STREAMING CFL PPV: Ottawa REDBLACKS @ Montreal Alouettes, Sept. 3, 01:30 CET (1:30 am, 7:30 pm ET, Sept. 2)

MONTREAL — OK Tire Labour Day Weekend in the CFL will kickoff with an East Division clash as the Montreal Alouettes host the Ottawa REDBLACKS from Percival Molson Stadium on Friday.

In his first game as the REDBLACKS starting quarterback, Nick Arbuckle led his team to a 25-18 win over the Edmonton Elks in Week 12, pulling Ottawa within four points of the Alouettes who sit second place in the East standings.

Montreal enters the long-weekend coming off a bye, and the last time the Als saw action they earned a 29-28 victory over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in Week 11. A win over Ottawa on Friday would give the team their third consecutive win and would tie them with the Toronto Argonauts atop the East Division.

» Depth Chart: OTT | MTL
» REDBLACKS, Als Injury Reports: Stay up to date

Arbuckle will make his second straight start for Ottawa at quarterback after completing 21 passes for 219 yards against Edmonton, also managing to find the end zone on a quarterback sneak from the goal line.

What was equally as impressive as his passing yards, was the way in which Arbuckle moved the ball around. Receivers Nate Behar, Darvin AdamsJaelon Acklin and Ryan Davis each caught four passes, and Behar led the way with 101 yards in the team’s win.

Arbuckle won’t be the only quarterback the Als need to be aware of on Friday, but it’s not necessarily the right arm of Caleb Evans they need to be worried about. Evans rushed for two touchdowns in the REDBLACKS Week 12 win, and leads his team with eight rushing touchdowns this season.

Ottawa’s 2-8 record isn’t indicative of their ability to create offence and move the ball down the field. They rank fifth in both average passing yards per game with 267.4 and average rushing yards per game with 89.5. Despite their ability to generate offence, capitalizing on score zone opportunities has been Ottawa’s biggest hurdle, they’ve averaged a league low 19.2 points per game.

In his first game back since his stint with the NFL’s Miami Dolphins, special teams standout DeVonte Dedmon returned three punts for 70 yards, taking his first return of 2022 for 42 yards. The return of Dedmon gives the Als another offensive look to game plan for. For Dedmon, he’s happy to be back and contributing.

“It felt good to get my game legs under me and just enjoy the time,” Dedmon told TSN 1200 Radio. “I’m blessed that the REDBLACKS gave me this opportunity to play and the guys trust me. They trust me and it gives me the confidence to feel like I can do whatever. We need to step up right here, make plays during the game, make plays during practice and it’ll translate into the game.”

Their Week 12 win marked the third time in the last four games that the REDBLACKS defence has held their opponent to 20 points or less. Defensive back Patrick Levels and defensive lineman Kene Onyeka each pushed their way into the Elks’ backfield for a sack on Taylor Cornelius.

The REDBLACKS are last in the CFL when it comes to interceptions, but linebacker Avery Williams was able to create a turnover through the air a week ago. It’s something they’ll try to build on as they game plan for Alouettes’ quarterback Trevor Harris.

Harris has been efficient when passing this season, having thrown just eight interceptions on 260 passing attempts, but as of late Harris has thrown three interceptions over his last three games. Ottawa’s defensive pressure should allow them to create ill-advised throws from the Montreal pivot.

The Alouettes backed up their upset win over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in Week 10 with a 29-28 victory over Hamilton in Week 11. The back-to-back wins have them two points behind Toronto for first place in the East Division standings.

Harris enters Friday’s game coming off one of his best performances of the year,  throwing for 382 yards and three touchdowns in the win over Hamilton. He’s currently fifth in the league in total passing yards with 2,322.

Making life easier in the passing game is the fact that receiver Eugene Lewis has 849 receiving yards, good for second in the league behind Dominique Rhymes of the BC Lions. If Lewis isn’t open, Harris will likely turn to one of Reggie White Jr. or Kaion Julien-Grant as second and third options. White Jr. has caught 39 passes for 522 yards, while Julien-Grant is averaging 18.9 yards per catch.

When the Als go to the ground game, it’s been Jeshrun Antwi and Walter Fletcher splitting the workload. Antwi leads the team with 70 carries for 390 yards.

The Als defence has been one of the best at defending the pass this season. They’ve held opposing quarterbacks to 261.1 yards per game, which ranks them third.

Defending the run has been a different story, as they’ve surrendered a second worst average of 108.7 yards, which certainly opens the door for Ottawa’s Evans to be an impactful player in the game.

If the game is tight late in the game, which very well could be the case, the Als will look to kicker David Cote to once again deliver important points on special teams.

Cote has made 24 of 29 field goals this season, and delivered arguably his most important make yet, as he hit a 48 yard field goal with no time left on the clock to seal the Als Week 11 win.

The REDBLACKS can move into a tie with Hamilton and within two points of Montreal with a win Friday, while Montreal is trying to track down Toronto for top spot in the East Division.

AFI, Visaic and the CFL

American Football International is collaborating with Visaic and the Canadian Football League to present 2022 CFL games live. This is more than a livestream. This is a stream of the topflight TSN network television broadcast.

Watch the game live here PPV. Ottawa REDBLACKS @ Montreal Alouettes, Sept. 3, 01:30 CET (1:30 am, 7:30 pm ET, Sept. 2)

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