Alou­ettes ‘stay hun­gry’ ahead of play­off re­turn

The Peterborough Examiner - - SPORTS -

MON­TREAL — Hav­ing al­ready clinched a play­off spot, the Mon­treal Alou­ettes are look­ing at the fi­nal three games of the year as a post-sea­son tune-up.

The Alou­ettes (8-7) host the Toronto Arg­onauts (3-12) on Fri­day in a game with no bear­ing on the Cana­dian Foot­ball League stand­ings.

Mon­treal is guar­an­teed to fin­ish sec­ond in the East Di­vi­sion be­hind the Hamil­ton TigerCats (12-3). Toronto and the Ot­tawa Red­blacks have been math­e­mat­i­cally elim­i­nated.

“We should keep play­ing like we’re not in the play­offs,” said Alou­ettes wide re­ceiver Eu­gene Lewis on Wed­nes­day.

“You have to stay hun­gry. You can’t get com­pla­cent,” he said. “You can’t get com­fort­able. Once you get com­fort­able, that’s when things start go­ing down­hill. The play­offs come when the play­offs come. We have to fin­ish the last three games of the sea­son.”

Af­ter Fri­day’s clash with Toronto, Mon­treal trav­els to Hamil­ton next week be­fore wel­com­ing the Red­blacks to Per­ci­val Mol­son Sta­dium in the sea­son fi­nale.

The Als, who will make their first play­off ap­pear­ance since 2014, will host the fourth-place fin­isher in the West Di­vi­sion in the East semi­fi­nal on Nov. 10.

Coach Khari Jones says he has no in­ten­tion of rest­ing too many starters or play­ing his back­ups.

“Even if these games seem mean­ing­less be­cause they won’t change any­thing in the stand­ings, we re­ally need them,” said line­backer Henoc Muamba.

“Last week, we made mis­takes that we need to cor­rect. We need these three games to get bet­ter,” he said.

The Alou­ettes are com­ing off a tough 35-24 loss in Win­nipeg against the Blue Bombers last week. Quar­ter­back Ver­non Adams Jr. had one of his worst games of the sea­son, throw­ing four in­ter­cep­tions in the sec­ond half and fum­bling once.

The end of a dif­fi­cult sea­son can’t come soon enough for a Toronto side that won the Grey Cup just two years ago.

The Ar­gos de­feated the last­place Red­blacks 28-21 last week. The win snapped a three­game los­ing skid.

McLeod Bethel-Thomp­son will start at quar­ter­back with James Franklin and Dakota Prukop serv­ing as back­ups for the Arg­onauts, who have a new gen­eral man­ager in Michael (Pin­ball) Clemons. “They have jobs to play for. They have pride to play for,” Adams said of Toronto. “They don’t want to just go out and let any­body walk all over them. They’re go­ing to be play­ing hard. They want to get us off our groove.”

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