Alou­ettes need a jolt, Red­blacks ride with Tate

Waterloo Region Record - - SPORTS - Bill Beacon

MON­TREAL — The Mon­treal Alou­ettes hope a mid-sea­son coach­ing change will give them the jolt they need to get back in the CFL East Divi­sion play­off race.

Gen­eral man­ager Kavis Reed will be run­ning the show from the side­lines when the Alou­ettes play host to the Ot­tawa Red­blacks on Sun­day af­ter­noon. Reed took over as coach af­ter fir­ing Jacques Chapde­laine and de­fen­sive co-or­di­na­tor Noel Thorpe this week.

“I hope it’s some­thing in which we can find a way to build some strength and unity be­cause we’re all we’ve got right now — we have to lean on each other,” Alou­ettes line­backer Kyries He­bert said. “We’re go­ing to have to play hard, fast and phys­i­cal.

“It can’t be based on Xs and Os be­cause we won’t be able to put in an en­tire de­fence or any com­pli­cated things within a mat­ter of days. But we’re go­ing to show up and be ready to go.”

A mid-sea­son change worked for Hamil­ton, who were 0-8 when Kent Austin stepped aside and named June Jones as coach. Since then, the Tiger-Cats have won two in a row, in­clud­ing a 26-22 win in Ot­tawa last week.

The re­sults tight­ened the weak East stand­ings such that Ot­tawa leads with only nine points, one more than Toronto, three more than Mon­treal and five more than Hamil­ton. Only the top two are sure to make the play­offs, but the divi­sion re­mains wide open.

The loss to Hamil­ton not only ended the Red­blacks’ three-game win­ning run, but also cost them start­ing quar­ter­back Trevor Har­ris, who left in the third quar­ter with a sep­a­rated shoul­der in his (right) throw­ing arm.

But Ot­tawa has a qual­ity backup in 11-year vet­eran Drew Tate, who com­pleted eight passes for 114 yards and a touch­down as the Red­blacks mounted a se­cond-half come­back at­tempt.

Mon­treal was in dis­ar­ray when the coach­ing change was made. They have lost four games in a row — three of them blowouts in­clud­ing a 32-4 loss to Ot­tawa two weeks ago and a 41-18 drub­bing in B.C. last week.

Quar­ter­backs coach An­thony Calvillo was handed play­call­ing du­ties on of­fence while de­fen­sive line coach Greg Quick will do the same with the de­fence. They had only three prac­tices to start im­ple­ment­ing changes.

“It’s out of our hands,” quar­ter­back Dar­ian Du­rant said of the moves. “We have to make do with what we’re given.

“We have to do the best we can for AC and hope that we can get this thing turned around. First of all we have to clean up the lit­tle things. It starts with penal­ties, with not miss­ing as­sign­ments. We have to be a smarter team.”

Fir­ing Thorpe was a sur­prise be­cause de­fence has been the team’s only strong area in re­cent years. But Reed said they had been only “just OK” this sea­son.

The Alou­ettes have al­ready lost twice to Ot­tawa.

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