Saturday, August 13, 2005

Half a game of Damon not enough

Michael Bishop gave it his best shot, but in the end the Argos needed the wily veteran Damon Allen back on the field to try and mount a come back against an aggressive Montreal Alouettes squad Friday night. The Als took advantage of Allen's on field absence to direct defensive schemes at Bishop that bogged down the Argo offence and gave Anthony Calvillo some excellent field position to launch his attacks. Calvillo took advantage of the solid defensive play to put up a 14-0 lead at half time.

Bishop received the start Friday night as Allen nursed injuries on the bench, but with the Argos stagnating and the Alouettes starting to run away with the game, Pinball Clemons had no choice but to put Allen into the game to start the second half.

Allen threw his wonky ankle into the action and managed to put a few points on the board, but after sixty minutes the Als had taken an 18-10 decision over the Argos and moved into a tie for second place in the east with Toronto, both squads trail the surprising Ottawa Renegades in the CFL East.

While Bishop may have taken the rap for the poor performance, the Argo defence stepped up and admitted that they did not have one of their finer hours. Letting the Als dominate the play for the better part of the game, gave Calvillo and company the time to put the points on the board and shut down Allen when he entered the play.

The Montreal win tightens up the CFL east quite a bit, with only Hamilton staggering around in search of a win let alone a playoff spot. With Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa all seemingly firing quite nicely at the moment, the long season may get even longer in Hamilton. For Montreal the win is reminder for the rest of the league that the Als troubles of early in the season may not have been as dire as many suggested. They're back in the hunt and a Don Matthews team with a scent of the Grey Cup is a scary thing to be dealing with.

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