Alouettes seek fifth consecutive victory, closing playoffs, in clash with Roughriders | The Canadian News

With a victory Saturday against the Saskatchewan Roughriders, the Montreal Alouettes could punch their ticket to the 2021 CFL playoffs, but the team is already looking further.

“I’d be lying if I didn’t say that it’s not our goal to make the playoffs and especially to do it in front of the home crowd would be amazing,” quarterback Matthew Shiltz said. “At the same time, we also have many more important goals.”

“We want the No. 1 seed in the East, we want to keep moving toward the end of the playoffs, get to the championship and win it.”

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Shiltz started the final two games replacing the injured Vernon Adams Jr., but skipped a practice day during the week to recover from a knee injury. Recent acquisition Trevor Harris replaced during practice, but the Alouettes (6-4) will not make a quarterback trade before Saturday’s game.

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For Shiltz, this season has been a learning process. He is grateful for the responsibility of starting a third game in a row and improving Montreal’s winning streak to five games.

“After a few games, you keep building trust and you keep feeling more comfortable there,” he said. “I’m learning as I go along and I keep making plays and putting the team in the best position to make plays.”

Khari Jones is still locked in with his starter, but he’s happy to have Harris on the sidelines in case Shiltz can’t play.

“It was good to have him there in practice on the third day, I felt like every day he got better with what we’re doing,” Jones said. “He’s a smart guy, he’s adapted well to the offense. The guys have confidence in him and therefore it won’t be everything, maybe, but it will be enough for us to go and win.

Patrick Davis will be the fourth player to line up in downtown Montreal this season. The 28th pick in the 2021 CFL Draft from Syracuse University will make his first career start.

“That’s the big question, but it’s made me feel more and more comfortable every day seeing him there, seeing how he handles our guys and seeing all the calls,” Jones said. “It is a difficult position. It’s not just about the blocking side, it’s about figuring out what’s happening on defense and making the right decisions, and he’s handled it very well. “

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The Roughriders (6-4) aren’t underestimating their opponent as they fly to Montreal for Saturday’s game. For quarterback Cody Fajardo, the Alouettes are “hot right now” and will be a test for his team’s offensive line.

“I played the last two games against Toronto and Ottawa and it was like a highlight video of killing the quarterback,” Fajardo said. “You never want to wear that and see that as a quarterback, but we have a lot of work for us and I think it will be a great game and hopefully we give ourselves a chance to win in the fourth quarter.”

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Expecting rain Saturday, Riders head coach Craig Dickenson said they are prepared for a fight in tougher conditions.

“We did some wet ball stuff with our snapper, dipped the ball in the water a little bit and let it break with it,” Dickenson said. “The focus has to be sharp. Most of our players played a lot of soccer and they all played in the rain at some point. We couldn’t simulate the rain so we did the best we could. “

Saskatchewan fullback Alexandre Dupuis will have added excitement in his return to Percival Molson Stadium. The Montreal native signed with the Alouettes in June in hopes of playing for his hometown team, but was released at the end of preseason in August.

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Dupuis visits Montreal for the first time since he was released. The 31-year-old, who hadn’t played professional football for “more than 1,000 days” until he dressed for Saskatchewan on Aug. 21, said he’s happy to have landed on the prairies.

“I’m really grateful for that opportunity and now I’m trying to make the most of it and trying to show everyone who left me or released me that they were wrong,” Dupuis said. “It’s sad for them, but it’s great for Saskatchewan that he can be here and play and participate a lot on offense and do whatever he can to help this team win football games.”

Click to play video: 'Saskatchewan Huskies Soccer Team Finds Its Rhythm Mid-Season'

Saskatchewan Huskies Soccer Team Finds Its Rhythm Midseason

Saskatchewan Huskies Soccer Team Finds Its Rhythm Midseason – October 18, 2021


Saturday, Percival Molson Stadium

ARTIS-PAYNE OUT: Alouettes running back Cameron Artis-Payne will miss a second straight game. The former Carolina Panther missed last week’s game with a non-COVID illness and will remain on the disabled list for one game before Saturday’s showdown.

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STANBACK NEARING 1000: William Stanback is 120 yards away from hitting the 1000 rushing yard mark this season. The CFL’s leading running back has logged more than 120 yards in three of his last four games.

RIDERS PUNTER CHANGE: Kaare Vedvik will replace the injured Jon Ryan as kicker. Vedvik, a global player from Norway, appeared on eight NFL team rosters before being selected in the second round of the 2021 CFL Global Draft.

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