Montreal Alouettes take down the Argonauts on the road

The Toronto Argonauts and Montreal Alouettes both went into their Week 4 encounter with perfect records. That was going to change on Friday night at BMO Field.

In a rematch of the 2023 Eastern Final, it was the Alouettes who extended their winning start to the season. A 30-20 victory made it 11 straight games undefeated for Cody Fajardo‘s Als dating back to last season.

Fajardo was 33-41 for 284 yards, throwing one touchdown pass, and one interception. Cole Spieker led the way for Montreal’s receiving group, securing all eight of his targets, including a 44-yard touchdown pass from Caleb EvansTyson Philpot had five catches for 90 yards and a touchdown of his own, scoring off of a 38-yard passing play from Fajardo in the first quarter to bring his team into a lead they would not let go of.

Toronto quarterback Cameron Dukes went 22-32 with the ball in his hands, finding 199 yards through the air and getting picked off once. He picked up 24 yards on five rushing attempts while running back Ka’Deem Carey produced 61 yards on the ground off of nine carries.

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Montreal had the game’s first turnover early after failing to convert a rushing attempt on a third-and-one on their 41-yard line. A procedure penalty pushed the Argos out of the red zone but a 26-yard field goal made by

Montreal had the game’s first turnover early after failing to convert a rushing attempt on a third-and-one on their 41-yard line. A procedure penalty pushed the Argos out of the red zone but a 26-yard field goal made by Lirim Hajrullahu gave his team the game’s first score.

Fajardo and the Alouettes offence came up with an immediate answer on the game’s next drive. A 13-yard pass to Tyson Philpot got the visitors into Argos territory. Fajardo looked Philpot’s way again for a 38-yard touchdown pass as his receiver weaved into the end zone. David Cote’s point after meant that the Als had their first lead at 7-3.

Another procedure penalty in the red zone stopped the Argos offence once more.  A 16-yard reception by Richie Sindani highlighted the 12-play drive, but the second call against Ryan Hunter meant that the home team would have to settle for another field goal. Hajrullahu made no mistake with his second attempt of the evening, hitting from 21 yards out.

An eight-play, 42-yard drive led by Fajardo got the Als the game’s next score. A 12-yard catch in the middle of the field by Cole Spieker highlighted the drive, and Cote ended it with a 38-yard kick to extend his team’s lead.

After a sack by Geoffrey Cantin-Arku stopped the Argos offence in their tracks, the Als got the ball back after the first half three-minute warning. J. Letcher’s 42-yard punt return meant the away team would begin their drive at midfield. From there, four first-down throws from Fajardo advanced the Als deep into enemy territory. Scrambling in the pocket from nine yards out, Fajardo got the ball to Dallaire who was stopped two yards short of the end zone. Cote’s 10-yard chip shot meant it was 13-6 in favour of Montreal at the half.

Coming out of halftime with possession, the Alouettes were helped out by a couple of penalties called against the Argos to push them up the field. After exiting the ballgame for a few snaps to get looked at by his team’s medical staff, Fajardo returned to the field and found Julien-Grant for a 17-yard passing play.  Looking his way in the end zone, the Montreal receiver was close to getting a touchdown but couldn’t bring down a catch after a hard hit by J. Edouard. A follow-up attempt to White Jr. was no good, resulting in Cote’s third field goal of the game, stretching it to a 16-6 scoreline.

D. Daniels’ 19-yard gain down the middle got the Argos into field goal territory on the ensuing drive. Still searching for their first touchdown of the night, Dukes was unable to connect with Bailey on second down at Montreal’s 33. Another successful field goal by Hajrullahu made it 16-9.

Catches by Spieker started and ended the next scoring drive by Montreal as the two teams traded scores in the third quarter. Facing second down and long after picking up a holding penalty, an open field kick by Jeshrun Antwi kept the Montreal drive alive, giving the offence a key first down. When it looked like the Als were going for a quarterback sneak on third-and-one with Caleb Evans back in the game, a toss over the top from Montreal’s pivot landed in the hands of Spieker who had an easy route to the end zone on the 44-yard scoring play. Cote’s successful conversion made it 23-9 for the Alouettes.

On the next drive, strong carries by Ka’Deem Carey and Deonta McMahon got the Argos offence into motion. Dukes’ 14-yard find to Coxie brought the Boatmen into a threatening position but the Argos couldn’t unlock another first down, instead opting to put more points on the board for a field goal with 2:29 remaining in the third quarter. Hajrullahu’s field goal attempt from 23 yards was good, to cut the lead to 11.

Looking to extend his team’s lead with the first play of the first quarter, Fajardo was picked off by Edouard on a pass attempted to Philpot in the end zone. The Argos couldn’t make the most of Montreal’s second turnover, going two-and-out and punting away with 13:17 left in the fourth.

After starting with the ball deep in their own half following a missed field goal by Cote, Duke was intercepted for the first time this season, having his pass stolen away by D. Ruffin. Starting with the ball at Toronto’s 24, Evans finished off the short four-play drive with a run into the end zone from a yard out to make it a three-possession game. Cote’s successful conversion made it 30-12 with 5:25 remaining. A late touchdown by Makai Polk and a two-point conversion would not be enough for the Double Blue as the Alouettes would hold on to see out a 30-20 win over their East Division rival.

The Toronto Argonauts will aim to get back in the win column in Week 5 when they take a trip to Mosaic Stadium on Thursday, July 4 to go up against the Saskatchewan Roughriders. The Montreal Alouettes’ winning streak will be on the line once again next week when they host the Calgary Stampeders on Saturday, July 6.

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