisted after the game, insisting it was all in good fun with Argo fans trying to prevent from claiming Rogers Centre as the Alouettes' house.
Bruce and Tanner Marsh did plenty to silence a rabid "Frosh Nite" crowded of almost 19,000 and bring the Als to 4-5 at the midway mark of the season, just 2 points back of Toronto with a rematch Sunday afternoon on CJAD 800 (12:45 Pregame Show).
The Als gave up only 1 point despite the Argos getting 2 opportunities on their first 2 posessions. They botched 2 field goal try chipshots.
Tanner Marsh knews he could not throw 4 interceptions again in a game and expect to win. He eliminated the mistakes in the opening half, though by holding onto the ball too long and being sacked 3 times. He threw only 1 interception in the 2nd half, but the Argos were not able to get any points off the turnover.
"Stupid decisions" he'd said bluntly about the giveaways on the eve of his first CFL start, more than a week after his shocker comeback relief win that lived up to his twitter handle "Marsh Madness".
He remained composed enough to throw for 300+ yards in his debut start, hitting SJ Green for 143 yards on 8 catches, Duron Carter (son of the Pro Football Hall of Famer Chris Carter) 4 for 76, and Jerome Messam rumbled for 97 combined yards on the ground and through the air.
The Als faced the Argos Josh Bourke and Michael Ola back on the offensive line, and with weapons like Brandon London and Brandon Whitaker returning to action. But London did not come up with a single catch and was rarely if ever thrown to.
Whitaker left the game in the 2nd half with yet another injury, after rushing 13 times for 59 yards.
Marco Brouillette forced a fumble that Shea Emry ran back for a touchdown in the 2nd quarter and Chip Cox, on a pace to shatter the CFL tackles record, came up with 9 more hits on Argos.
Troy Smith debuted, handing off on 1 play in the 1st half, marking the first time a Heisman Trophy winner hits the field for Montreal since Johnny Rodgers in 1976.
Messam, a Toronto native, had big demand for family and friends, as did Chip Cox with his cheering section travelling up from Ohio.
"I had tears in my eyes last time here," Messam admitted live on the CJAD postgame show. He was then an Edmonton Eskimo and they lost a playoff game to the Argos.
The Als again made Noel Devine a healthy scratch, while Kyries Hebert remains a dew weeks away from returning, tho GM Jim Popp told CJAD he's doing well in his recovery from a knee injury during that carnage in Regina that saw 8 players hurt.
*Former Alouette/Concordes Miles Gorrell is at the game, scouting for the Ottawa REDBLACKS along with their GM Marcel Desjardins.