Montreal Alouettes soar past Lions to take big win at home

MONTREAL — The Montreal Alouettes took a hard fought win over the BC Lions in front of a raucous home crowd to kickoff Week 14 of action in the CFL.

Montreal’s defensive unit was instrumental in helping the team pick up a 31-10 win over the Lions on Friday night. The Als defence limited the BC offence to just 251 total yards of offence and also forced four total turnovers in the game, one of which resulted in a 52-yard interception return for a touchdown from the Montreal defence.

Alouettes quarterback Trevor Harris led the offensive efforts in the win, showing off his usual a calm demeanor and a sense of conviction in his passing decision. The Montreal quarterback completed 16 passes for 163 yards and a touchdown pass in the win over BC.

Montreal receiver Eugene Lewis was the leading source of offensive production for the Alouettes in their win over the Lions. The Alouettes playmaker caught three of their four targets for 42 yards and the lone touchdown pass from Harris.

While fellow receiver Reggie White Jr. had an equally crucial role to play, White was the leading receiver for Montreal reeling in four passes for 58 receiving yards on Friday night.

» Box Score: Lions, Alouettes by the numbers
» Through the Lens: BC at Montreal
» Watch: Lyon take interception 52 yards for score
» Montreal defence dominates in win over BC

The Lions opened the game with their offence on the field and immediately saw an opportunity to find yardage on the ground. Antonio Pipkin opened the game with a 16 yard rush, before James Butler broke free for a 10-yard gain of his own. Pipkin then called his own number on a third and short to extend the Lions drive.

However, the Montreal defence forced two incompletions from Pipkin, halting the momentum the Lions seemed to be building. BC was forced to bring out their field goal unit, and kicker Sean Whyte found the games first points as he connected on a 36-yard field goal attempt.

Montreal would be forced to punt with their first offensive drive of the game, which turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Montreal punter Joseph Zema sent a booming kick downfield, forcing the Lions to start their drive from their own five-yard line.

Two plays later, the Alouettes pressure proved to be too much as defensive lineman Mustafa Johnson worked his way into the BC backfield bringing down Pipkin in the end zone for a safety, making it a 3-2 game midway through the first quarter.

Good fortune continued in Montreal’s favour, on the kick from BC following the safety, Montreal playmaker Chandler Worthy returned the kick 51 yards, giving his team good field position to start their drive.

Though the good fortune would be short-lived for Montreal. The Alouettes seemingly felt inspired by the option-reverse play run by the Toronto Argonauts in their Labour Day matchup.

Opting for some trickery of their own, the Alouettes attempted a reverse which saw receiver Eugene Lewis throw a pass that was eventually intercepted by Gary Peters. Peters fumbled the initial interception, but the Lions would fall on the loose ball and assume possession at their own six yard line.

The Als defence would once again flex their muscles, forcing a quick two and out from the BC offence. On the ensuing punt, the ball was partially blocked, allowing the Alouettes to start their drive with the ball on the BC 25-yard line.

Harris would completed two quick passes to put his team on the Lions goal line. As he has all season, quarterback Dominique Davis was called upon to complete the short-yardage score. The Als quarterback has no trouble converting as he surged forward for his 10th rushing touchdown of the season.

Montreal would fail on the two point conversion as running back Jeshrun Antwi was stuffed on the goal line. Montreal would assume a 8-3 lead before the end of the first quarter.

It wouldn’t take long for the newly acquired Vernon Adams Jr. to make an appearance under centre against his former team, getting an opportunity to take snaps with under a minute remaining in the first quarter. The Montreal would spare Adams the pleasantries, as defensive lineman Nick Usher was the first Alouettes to bring down their former quarterback for a sack.

The Alouettes opened the second quarter with their offence on the field and worked their win into scoring position in seemingly no time at all. Harris completed three quick passes for 50 yards, before making an athletic play to find Lewis and avoid a sack.

Despite the effort from the pair of Als, they were left a yard short of a first down. Montreal once again called on Davis for the short yardage conversion and the Alouettes pivot again delivered.

The Montreal offence would be unable to find the end zone as Harris put a beautifully placed pass just a bit to far in front of White on a second down end zone shot. Montreal would still manage to extend their lead over the Lions as kicker David Cote made good on a 13-yard attempt to give his team a 11-3 lead.

The Alouettes defence continued to make their presence felt into the second quarter. After a completed pass from Adams to Keon Hatcher, the second-year playmaker was looking for extra yards. However, Montreal defensive back Micah Awe forced the ball loose with a hit and the Als were able to recover the fumble.

Harris and the Montreal offence would manage to find points from the forced turnover by their defence. The Als pivot engineered a seven-play scoring drive that was headlined by a highlight-reel touchdown catch from Lewis as he battled through a defender, for his fifth receiving touchdown of the season.

Montreal appeared as if they may find their way into the end zone late in the first half. Standing on the BC four-yard line, Harris dropped back to pass, but Lions defensive lineman David Menard powered his way into the Montreal backfield for a sack, halting the Als drive.

For the second time in the first half, Montreal’s Cote would deliver points with his leg as he converted a 21-yard attempt to give Montreal a 21-3 lead to end the first half.

Pipkin was back under centre to start the second half of action for the Lions. The BC pivot completed four passes for 45 yards to help lead the Lions into the Montreal red zone for the first time in the game. Pipkin appeared to highlight the drive a with a beautiful pass to Bryan Burnham for the team’s first touchdown of the game. Unfortunately for the Lions the pass was ruled incomplete after an official review.

Facing a third and goal on the 13th play of the drive, the Lions opted to leave their offence on the field, but Montreal’s Johnson burst through the BC offensive line for his second sack of the game, as the Alouettes took over possession on downs.

With their second possession of the new half, Montreal was looking to regain the downfield success they enjoyed in the game’s first half. Looking downfield Harris fired a pass, but BC defensive back Emmanuel Rugamba was patiently waiting in coverage and broke on the Harris pass for the interception.

Following the interception from the BC defence, Pipkin managed to lead the Lions downfield for their first touchdown of the game. The veteran pivot strung together a seven-play scoring drive that was highlighted by pure determination on behalf of Pipkin.

Standing on the goal line Pipkin called his own number as he plunge forward to give his team their first touchdown of the game, narrowing the Alouettes lead to 21-10 to open the final frame of action.

The Lions offence looked like to be stringing together the early beginnings of what appeared to be another protentional scoring drive. But after a completed pass from Pipkin to Burnham, a hard hit from Montreal defensive back Adarius Pickett jarred the ball free and Als defensive back Marc-Antoine Dequoy recovered the loose ball.

The BC defence would limit the damage from the Burnham fumble as they forced the Als to the punt the ball back with just under seven minutes remaining in the game. Down just 11 points with their offence back on the field, the Lions had an opportunity to continue to chip away at the Montreal lead.

On the first play of the BC drive, it was the Als’ newcomer Nafees Lyon who made an outstanding impression for his new team. The defensive back intercepted a Pipkin pass and returned it 52-yards for the game-clinching score, as Montreal took a late 28-10 lead over BC.

Montreal’s Cote would extend the team’s lead over the West Division opponents late in the fourth quarter as the Alouettes kicker added insurance with a 30-yard field goal make, extending Montreal’s lead 31-10 nearing the end of the game.

With a win over the Lions on the Alouettes earned two crucial points as the battle for position in the East Division standings continues to heat up.

Looking ahead to Week 15, the Alouettes will have a much deserved week off as they enter a bye week. While the Lions will head back West, but remain on the road as they travel to McMahon Stadium to take on the Calgary Stampeders in a Saturday night showdown.

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