Montreal QB Caleb Evans scores late as Alouettes complete comeback over Ottawa

OTTAWA — The Montreal Alouettes completed the comeback and defeated the Ottawa REDBLACKS on Saturday night at TD Place.

Caleb Evans scored the game-winning touchdown with just 31 seconds left on the clock, propelling the Alouettes to a 25-24 victory. Evans also completed 24 of 36 passes for two touchdowns and two interceptions through the air.

Alouettes receiver Tyler Snead (who caught all seven passes thrown his way) scored two touchdowns in the victory while kicker David Cote was good on both of his field goals. Austin Mack hauled in nine passes for 116 yards.

Defensively, Shawn Lemon continued his success since joining the Als, collecting a sack and three tackles, of which were for a loss.

Tyrrell Pigrome scored two touchdowns on the ground for the REDBLACKS in the loss, as did Dustin Crum.

Photo: Patrick Doyle/

The Montreal Alouettes started the game with the ball in their hands with Evans at quarterback, but after one first down on the drive, they were forced to punt.

Ottawa began their first possession with back-to-back runs from Devonte Williams, first a 13-yard gain followed by one of five yards. On second and five, Shawn Lemon continued to make his presence felt as Crum looked to throw and the Als defensive lineman got his hands up to block the pass, forcing Leone to punt the ball away.

The first sack of the game was courtesy of linebacker Adam Auclair on second and six, and the Ottawa defence held Evans and co. to a two-and-out on the drive. Montreal responded with a sack of their own on their ensuing drive, as Mustafa Johnson took down Crum and the Als also held their opposing offence to a two-and-out as defences held strong early in the contest.

Montreal started their next drive on their own 50-yard line and were moving the chains down the field. The Als used a mix of passes and runs, getting Stanback involved in the drive with three runs of his own, to get themselves down to Ottawa’s 18-yard line. Ottawa’s defence had other plans, however, and Damon Webb picked off the Alouettes pivot, returning it 67 yards to the Montreal 35-yard line.

Ottawa capitalized on the turnover as Tyrrell Pigrome scored the game’s first touchdown, plunging forward from the one-yard line for six points. Lewis Ward was good on the convert and the REDBLACKS took a 7-0 lead just as the first quarter wrapped up.

Montreal responded with a field goal, a 10-yarder from Joseph Zema. The drive was aided by a pass interference call on Alonzo Addae, who was covering Mack on the play, moving the chains 13 yards and also included a big burst from Stanback with a 31-yard run. The score cut Ottawa’s lead to 7-3 five minutes into the second quarter.

After a REDBLACKS two-and-out, there was another turnover from the Alouettes as defensive lineman Cleyon Laing got his hands on Evans to force the pivot to fumble and Laing recovered the ball himself, bringing Crum and co. right back onto the field.

The first play of the drive was a nine-yard completion to Nate Behar, setting up second and one on the 16-yard line. Pigrome returned to the field for the short yardage package and ran around the outside and into the end zone for his second major of the evening. Along with Ward’s completed convert, the REDBLACKS added to their lead (14-3) with just over six minutes left in the half.

With 44 seconds on the clock, Ward connected on a 39-yard field goal attempt. Those three points increased the home team’s lead to 17-3 as Evans and the Alouettes offence returned to the field looking for points before the break. But instead of points, Evans threw his second pick of the evening as Sherrod Baltimore nabbed the interception before the teams headed to their respective locker rooms.

Crum’s first carry of the game was the first play of the second half with a nine-yard on first down before Pigrome came on for short yardage on second and inches. He got the first down and stayed on the field for the next play, but Tyrell Richards tackled the pivot and forced the fumble. Montreal recovered the ball and Evans hit the field for the first time in the third quarter.

On Evans’ first play of the drive was a deep shot to Mack for 47 yards, bringing the Als down to Ottawa’s eight-yard line. After a one-yard run from Stanback, Evans and co. capitalized on the turnover, finding Tyler Snead in the end zone for the seven-yard major score. Cote completed his point after and Montreal cut Ottawa’s lead to 17-10.

It looked like Ottawa committed their second turnover of the half as Pigrome came in for short yardage on third down. It was ruled that he didn’t get a fresh set of downs, but REDBLACKS head coach Bob Dyce threw the challenge flag. The command centre changed the spot of the ball, the officials re-measured, and it was a first down for Ottawa.

A few possessions later, Montreal started their drive on their own 16-yard line and Evans was sacked by Laing for a loss of six yards. On second and 16, the Als’ signal caller found Snead for a 24-yard gain just as time expired in the third quarter. Ottawa’s defence held Montreal three yards short of a first down and Zema had to punt the ball away.

Montreal RB William Stanback #31 Photo: Patrick Doyle/

Crum and the REDBLACKS offence made quick work on the ensuing drive, moving the chains down inside the red zone. From the 13-yard line the REDBLACKS pivot ran into the end zone himself, adding another six points to the Ottawa lead. Lewis was good on his PAT and the REDBLACKS increased their lead to 24-10 after the seven-play, 81-yard drive.

Montreal added three more points to their total on their next drive, as Cote connected on a 50-yard field goal. That score cut Ottawa’s lead to 24-13 with six minutes left in the game.

At the three minute warning, the Alouettes drove down the field to Ottawa’s 20-yard line, looking to find the end zone to begin their comeback. Baltimore was covering Mack and it appeared that he picked off the Als’ pivot in the end zone. After review it was ruled an incomplete pass, however, and Montreal had another chance on second and 10.

On the very next play, Snead scored his second touchdown of the game on a 20-yard catch and run. Montreal went for two but the pass for Stanback was broken up by Webb near the goal line. The score cut Ottawa’s lead to 24-19 with 2:33 on the clock.

Jason Maas threw the challenge flag, looking for pass interference on the play, but it was unsuccessful.

After Montreal’s defence held strong when Crum and co. were back on the field, Evans and Montreal’s offence had another chance to come back with 1:26 left on the clock.

Evans rushed for six yards on first down and followed it up with an incompletion on second. On third-and-four, Evans found Hergy Mayala for a 51-yard gain down to the Ottawa five-yard line.

The first attempt on first down was a one-yard rush from Stanback, bringing up second down from the four. Evans called his own number but Jovan Santos-Knox stopped him in his tracks. On third-and-two, Evans ran himself in for the touchdown. Montreal went for two but were unsuccessful and held a 25-24 lead with 14 seconds left in the game. That would be the final score as Montreal sealed the victory.

Next up for the Alouettes is a Thursday night matchup against the Blue Bombers in Winnipeg while the Ottawa REDBLACKS head to Edmonton to take on the Elks on Sunday night.

Today's CFL is more than just our great game of football. It's fans sharing their excitement for what they see on the field, and what they experience off it. Stay up to date on all the non-stop action at