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New-look Als get familiar result

CP   2003-06-22 04:30:08  

EDMONTON -- The Montreal Alouettes had no problem dismantling the Edmonton Eskimos last night. Anthony Calvillo threw one touchdown pass and a committee of running backs ran for three more as Montreal routed the Eskimos 34-16 in a rematch of last year's Grey Cup.

"We all believe in here that we have the talent to go out and win every single game if we play to our potential," Calvillo said of his new-look team, 2-0 after a win in Calgary on Tuesday. "A lot of people didn't believe it but in house, we know what kind of team we are. Even though we have so many new faces, they make plays for us."

The Alouettes backfield has a different look than last year when Lawrence Phillips and Mike Pringle, now with the Eskimos, were in the lineup. But even with injured starter Eric Lapointe out, Montreal was efficient on the ground, getting two short touchdowns runs from Jay Graham and another from Bruno Heppell.

Graham scored his first late in the second quarter on a one-yard run and then put the game out of reach with his second from three yards out at 4:03 of the fourth quarter.

"It was tough sleddin' out there," Graham said. "It was a slick field. They've got a good defence. We just had to do our jobs."

The Montreal ground attack only racked up 35 yards but was put in good position thanks to the passing game and special teams.

Calvillo, who completed 20 of 36 passes for 316 yards, hooked up with Ben Cahoon for an 18-yard touchdown as time ran out in the first quarter for Montreal's only score through the air.

The Alouettes got an incredible boost from kick returner Donta Greene, who racked up 182 yards in punt returns despite having a 67-yard dash called back on one of Montreal's 20 penalties.

"Special teams are huge," Cahoon said. "We could have benefited a lot more from him if we would've eliminated a lot of penalties. He's a special guy and we're lucky to have him on our side."

Including the Grey Cup, the Don Matthews-led Alouettes have now three straight games at Commonwealth Stadium.

Montreal came right at the undisciplined Eskimos from the start of the game, pressuring quarterback Ricky Ray with a strong pass rush.

Edmonton committed 22 penalties for 160 yards.

"Obviously, you can't have that many penalties and win the game," Ray said. "We just came out and played a horrible game tonight. And it showed on the scoreboard.

"Maybe we think we're too good."



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