QB Mike Reilly shines as Edmonton Eskimos defeat Montreal Alouettes in Montreal

MONTREAL — Mike Reilly threw for 415 yards and four touchdowns and CJ Gable made a highlight-reel catch to propel the Edmonton Eskimos to their fourth win of the season on Thursday night.

On a perfect evening for football in Montreal after days of intense heat and rain, the Esks scored 17 straight points in the second half en route to the victory, sending the 16,000+ fans at Percival Molson Stadium home disappointed.

Edmonton Eskimos quarterback Mike Reilly started the game completing his first four passes for 39 yards, but it was Montreal that struck first.

 

 

Early on, Montreal Alouettes quarterback Vernon Adams lived up to his promise of playing loose and having fun, scrambling for eight yards in the team’s second offensive series. The Als then benefited from a pass interference penalty that put the ball on the one-yard line. Adams finished the job, scoring his first touchdown of the season.

Edmonton replied two minutes later on a five-play, 47 yard drive capped by a 44-yard Sean Whyte field goal.

Towards the end of the first quarter, the Montreal Alouettes forced a botched snap by the Edmonton Eskimos, giving them prime field position in Esks territory.

Soon after, Als kicker Boris Bede split the uprights to give the Als a seven-point lead to open the second quarter.

Reilly responded shortly thereafter, throwing a 37-yard dart to Kenny Stafford before finding D’haquille Williams for a 20-yard touchdown. The entire drive took less than three minutes.

Any momentum the Alouettes had built in the first quarter dissipated midway through the second thanks to a Vernon Adam interception. Edmonton defensive halfback Aaron Grymes, patrolling the middle of the field, read Adams and ran the pick back 35 yards.

Reilly then found CJ Gable, who made an acrobatic one-handed catch and dove in for the score, giving Edmonton its first lead of the game. It was also Gable’s first score of the season.

Midway through the second quarter and with the offense sputtering, fans began clamoring for newcomer Johnny Manziel to take the field, something that ultimately didn’t happen.

Montreal’s offense seemed to awaken after that, with Boris Bede hitting a season-long 52-yard field goal and Vernon Adams running for 28 yards on the next series.

Despite the late surge, Montreal went into the locker room down by 14 at halftime.

Similar to the first half, Montreal started off well to begin the third quarter. This time, however, it was their defense that provided the spark, pinning Edmonton inside its own 10 yard line and forcing a safety.

Edmonton responded a few minutes later, with Mike Reilly finding Derel Walker for a 36-yard score to cap an eight play, 85-yard drive. That score extended Edmonton’s lead to 19.

Early in the fourth quarter, Reilly scored on a QB sneak to complete a 14-play, 85-yard drive that took over nine minutes to complete. It marked the second time this season the league’s second-ranked offense has hit the 40-point mark.

Aided by two Edmonton penalties, Montreal marched the ball down the field in the fourth quarter and scored on a five-yard touchdown run by Ryder Stone for his first touchdown of the season. They then scored on the ensuing two-point convert.

Despite the loss, there were positives for the Alouettes. Adams looked mobile and unafraid to take off, scrambling for 28 yards on one play. He ended the evening with 57 rushing yards on seven carries.

Edmonton next plays on Aug. 2, when they host the Saskatchewan Roughriders at Commonwealth Stadium. For Als fans, their next opportunity to potentially see Johnny Manziel is on Aug. 3, when his old teammates from Hamilton come to Montreal.

Roger Kelly
Roger Kelly is an editor and a writer for AFI. A former PR Director the B.C. Lions of the Canadian Football League for 7 years, he now lives in Sweden writing about and scouting American Football throughout the world.
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