Improbable road victory makes Alouettes optimistic about their future

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“I hope that’s the catalyst for us,” said head coach Khari Jones. “It’s probably the start of our season. Now we’re leaving here as a different team.”

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HAMILTON – The Alouettes aren’t out of the woods yet, far from it. But this unexpected win over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Saturday afternoon could push this underperforming team over the hump while pushing them to greater heights.

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“The guys’ determination and resilience, just their never give up attitude,” Alouettes head coach Khari Jones said following the 23-20 overtime win at Tim Hortons Field – the first times in 12 regular games. season games Hamilton lost at home.

“It was a very good football team that we beat, a team that hadn’t been beaten here for a long time,” Jones added. “To do it like we did, to come back time and time again and make plays. Everyone just stepped up. There are so many different stories of guys who don’t give up and don’t give up. It’s nice to come out on top in one of these games.

“I hope this is the catalyst for us; I think it will be. It’s probably the start of our season. Now we are leaving here as a different team.

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Montreal remains third in the East Division, their 3-4 record – after ending a losing two-game skid – barely flattering. But they’re also just two points behind Toronto and the Ticats with a two-game streak against last-place Ottawa.

If Montreal’s 2019 season was characterized by his courage, overcoming deficits against Calgary and Winnipeg, this victory against the Ticats was eerily similar.

The Alouettes trailed 17-3 heading into the final quarter, as they took advantage of the wind, edging out the Ticats 17-3. In the process, Montreal went from what appeared to be a loss – quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. throwing his second interception deep into Hamilton’s territory with 2:16 remaining – to what appeared to be some victory, after qu ‘Adams connected with Eugene Lewis for a 28-yard touchdown at 2:31 p.m.

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Lewis’ score came on a play of thirds and 20s while he was well covered, but displayed tremendous focus, not allowing a Ticats defenseman to cross in front to distract him. And that play came after he caught a 25 yard catch on another bet on the third down.

“It’s part of my game and I’ve always tried to make sure I do it,” said Lewis, who caught six passes for 82 yards. “My ability under pressure and my hand-eye coordination is something I’m proud of.

“(Adams) threw a good ball,” Lewis continued. “At the end of the day he was third. We had no choice. I had to go upstairs and do a play. I knew there was a chance I was probably going to be hit hard. At the end of the day, that’s what we play the game for. “

But with Montreal seemingly on the cusp of victory, the Ticates had one last possession and one last life. They only covered 34 yards in four games, but that was enough for Taylor Bertolet’s 55-yard tying field – his fourth of the game – in the final regulation play. And it was in the wind.

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Hamilton had the first possession in overtime, knocking out the Montreal 35. But when defenseman Sean-Thomas Erlington fumbled – the ball was picked up by linebacker Chris Ackie – the Alouettes knew they only needed a basket or a single to win. David Côté delivered 36 yards.

Defensively, the Alouettes limited the Ticates to one touchdown. They also recovered two fumbles – the first ultimately resulted in Adams’ 26-yard touchdown against Jake Wieneke early in the fourth quarter. And in their first game under new defensive line coach Greg Quick, Montreal sacked quarterback Jeremiah Masoli four times, three of the top four.

“Everyone is excited, but relieved that we can finally get rid of this monkey,” said linebacker Patrick Levels. “It was not easy, but we succeeded. We are setting a standard that we will have to meet in the future. Beating them here is awesome.

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“We made adjustments. As time went on, we started to tighten up.

Adams has now thrown eight interceptions in seven games, including a pair in each of Montreal’s last three games. But he also rebounded from a left ankle injury in the first quarter – he was replaced by Matthew Shiltz, who led the team to a second quarter field goal – back for the second half.

While he no doubt feels some pain, Adams has remained elusive and mobile – at one point operating behind a makeshift offensive line following injuries to center Sean Jamieson and left tackle Tony Washington.

Adams completed 17 of 26 passes for 209 yards. He managed the game. More importantly, he recorded the victory.

“We’re fighters and we’re going to stay together no matter what,” Adams said. “I have to take care of the ball and I will continue to work on it. “

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  1. Alouettes quarterback Matthew Shiltz (18), replacing Montreal quarterback Vernon Adams Jr., throws during a CFL first half football game against the Tiger Cats in Hamilton on Saturday, October 2, 2021 .

    Coté’s placement in overtime allows the Alouettes to win from behind against the Ticats

  2. After last Friday's loss in Toronto - and after throwing two interceptions that led to 10 points for the Argonauts - Alouettes quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. lashed out at RDS linesman Didier Orméjuste, saying:

    Alouettes head coach Khari Jones backs starting QB Adams Jr.

  3. Montreal Alouettes running back William Stanback pulls away from British Columbia Lions Tim Bonner in the first half in Montreal on September 18, 2021.

    Inside the CFL: tragedy brings full circle with Alouettes running back Stanback

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