OTTAWA — There was plenty of scoring on Friday night as Mark’s Labour Day Weekend kicked off with excitement in the nation’s capital.
A strong showing from the Montreal Alouettes on offence and defence helped them to a 51-29 victory over the Ottawa REDBLACKS at TD Place.
Vernon Adams Jr. threw for four touchdowns and 288 yards while two of his receivers, Jake Wieneke and Eugene Lewis, both scored twice and hauled in over 100 yards each. Running back William Stanback also got in on the offensive attack, rushing for 112 yards in his team’s win.
On defence, linebacker Patrick Levels took a pick-six to the house for a touchdown while defensive backs Greg Reid and Jermaine Grace also each had an interception. Defensive linemen David Menard and Woody Baron each had a QB sack in the contest and defensive tackle Almondo Sewell scored a rushing touchdown as well.
For the REDBLACKS, Matt Nichols finished his night completed two of five passes for 23 yards and an interception before being replaced by Dominique Davis in the second quarter. Davis completed 23 of 33 passes for 291 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions to go along with his rushing touchdown.
Daniel Petermann scored two touchdowns to go along with 77 yards while linebacker Don Unamba led the REDBLACKS in tackles with six.
Just when it had looked like the REDBLACKS defence held the Als to a two-and-out on the game’s first drive, a 20-yard defensive pass interference penalty kept things going for the visitors. Adams Jr. and co, moved down the field, a drive that included an eight-yard catch from B.J. Cunningham and back-to-back runs by William Stanback of eight yards followed by a 14-yard gain.
It led to the first points of the ball game as rookie kicker David Cote was good on his 27-yard field goal attempt to give the visitors a 3-0 lead.
On the next drive, Montreal’s defence did their offence a favour, forcing the REDBLACKS to punt and allowing Adams Jr. and the offence back onto the field. The Alouettes moved the sticks into field goal range once again but Cote missed his 50-yard attempt and Montreal still held a 3-0 lead late in the first quarter.
Things continued to go in the visiting team’s favour, as the REDBLACKS first turnover of the game was committed on the next possession. Nichols threw a pass to Nate Behar, who had the ball deflect off his finger tips and right into the hands of defensive back Greg Reid.
Montreal made the REDBLACKS pay for the interception, as Adams Jr. threw a touchdown pass to Eugene Lewis on the first play of the team’s ensuing drive. The 34-yard major score, along with the completed convert, gave the Als a 10-0 lead.
DeVonte Dedmon had a massive 74-yard return on the kickoff, giving Nichols and co. excellent field position to start their next attempt to score. They had to settle for three points, however, with Lewis Ward connecting on his 31-yard attempt to cut the Als lead to 10-3 as the first quarter came to a close.
Cote added another field goal for the Alouettes to start the second frame, a 37-yarder, extending Montreal’s lead to 13-3.
Dominique Davis was given the nod at QB for the REDBLACKS on the team’s next possession, taking over for Nichols. Once again the Als defence stood tall, holding Ottawa to a two-and-out.
Montreal kept rolling, moving the sticks (aided by a defensive pass interference penalty that brought them down to the REDBLACKS’ 12-yard line) and scored their second touchdown of the night. Jake Wieneke hauled in the TD in the back of the end zone, and with the convert, Montreal took a 20-3 lead.
Dominique Davis began to settle in behind centre, stringing together a few first downs including a 17-yard catch, the biggest from scrimmage for the REDBLACKS to that point, to Ryan Davis. An unnecessary roughness penalty on Money Hunter brought Ottawa down to the Montreal 10-yard line and led to their first passing touchdown of the season.
Daniel Petermann was on the receiving end of Dominique Davis’ pass, capping the nine-play, 68-yard drive. Dominique went five for five for 50 yards on the drive that cut Montreal’s lead to 20-10.
With just over two minutes left in the first half, Montreal wasn’t finished scoring just yet. It only took 38 seconds and three plays for Adams Jr. to move 80 yards and found Lewis in the end zone for the receiver’s second touchdown of the night. Along with the completed convert, the Als extended their lead to 27-10.
Ottawa responded with three points of their own as Ward hit his second field goal of the evening, a 40-yard attempt, to cut Montreal’s lead to 27-13 at the half.
Highlighted by a spectacular 44-yard grab from Wieneke, Montreal moved into field goal range on their first possession of the second half. But unfortunately for the visitors, Cote missed his second try of the evening, this one from 41-yards out.
Wieneke scored his second touchdown of the contest as the third quarter was coming to a close. The Als receiver had three catches on the drive, including eight and 21-yard gains to go along with his 13-yard score. The drive covered 72-yards on eight plays and including the completed convert, extended Montreal’s lead to 34-13.
Things kept going right for the Alouettes as Davis threw an interception. Patrick Levels picked off the QB and took it all the way to the house for the pick-six to extend Montreal’s lead to 41-13.
With a commanding lead, Khari Jones decided to put in Matthew Shiltz in place of Adams Jr. who would give up a safety (41-15).
On the next drive, Dominique Davis moved the sticks that included a 44-yard gain from Dedmon, and called his own number on the goal line for his team’s second touchdown of the evening. After an incomplete two-point convert attempt, the REDBLACKS cut Montreal’s lead to 41-21.
Despite Shiltz taking over the offence, Adams Jr. was back behind centre for the team’s next possession.
The Als pivot moved the chains down the field and a defensive pass interference penalty called on Don Unamba, who was covering Lewis in the end zone, brought his offence down to the one-yard line. That set the stage for defensive tackle Almondo Sewell to plunge in for the major score, extending his team’s lead to 48-21.
Ottawa wasn’t ready to give up yet, however, as Davis found Petermann once again for the Canadian pass-catcher’s second touchdown of the night. R.J. Harris hauled in the two-point convert and the REDBLACKS cut Montreal’s lead to 48-29.
Jermaine Grace picked off the REDBLACKS pivot Davis to add another turnover to the stats sheet as the clock was ticking down setting up for a 16-yard field goal to extend Montreal’s lead to 51-29.
Next up for the Montreal Alouettes is a bye week while the Ottawa REDBLACKS head to BC to take on the Lions next Saturday.