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July 14, 2019

Our Well Prepared Als Get a Second Consecutive Win in Ottawa

We hadn’t felt this kind of excitement on the sidelines in a long time. This second consecutive win against another East division rival means a lot. The game was particularly important for our boys and they knew it. Well, Vernon Adams Jr clearly did as he finished the game with 327 passing yards, two touchdown passes and two rushing majors. The man had himself a day and he made ours too!

The matchup that ended in a score of 36 to 19 for the good guys started off strong with a pick from Tommie Campbell. Tommie, the walking enigma, hadn’t been seen at practice all week. Everybody was worried our star DB was suffering from an injury until he gifted us with that pick within the first minute of play. Turns out, he’s fine. Two field goals by Boris Bede later, the score was 6-0 Montreal to cap off the initial quarter and our opponents had only managed to gain 23 yards in the first 15 minutes of action.

The RedBlacks offence was, however, a little more convincing in the second quarter. As Ottawa was trailing behind 9-3, Dominique Davis successfully snuck into the end zone to score the first touchdown of the game. Khari Jones’ speech and the adjustments made must have been pretty darn good because the guys automatically pulled themselves back together after the break. While all units experienced a bit of a slump in the second quarter, they came back at full throttle from the locker room. After a successful field goal attempt from Ottawa, Vernon Adams hopped back on the field with one goal in mind: score. And that’s exactly what he did with a little help (OK, a lot) of Quan Bray who stood wide open near the sideline, ready to get his very first CFL touchdown. With a 75-yard play, the dynamic duo flipped the score back in our favour. Watch out for these two, folks, we have a feeling they’re just getting started.

We knew coming into this game that Ottawa’s defence would be giving Will Stanback a hard time. It was the smart thing to do considering the man ran for over 200 yards last week. The work of the receivers and the guys in protection was going to be crucial to open up the passing game. And, seeing how the o-line gave up only one sack while Quan and his gang caught their share of hard-fought balls, the challenge was met.

“We knew all the wideouts would be an important factor coming into this game,” Quan explained in his post-game interview. “We knew they would stack the box. Stanback had a great game last week, had a great game this week again. They stacked the box and he was still running, so teams are going to start realizing that it’s going to be hard to stop us.”

As a matter of fact, regardless of the pressure executed by the Redblacks d-line and linebackers, William Stanback managed to carry the ball 18 times for a very decent total of 100 yards.

Among the other receivers who shined tonight:

Eugene Lewis put his hands on all three balls thrown in his direction. His 39-yard gain at Ottawa’s 21-yard line was particularly impressive as it paved the way for Jake Wieneke to score the touchdown that solidified our Als lead in the third quarter. Geno’s performance was especially fun to watch considering his last two games had been slower than usual. On the 59 yards he garnered, 18 were fought for after catch. Talk about making each play count.

BJ Cunningham once again proved he’s an essential part of this offence by nailing six solid catches, one of which he made right in Antoine Pruneau’s face at Ottawa’s 36-yard line. His effort certainly didn’t go to waste since, one play by Quan Bray later, Vernon Adams danced his way into the end zone.

Execution was just as good on defence, starting in the box where Henoc Muamba and Patrick Levels were extremely dominant. Pat, who celebrated his 25th birthday on Saturday, didn’t give the slightest chance to running backs Madu and Crockett and put an end to the Redblacks offensive drives over and over again. Our lively number 3 finished the game with nothing less than 11 tackles and took a couple of minutes to tell us about the confidence that’s growing within the defensive unit.

“Now that we’re starting to come as one, we’re starting to really believe in each other and trust each other. That’s the biggest thing in the back end, the trust. Trust that everybody is going to be where they’re supposed to be.”

The secondary also looked good. Taylor Loffler’s return, Tommie Campbell’s consistency and Greg Reid’s grit didn’t go unnoticed as they allowed our men to win the turnover battle. Take note: Ottawa’s defence didn’t intercept Vernon’s throws once.

Next Saturday, July 20, our Alouettes will be facing the mighty Edmonton Eskimos. While all eyes are on Winnipeg these days, the Eskimos are quietly moving up in the rankings. With Trevor Harris under centre, the Alberta green and gold absolutely can’t be taken lightly. The good news is that our men gave them a rough time in Edmonton in the first game of the season. Surfing on two great team wins, they should be more motivated than ever to seek their revenge as you’ll be making noise in the stands of McGill Stadium!

Be there!