Als' defence plays big role in victory over Lions
MONTREAL — Vernon Adams Jr.’s three total touchdowns led the Montreal Alouettes to a 21-16 home win over the BC Lions in Week 13, but it was the team’s defence that kept Montreal in the game during the third quarter before sealing the victory in the game’s final seconds.
“Our defence really stood up today,” Head coach Khari Jones said after the win. “They got some yards on us, but not a whole lot of points.”
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Montreal’s defence held BC to just one touchdown while forcing the Lions to punt the ball five times and settle for three field goals. The Als also completely shut down the Lions’ ground game in the first half, holding Brandon Rutley to just 19 yards on seven carries. John Bowman came up big by recording a pair of sacks against BC, including one that help shut down the Lions’ fourth quarter comeback attempt.
“Fortunately for us, the defence kind of stood on its head,” Jones said. “Coming out of the third quarter to still have a lead was a pretty good thing because we didn’t play well offensively in that third, and then we got it going in the fourth.”
The Als’ defensive play allowed the team to overcome being shutout in the third quarter, as they held BC to just three points while Montreal’s offence regrouped. Adams then capitalized on the opportunity by leading a 10-play, 75-yard touchdown drive in the fourth quarter.
“It was good to survive that quarter and then come out in the fourth quarter and play well,” Jones said.
Adams now leads the league with ten rushing touchdowns on the season, setting a franchise record for rushing touchdowns by a quarterback. The 26-year-old quarterback also continues to make strides as a passer, having now thrown for 974 yards and five touchdowns during the Als’ current three-game winning streak.
“I have a lot of confidence in him; he makes plays.” Jones said of his quarterback.
“He came back in the fourth quarter and made some really good plays and scrambled and kept his eyes downfield and made some key second downs along with Will Stanback, and then made a big throw at the end to almost seal the deal. It’s always going to be a work in progress, but I like what I see.”
Although Montreal continues to win, Adams knows there is still room to grow for both him and the team as a whole.
“Got to finish better, but we still working,” Adams said. “I’m going to keep getting better and those guys are going to keep doing their jobs, and we’re going to keep getting better as a team.”
While Jones said the team found a way to make plays against the Lions when it mattered most, he recognizes the team still has progress to make down the stretch.
“We still have a lot of work to do,” Jones said. ” I know that and our guys know that, but it’s good to have that and still win football games.”
The Montreal Alouettes will look for their seventh win when they face the Saskatchewan Roughriders on the road next Saturday in Week 14 action.
Who will be the biggest impact player for Montreal down the stretch?