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Alouettes’ Mike Sherman Notches First CFL Win

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Former longtime NFL coach and assistant Mike Sherman has notched his first victory as a head coach in CFL, leading the Montreal Alouettes to a victory over the Saskatchewan Roughriders on Saturday.

“I thought our defence really stepped up when they had to step up,” Montreal head coach Mike Sherman said, according to CFL.ca. “They made plays when they had to make plays. We have a very talented secondary with their ability to get hands on balls… it didn’t surprise me that they caught the ball that well.”

The game was a defensive battle back-and-forth that didn’t see a lot of offensive action.

“It was a hard fought game. We lost a lot of guys but it was good to get our first win. It’s always good to get the first win of the season to kind of set it off,” Montreal defensive lineman Jamaal Westerman said. “We did a lot of good things. Some things we didn’t do as good, we got guys getting injured, but we kept battling, we kept fighting. That’s what the CFL is about… I think we did a good job of closing that game out.”

“I think we had a great week of preparation. We really practiced hard, we really worked on our technique.
We really worked on the fundamentals and that carried us throughout the game where at times if things weren’t going right, we fell back on our fundamentals, we fell back on our technique and I think that helped us get that W today,” Westerman said.

Now, Montreal heads to a homegame matchup against the Ottawa Redblacks.

“We have a big game next week against our rivals in Ottawa at home and that’s a big one for us,” said Westerman. “We’ve got to be prepared and get ready because we know they’re coming.”

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Eskimos’ Mike Reilly Joins 25,000 Passing Yards Club

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Edmonton Eskimos’ signal caller Mike Reilly joined the 25,000 passing yards club on Saturday night after throwing for 424 yards in a 40-24 victory over the Montreal Alouettes.

“First 30 minutes, we came out swinging. I thought the guys executed great, guys were making plays all over the field,” Reilly said, according to TSN’s Farhan Lalji.

Despite his stellar performance, the Edmonton offensive line struggled throughout the game with protection, allowing the Alouttes to collect 5 sacks throughout the game, making Reilly’s job that much more difficult in the victory.

“Credit to Montreal. They dialled up the pressure a little bit at the end of the second quarter, and that continued on, really, for the rest of the game,” Reilly said. “Our guys did a good job at picking it up and putting points on the board, but they were a little harder to come by than they were in the first half.”

The victory over Montreal, along with his milestone performance, comes just a few days before Reilly and his wife are expecting their second child.

“It’s going to be nice for the next two days to focus on family,” Reilly stated. “Super excited to welcome another little girl into this world. It’ll be short lived though as we go back to work on Monday evening, and we’ve got a short week before heading out to Hamilton.”

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Johnny Manziel to Start for Montreal Alouettes on Friday

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Johnny Manziel will finally get his chance in the CFL as he will start for the Montreal Alouettes on Friday as they take on his former team, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

Alouettes head coach Mike Sherman made the announcement on Tuesday.

Manziel spoke about his first season in the CFL, last Friday.

“I’ve tempered my expectations to not reach too high,” Manziel said (h/t ESPN). “I want to come in and I want to play solid football. That’s what I want to do. I realize there are going to be some growing pains to get there, because it is a process. I have been away from the game a little bit. I’m excited to get some reps, and I know I’m going to be putting in the time that I need to off the field to expedite that process.”

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Blue Bombers’ Andrew Harris Eyes Big Performance

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Winnipeg Blue Bombers running back Andrew Harris is looking to have a big game on Friday night against the Toronto Argonauts.

Harris is looking for a second straight victory over Toronto on Friday, and to follow up a big win with a wedding social on Saturday night at the stadium for he and fiancee Carina Fiorentino.

“The biggest thing is getting the win (Friday) and Saturday will just continue the celebrations,” Harris said, according to CFL.ca. “It’s just great to have it all in the same place.”

Harris will head into the game with plenty of momentum, having surpassed the 100 yard rushing mark in 3 straight games.

“I just want to win the game, that’s the biggest thing.” Harris, who leads the league with 610 rushing yards this season, said.

Harris had a big game last week in the victory over Toronto, rushing for 177 yards, which was more than Toronto’s entire team output of 165 yards.

Toronto head coach Marc Trestman is looking for better quarterback play and better pass protection in this week’s tilt.

“We’ve got to get better play and more efficient play out of our quarterback,” Trestman said. “That would be for anybody who’s playing. It starts there at the quarterback position.

“I think James [Franklin] has shown himself to be very resilient. He’s going through a growing process now in a new system with new verbiage and really his first time playing a lot of football.”

Franklin, the Toronto signal caller, was frustrated with the lack of offensive, but more so that Harris had more rushing yards than Toronto’s total offense could muster.

“It’s frustrating to think, ‘OK, I wish we would have put up more yards,’ ” he said. “I think personally I’m not like, ‘Oh no, it bothers me that he had more rushing yards than we had total yards.’

“But I mean we definitely need to do a better job of that, help our defence out because they made a lot of plays and they put us in really good positions.”

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