Cup loss 'frustrating' for Alouettes
It's hard to find the right for label the Montreal Alouettes.
Over the past seven years they've played in the Grey Cup five times, a run usually impressive enough to earn a team the coveted dynasty tag.
But with just one win and four losses to show for it, including Sunday's 25-14 defeat to the B.C. Lions, it's hard to find any description other than frustrated that fits this club.
"It's so frustrating, knowing you're so close," said quarterback Anthony Calvillo, his shoulders hunched as he sat in his locker room stall. "Just to come up short once again, it's not fun. It's not fun at all."
The 13-year CFL veteran has been at the helm for all five trips to the championship game, picking up his only title in 2002 against Edmonton. The Alouettes lost to B.C. in 2000 and to Edmonton in 2003 and 2005, the last one in double overtime by a scoreof38-35.
Montreal's first possession of the game was an indication of things to come — Calvillo felt the pressure of B.C.'s daunting defensive line and overthrew his first two passes.
When he did get some time to throw in the first half, his receivers dropped a couple of balls.
"I didn't come out in the first half and play well enough to have this football team win," Calvillo said. "Everybody has to 'fess up for their accountability and I'll be the first one."
By the look on some players' faces, that may happen.
Backup running back Eric Lapointe was fighting back tears and some offensive lineman were sitting stunned in their stalls with red eyes.
B.C. had built a 16-0 lead in the second quarter before Montreal kicker Damon Duval finally put three points on the board with a 43-yard field goal at 13:18 of the second quarter.
Duval had gone wide left on an earlier field-goal attempt from 42 yards.
The Lions led 19-3 at halftime, but the Als seemed to get a bit of a spark in the third quarter.
Running back Robert Edwards scored on a two-yard run with two minutes left in the third quarter and closed the gap to 19-12.
He would get another chance to move closer with four minutes left in the game and the score 25-12.
With the ball on B.C.'s one-yard line, Edwards took the handoff, but fumbled and Lions linebacker Otis Floyd recovered the ball.
"(B.C. players) jumped and then one guy leaped over the line and made the hit and another guy hit me low and the ball popped out," Edwards said.
But the second-year CFLer won't let it eat away at him during the off-season.
"I'm going to think about it tonight and the next couple of days, but I'm going to put it behind me," said Edwards, who had 15 carries for 85 yards.
"There's nothing I can do about it now."
Als not impressed with records
Nine-year veteran slotback Ben Cahoon caught 11 passes for 137 yards and was feisty when asked to comment about theLions defence.
"They're not the toughest defence in the history of the CFL like they would like to believe, but they're a good defence," Cahoon said.
When told he now has 31 Grey Cup receptions, a mark that breaks the record of 29 held by Hal Patterson, he didn't even blink.
"I wasn't aware of that at all," said Cahoon, who's spent his entire career with Montreal. "Maybe in the future that might be nice."
Calvillo — 20-of-41 passing for 234 yards — also set a Grey Cup record by pushing his career Grey Cup passing yards total to 1,468, surpassing Doug Flutie's mark of 1,421 yards.
"It don't mean a whole lot right now," Calvillo said. "I'm still just dealing with this loss.
"When my career's over I'll look back at it and be happy with the accomplishments that I've done, but right now it just hurts."