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CFL: Alouettes beat the Roughriders 37-13

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Summary

MONTREAL – This is what the organization of the Alouettes needed, an inspired performance that would lead to a domineering domination over the opponent. To kick off their local season, the Montreal club won 37-13 against the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

Having lost their first two scheduled games by a small total of four points, the Alouettes (1-2) still couldn’t afford to start the year 0-3. The pressure would have been enormous on manager Khari Jones and on the players.

But under the influence of Trevor Harris, who was masterful in his first start in 2022, the Birds have reached the altitude they sought. The veteran quarterback proved he deserves to replace Vernon Adams Jr. as a regular.

Harris completed 16 of 22 passes for 262 yards, including a 70-yard touchdown pass to Kaion Julien-Grant early in the second quarter. To be honest, he deserved a few more completion as well. In short, it was arguably his best match since joining the Alouettes last season to make up for Adams Jr.’s injury.

“It’s a win that is worth two points in the standings, but it instills a lot of confidence. Having said that, we know that the Pilots will return home with more effort, they had had a short week of preparation. We will therefore turn the page on this win as we did our two losses because the goal remains to improve from week to week, “said Harris wisely.

“He gives the team a lot of confidence, has played in CFL for 10 years and still manages to do a lot of things athletically. He can understand what is happening on the ground. He is a quarterback of great quality, we have seen him in this game, he has made excellent decisions and has not been the victim of a turnover. He will continue to improve and the boys have responded well to his game, ”Jones bragged.

We would even like to say that Adams Jr., who contracted COVID-19, may have worried about his fate while watching the game. But in recent years the reality of CFL is no longer the same when almost all teams have to use at least two quarterbacks during the season. However, his salary could be creepy in a replacement role.

Since the previous season, the Alouettes had escaped too many close matches by finding a way to get it wrong on some plays. In this match it would be difficult to target a player who has struggled.

“It’s not because we’ve just won a game that the other teams will say we’re back. Next week we will push the envelope further, ”added Harris.

Unfortunately, the weather conditions were not optimal to attract spectators on match day. On the other hand, the quality of the show on the pitch, in front of a crowd of 16,027 fans, should encourage the fans to come to the next match.

Speaking of the show, Chandler Worthy was thrilled with the return kicks. From the first play of the game, he set the tone for the evening by running 88 yards for the touchdown. It hasn’t happened since 2013 that an Alouettes player scored a touchdown on a return kickoff in the regular season! He has added several nice returns for a total of 205 yards and it is Mario Alford, still injured, who asks the questions.

The defensive unit also shone as he stomped the Riders front with eight quarterback bags. It should be noted that the Roughriders had had two days less preparation than the Alouettes and the fatigue seemed to weigh on their shoulders.

That said, special mention goes to Brian Harelimana who completed his first two career layoffs in CFL. He wanted to show that the absence of linebacker Chris Ackie would not manifest itself.

“It is the performance that we expected and that we owed to our team. It is the presence that we must have every week, we have the team to do it ”, assures Harelimana.

Marc-Antoine Dequoy added to this convincing presentation an interception which resulted in a touchdown. It was his first interception and his first touchdown in the CFL. Catcher Duke Williams gave him a nice gift by deflecting the ball as he fell.

“We played at our level and I have to give credit to the audience. The energy to play here with the fans is exceptional. They were there despite the temperature, I want to thank them. It was a big win to get, it’s really cool and it boosts morale, ”agreed Dequoy.

Dequoy and Najee Murray, who played well, narrowly missed an opportunity to intercept Cody Fajardo early in the match.

To complete the picture in style, kicker David Côté recovered very well after missing a decisive field goal in Toronto last week. He made all five field goal attempts, including one from 48 yards.

“I’m just thinking about the things we could have done better. That said, the defense was wonderful, it was so good to see them play like that. The special teams were excellent, including Côté and Worthy. In attack, we achieved what we had to do. It was a great effort against a very good team, “Jones summed up.

The only downside, center Sean Jamieson injured his right knee late in the game as the offensive line was about to wrap up a great night.

It should be noted that running back William Stanback was present at the meeting, injured in the first game. This was not possible for President Mario Cecchini and owner Gary Stern who both contracted COVID-19.

From next Saturday the two teams will cross swords again. This time at the Roughriders’ house.

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