CFL: Ottawa RedBlacks roll over Montreal Alouettes

MONTREAL – Trevor Harris threw three touchdowns and the REDBLACKS defense allowed just four points as Ottawa cruised to a 32-4 victory over the Montreal Alouettes to kick off Mark’s Labour Day Weekend. Harris turned in one of his best performances of the season, completing 78% of his passes for 343 yards and three scores while WR Greg Ellingson eclipsed 1,000 receiving yards on the season. The Montreal Alouettes made a change at QB, replacing Darian Durant with Drew Willy after Durant completed just 12 of 21 passes for 140 yards and an interception through three quarters.

The REDBLACKS offense came out firing on their opening drive, as Trevor Harris guided his team into the Montreal half with ease. But after a failed challenge on an attempt at the end zone, the Alouettes defense came up big on second down, forcing a fumble and sending the REDBLACKS away without any points.

One week after surpassing Geroy Simon for the most receptions in CFL history, Nik Lewis was busy early, with Durant locked in on his number one target.

REDBLACKS K Brett Maher continued to find success, converting his 15th consecutive field goal to go along with a punt single to give Ottawa a four point lead at the end of the first quarter.

Ottawa Redblacks wide receiver Greg Ellingson, right celebrates his touchdown against the Montreal Alouettes with teammates Joshua Stangby, left, and Brad Sinopoli during fourth quarter CFL football action Thursday, August 31, 2017 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

Ottawa caught a break early in the second quarter when Alouettes DB Greg Henderson was flagged for defensive pass interference in the Montreal end zone. With the ball on the one-yard line, Harris faked the handoff to Mossis Madu before finding Diontae Spencer, who had a clear path to the end zone for the game’s first touchdown. Up by 12, the REDBLACKS opted to try the two-point convert, but Madu couldn’t push the pile into the end zone.

Playing in his 100th career CFL game, Brad Sinopoli continued to find success, making several clutch grabs for first downs as Harris and the REDBLACKS offense clicked in the first half. A rare missed field goal from Maher resulted in Ottawa’s second single of the game, and the REDBLACKS led 13-1 in the dying minutes of the half.

With the REDBLACKS looking to add to their lead in the final minute, Harris’s attempt for Spencer down the left sideline was intercepted by Tyree Hollins. With the ball inside their own five yard line, Durant heaved up a deep ball for B.J. Cunningham which he pulled in for a 56-yard gain. Durant would use his legs to pick up another 19 yards and move within field goal range, but Bede’s field goal attempt was wide and Spencer was able to bring the ball out, preventing a single.

It was all Ottawa in the first half, tallying 17 first downs to Montreal’s five and carrying the pace of play through much of the half. Harris continued his strong QB play, completing over 70% of his passes for 170 yards with a touchdown and an interception.

Montreal Alouettes running back Stefan Logan is tackled by Ottawa Redblacks linebacker Ron Omara during second quarter CFL football action Thursday, August 31, 2017 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

The third quarter brought more of the same, as the REDBLACKS continued to bring the game to the Als.

WR Josh Stangby left his mark on the game in the third quarter, extending for a phenomenal diving touchdown catch to extend the REDBLACKS lead.

Greg Ellingson got involved in a big way after a quiet first half, eclipsing 1,000 receiving yards for the third consecutive season and pulling in a 42-yard touchdown from Harris to add to an already lopsided REDBLACKS lead.

With the REDBLACKS leading big late in the game, the Alouettes opted to make a change at quarterback, removing Darian Durant and giving Drew Willy his first extended action in Montreal.

Next week the Alouettes will head West where they’ll take on the BC Lions. The REDBLACKS will head home to Ottawa where they’ll host the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in another important East Division matchup

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