Alouettes hang on for 27-25 win over Edmonton, prevent Esks from clinching
Edmonton Eskimos' quarterback Kerry Joseph (5) is tackled by Montreal Alouettes' Chima Ihekwoaba during second half CFL football action against the Montreal Alouettes in Montreal, Sunday, October 28, 2012. (Graham Hughes / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Published Sunday, October 28, 2012 4:44PM EDT
MONTREAL--Anthony Calvillo threw touchdown passes to Bo Bowling and Ryan Bomben as the Montreal Alouettes held on to down Edmonton 27-25 on Sunday afternoon, preventing the Eskimos from clinching a playoff berth.
Adrian McPherson ran in a TD and Sean Whyte had a field goal and a single for Montreal (11-6), which has secured first place in the East Division.
Fred Stamps, with two, and Shamawd Chambers scored fourth-quarter touchdowns for Edmonton (7-10), while Grant Shaw had a field goal and a single.
Trailing 20-4 to start the fourth quarter, back-up quarterback Matt Nichols took over from Kerry Joseph and immediately threw a 95-yard touchdown pass to Stamps to raise hopes for an Edmonton comeback.
But on the next possession, Nichols was picked off by Dwight Anderson. Five plays later, Calvillo hit Bomben, a guard who sometimes goes in at receiver, with a five-yard TD toss.
A long Weldon Brown kickoff return was converted to Nichol's five-yard TD toss to Chambers with 2:07 left to play.
And Nichols led a last-minte drive to the Montreal 13 and hit Stamps in the end zone with no time left on the clock, but the two-point convert attempt that could have tied the game fell incomplete.
Edmonton has one more chance to get into the post-season at home in its regular season finale Friday night against Calgary. The Eskimos wasted a chance to tie Saskatchewan for third place in the West.
The last time the teams met on Aug. 17, Montreal shot out to a 28-0 lead in Edmonton and coasted to a 38-25 win. It wasn't quite that bad this time, but the Alouettes owned the first half, taking a 19-1 advantage.
After an opening drive field goal, Calvillo found Bowling open for a six-yard TD pass at 11:22.
A safety made it 12-0 before back-up quarterback McPherson ran in from the one 12:10 into the second quarter, his eighth TD of the season.
Edmonton got a point late in the half on Shaw's 70-yard punt.
A Donovan Alexander interception, plus a roughing call, gave Edmonton the ball on the Montreal 10 to set up Shaw's 13-yard field goal to open the second half. Montreal got a point back on Whyte's missed 36-yard attempt.
Calvillo picked up the yards he needed to reach 5,000 for a CFL record seventh time in his career. And Jamel Richardson reached 1,000 receiving yards for a fifth straight year.
Two Montreal TDs were correctly called back after video review. Eric Deslauriers was shown to have stepped out of bounds before catching one, and the other showed Joseph recovered his own fumble before Chip Cox ran it in.
The Eskimos lost left tackle Orrin Thompson to what looked like an ankle injury in the first quarter. Fullback Mathieu Bertrand, who returned after missing 12 games with a groin injury, left in the first half after banging helmets with Montreal's Kyries Hebert on a kickoff return. Neither was able to return.
Former Alouettes stars Tracy Ham and Mike Pringle attended the game as guests of the team.