OTTAWA — Vernon Adams Jr. started the game for Montreal and was 13 for 16 for 126 yards and two touchdowns as the Alouettes earned a 42-32 win over the Ottawa Redblacks on Friday night to carry some momentum into next weekend’s CFL playoffs.
Matthew Shiltz took over for Adams in the second quarter and finished the game 9 for 12 for 101 yards and one touchdown for Montreal (10-8), which will host the Edmonton Eskimos in the East semifinal Nov. 10.
The Redblacks (3-15) played one of their best games of the season, but finished the season having lost 11 straight and Ottawa has the worst home record (1-8) since Winnipeg and Edmonton in 2013.
The best news of the night for the Redblacks came early in the first quarter when they announced two-year contract extensions for wide receiver Brad Sinopoli, defensive back Jean-Philippe Bolduc, offensive lineman Alex Mateas, defensive lineman Nigel Romick and running back Brendan Gillanders. In an unusual move, the news was posted on the big screen inside the stadium.
Ottawa used all three of its quarterbacks. Dominique Davis played the first half and was 16 for 18 for 155 yards, before getting injured. Will Arndt played most of the second half and finished 17 for 25 for 161 yards and one interception, but it was Jonathan Jennings who had three rushing TD’s.
Leading 17-11 Montreal wasted no time extending its lead as Shiltz connected with Dante Absher for a 13-yard TD pass on the opening drive of the second half and then added a single on the kickoff.
R.J. Harris appeared to score a touchdown shortly after, but upon review it was ruled he was down at the one-yard line. The Redblacks still scored on the next play to make it 25-18.
Boris Bede added a 37-yard field goal late in the third quarter.
The Redblacks made it a game after Jennings rushed for his second TD early in the fourth quarter to make it 28-24, but Jarveon Williams ran in a 35-yard touchdown to extend the Alouettes lead.
Trailing 35-24 Jennings picked up his third TD with just over one minute in regulation. A two-point convert by John Crockett made it 35-32, but a late interception by Najee Murray for a defensive TD sealed the win for Montreal.
Montreal dominated the first half as they scored two touchdowns and three singles to take a 17-11 lead.
Adams connected with Eugene Lewis on the opening drive for a five-yard TD pass and then found Jake Wieneke early in the second quarter to give Montreal the lead.
The Redblacks continued to struggle and settled for three field goals, with the most impressive being a 47-yard kick by Lewis Ward late in the second quarter. He was also successful from 27 and 18 yards.
Lisa Wallace, The Canadian Press