Alouettes defense, special teams come in clutch to secure win against Calgary Stampeders

MONTREAL – The Montreal Alouettes’ defense and special teams proved to be the difference when the Calgary Stampeders came to town.

In a game whether neither team’s offense found the end zone on the ground, a pick-six from Als cornerback Kabion Ento would be the only score not off a field goal in the game as the Als secured a 25-18 victory.

Both team’s kickers, René Paredes and David Côté, each attempted six field goals in the matchup, with Paredes accounting for all 18 of Calgary’s points.

As Cody Fajardo threw for just 158 yards and an interception in the win, Tyrice Beverette led the Als with six tackles and a special teams tackle, Ento added an interception and score and Bryce Notree added two tackles and a sack in the defensive-led effort. Kaion Julien-Grant led all Als receivers with 71 yards on five receptions.

Jake Maier threw for 256 yards and two interceptions in the loss, but Micah Awe led the Stamps’ defensive effort with eight tackles while Branden Dozier added four tackles and a sack.

The visitors would be on the board first after Paredes showed off his leg strength with a 50-yard kick, but back-to-back field goals from Côté put the Alouettes ahead by three.

Despite putting 29- and 41-yard field goals through the uprights in the first quarter, Côté missed a field goal to start the second quarter, but the Als kept the momentum in their favour after an interception by Ento was taken 53 yards to the house to lead by 10, scoring 13 unanswered points.

» Through the Lens: Stampeders at Alouettes
» Box Score: Stampeders, Alouettes by the numbers

After two incompletions from Maier left the Stamps unable to move the ball past midfield, the visitors would once again put their trust in Paredes to settle for field goal, cutting the lead to seven points after a made 53-yard attempt.

Right after his longest made field goal of the game, Paredes hit a 48-yard kick after Maier took a sack for a loss of nine yards to keep the Stamps close enough in the back-and-forth kicking battle.

Montreal had one of their best chances of the evening after a pass interference penalty on Moxey moved the Als to the Calgary 12-yard line, but as Fajardo was unable to connect with Kaion Julien-Grant or Austin Mack for a score, the Als put their trust back in Côté even after missing a field goal and an extra point attempt in the first half, Côté got right back into rhythm to put the Als back up by 10.

Paredes and the Stamps would answer the next drive, with Maier unable to find Sutton to get the first down and instead took the 20-yard field goal.

Montreal, who was also unable to find a sustained offence, led as Côté made back-to-back field goals to extend their lead to seven in the fourth quarter, but with five minutes left to play Paredes kicked his sixth field goal of the night, cutting the Als lead to four.

With Fajardo sacked at the 32 yard line, Côte matched his longest kick of the night for 42 yards to put the Als back ahead by seven with less than three minutes to play, but the Stamps found some momentum of their own as Maier completed four passes for three first downs, but threw an interception at the Als 31-yard line to give the ball right to Montreal’s Kordell Rodgers.

After a three-and-out from Fajardo and the Als, Maier and the Stamps found themselves at the Montreal 10-yard line with just over a minute to play, but could not convert for the first down and turned the ball over to give the Als the win.

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