LIVESTREAM PPV: CFL – Montreal Alouettes @Ottawa REDBLACKS, August 11, 8p ET (2a Aug. 12 CET)

OTTAWA — The first and the worst in the East Division close out Week 9 of the CFL season as the Montreal Alouettes are on the road taking on the Ottawa REDBLACKS.

The Als are hoping to turn a corner as they approach the midway point of the season after a slow start to 2018. Montreal showed signs of promise in a gritty Week 3 win over the Saskatchewan Roughriders, but bright spots for the squad have been few and far between ever since.

Montreal is 1-17 in its last 18 games, the poorest stretch of games in the history of the franchise.

This week the Als look to shrug off a 50-11 drubbing at the hands of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats last week. Hamilton took Montreal out of the game early by racking up 28 points in the first quarter alone, tying a CFL record for biggest lead through 15 minutes. In his much-anticipated CFL debut, Als quarterback Johnny Manziel completed 11 of 20 attempts for 104 yards with no touchdowns and four interceptions.

Montreal’s defence gave up 521 yards while the Ticats found the end zone seven times.

From a blocked punt that was run back for a touchdown to six total turnovers, it was a night when nothing went right for Montreal.

“It was a humbling experience,” Manziel told MonrealAlouettes.com after the game. “I made some very uncharacteristic throws, especially on the first drive. I did a bad job setting the tone.”

However, it would be far from fair to put all the blame on Manziel for the loss.

“We weren’t moving well,” said fullback Patrick Lavoie. “We weren’t creating enough separation between receivers and defensive backs. They were getting to the ball before us. That’s not normal when you’re on offence…. It started with an interception and I don’t think that’s Johnny’s fault. We had to start better than that.”

The Alouettes are ready to put the past behind them and move forward to facing the REDBLACKS. Montreal’s defence is aware that they have a tough task ahead of them going up against the likes of receivers Greg Ellingson and Brad Sinopoli.

Linebacker Henoc Muamba says that the Als feel prepared to take on the REDBLACKS’ high-powered offence after a solid week of work.

“Our offence is really improving and we see it in practice,” said Muamba. “It’s encouraging for us on defence and it allows us to get ready.”

The East-leading REDBLACKS are also out for redemption after allowing a Week 8 win to slip through their fingertips.

Toronto Argonauts quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson threw the game-winning touchdown with a second left on the clock to lift the Boatmen to a 42-41 victory at BMO Field. The REDBLACKS entered the final 15 minutes with a comfortable 18-point lead. However, Bethel-Thompson stayed composed in his first CFL start and found a way to put 22 points on the board in the fourth quarter.

Ottawa pivot Trevor Harris threw for 381 yards with two touchdowns and one interception in the loss. Receiver Diontae Spencer had a game-high 145 yards on eight catches, also adding a major. Defensive lineman A.C. Leonard racked up seven tackles and one sack.

“We just didn’t end up making the plays to win the game and they did,” Head Coach Rick Campbell told OttawaREDBLACKS.com. “We certainly didn’t take our foot off the gas or anything. We were playing the game all the way through. We had a chance all the way up to the last moment to win the game and didn’t get it done. It was a very disappointing, tough one to get over. But obviously there’s a lot of football left to be played so keep moving on and move forward.”

In what many considered a surprising move, the REDBLACKS announced earlier this week that they had released international defensive back Loucheiz Purifoy. The 25-year-old was considered a prized free-agent acquisition and registered 29 tackles in seven games with Ottawa this season.

“It’s not something we just do blindly, or without a lot of thought going through it, so we think we’ve got a good group of DB’s here,” said Campbell. “We’ve got our guys from last year, plus we signed some guys this year, so starting the season we had an excess of good players. We’re just trying to find the sweet spot.”

After suffering an injury in practice and sitting out on Wednesday, Sinopoli is good to go against the Als. Sinopoli entered the week sitting third in receiving yards with 631 through seven games.

Ottawa has won its last five matchups against Montreal, including a three-game sweep last year. Ottawa is 9-4 vs Montreal since 2014.

Crunchin’ Numbers:

14 – Number of quarterbacks that the Alouettes have started since August 2013.

19 – Straight field goals made by REDBLACKS kicker Lewis Ward. Ward began his career with a 3-for-4 field goal performance in the season opener and since then has not missed a kick of any kind.

34.6 – League-high points per game being given up by the Alouettes.

52 – Receptions this season by Brad Sinopoli, the most in the CFL. He is on pace to make 134 catches in 2018, which would be the second highest single-season total in CFL history.

This will be the second of three meeting between the East Division rivals.

The REDBLACKS emerged victorious in the first bout back on July 6, picking up a 28-18 victory. Ottawa controlled the game from the start, leaping out to a 25-8 lead after the first half.

The Harris-Sinopoli connection was on display all night. Harris threw for 342 yards and three touchdowns while Sinopoli caught a career-high 11 passes for 148 yards.

The key to the Als stopping the REDBLACKS lies in slowing down Sinopoli. The Als defence is the only CFL team giving up over 300 passing yards per game on average. Montreal’s secondary will have to find a way to prevent Harris and co. from making big plays if they hope to avoid a Week 4 repeat.

– With files from MontrealAlouettes.com/OttawaREDBLACKS.com.

AFI, Yare Media and the CFL

American Football International is collaborating with Yare Media and the Canadian Football League to present 2018 CFL games live. This is more than a livestream. This is a stream of the top flight TSN network television broadcast.

LIVE STREAM PPV: CFL – Montreal Alouettes @Ottawa REDBLACKS, August 11, 8p ET (2a Aug. 12 CET)

 

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