CFL: Late heroics help Montreal Alouettes outlast Ottawa REDBLACKS

MONTREAL – A cross-province battle between the Ottawa REDBLACKS and Montreal Alouettes marked the first of four games to conclude the 2022 CFL pre-season on Friday night.

The Alouettes rolled out a number of their starters on Friday night, providing their fans with a chance to see Vernon Adams Jr. for the first time since October of last season.

In a thrilling 27-26 victory, the Alouettes were able to outlast an aggressive Ottawa secondary that was able to force a total of four interceptions, three of which came from the arm of Adams.

Adams finished the game completing six of his 12 passing attempts for 69 yards, while also adding a rushing touchdown early in the game.

» Boxscore: REDBLACKS, Alouettes by the numbers
» Through the Lens: REDBLACKS at Alouettes
» View: 2022 CFL Schedule
» QB Tracker: Breaking down pre-season playing time


On the opening drive of the game Adams wasted no time in his return to the field, completing four of his six passes, including an 18-yard connection with Kaion Julien-Grant, who made a spectacular catch on the play. The Als’ pivot capped off the drive by calling his own number, finding the end zone for the games’ first score.

With their second possession, the Als once again appeared to be moving the ball well, until a sack from Ottawa’s Davon Coleman forced Montreal to try for the field goal. Montreal kicker David Cote showed off his range as he was able to convert for three points from 45-yards out to make it a 10-0 game.

On the ensuing possession Caleb Evans and the REDBLACKS looked to be driving down the field well until Adarius Pickett made a nice defensive play to break up an Evans pass on second down. Rookie kicker Jose Maltos was able to connect on a 38-yard field goal attempt to give the REDBLACKS their first score of the game.

After the long field goal from Maltos to get the REDBLACKS on the board, it was another Ottawa newcomer coming up with a big play. This time it was rookie defensive back Daniel Valente who was able to come up with an interception on Adams to give Ottawa the ball back and put them in scoring position.

Back on offence and well within striking range, Evans was looking for B.J. Cunningham in the end zone, but the Alouettes had the play sniffed out as Wesley Sutton was able to come away with the interception.

Neither team was able to capitalize on their first quarter takeaways, as the Als took a 10-3 lead into the second quarter.


Ottawa’s defence remained stout to start the second frame of action. Yet another Ottawa rookie was able to force a turnover. It was Hakeem Bailey coming up with an interception, leading to a 31-yard field from Maltos to cut the Montreal lead to four.

As the saying goes, ‘good things come in threes,’ as a third REDBLACKS newcomer was able to come away with an interception. This time it was 2021 second-round pick Alonzo Addae pulling in an Adams pass.

The turnover would lead to a 37-yard field goal from Maltos, giving him his third consecutive make of the night. All three of them came from a distance of 30-yards or more.

After the third interception of the night from Adams, his pre-season debut came to a close and it was Trevor Harris‘ turn under centre for the Alouettes. On his first pass of the game, Harris fired a ball towards the sideline, but Bailey was able to come away with his second interception of the night.

The interception from Bailey once again had the REDBLACKS in scoring range, but a nice defensive stand from the Alouettes forced Ottawa to kick for a field goal. Maltos struck from 18-yards out for his fourth of the night, putting the REDBLACKS up 12-10 and giving them their first lead of the game.

With under a minute remaining in the half Montreal rookie kicker Matt Mengal connected from 28-yards out to give the Als a 13-12 lead to close out the first half.

Ottawa would start the second half with the ball and after taking all of the snaps in the first half, Evans was done for the night.


Tyrie Adams would start the second half under centre  for the REDBLACKS. After engineering a drive to put Ottawa inside the Montreal 20-yard line, it was 2022 first-overall pick Tyrell Richards who forced a sack-fumble to help the Als regain possession.

The REDBLACKS defence was able to limit the damage following the forced fumble. Forcing the Alouettes to call on their kicking game once again, Mengal was able to convert his second field goal of the night to help push the Montreal lead back to four points.

Tyrie Adams appeared unshaken by the early turnover to start his night. In his second series of the half, he completed a 47-yard pass to Brandon Arcanado to put Ottawa in scoring range. The REDBLACKS would be unable to punch in a major, but Maltos would hit an 18-yard field for his fifth of the night to help cut the Montreal lead to one.

Montreal held onto a 17-15 lead going into the fourth quarter, but Tyrie Adams looked determined to help the REDBLACKS take back the lead. He did exactly that, showing off his speed and agility with a 36-yard touchdown run to help put Ottawa up by five.

Ottawa maintained the lead late into the fourth quarter and looked to be in attack mode as David Moore connected with R.J. Harris for a 46-yard reception, which set up a Brandon Marshall touchdown run.

Unfortunately for the REDBLACKS, Marshall would be ruled down on the run and Ottawa would eventually have to settle for a field goal, taking a 26-17 late into the game.

With under a minute remaining, trailing 26-20 and on their fourth quarterback of the evening, Montreal’s Davis Alexander heaved a 53-yard prayer downfield that was answered by Fabian Guerra to put the Als on the Ottawa two-yard line. On the very next play Ryth-Jean Giraud was able to fight his way into the end zone to help Montreal secure a 27-26 win in the dying seconds of the game.

The REDBLACKS will open the regular season on the road with a Week 1 matchup in Winnipeg against the defending Grey Cup champion Blue Bombers. The Alouettes will travel to Calgary as they get set to clash with the Stampeders to start their regular-season campaign.

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