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We continue our 2019 season review with the game against the Tiger-Cats.
Saturday October 26 2019,
Final score : 27-24
It’s the last regular-season game in the nest for our Alouettes on Saturday October 26. It’s their dress rehearsal for the Eastern semi-final, set to take place two weeks later at McGill Stadium, against the Edmonton Eskimos. This showdown against the East Division leading Hamilton Tiger-Cats could very well be a precursor to the East Division final, and we can feel the tension on the field and on the sidelines.
On our end, Khari Jones made the tough decision to let some of our key weapons, such as Henoc Muamba, William Stanback, Tommie Campbell and Mario Alford, rest up to make sure they’d be healthy and in top condition for the big game. Hamilton, however, did not adopt the same strategy, and has most of its big guns on the field, ready to pounce.
Our opening drive begins with some trickery involving Adams Jr., Wieneke and Bray that goes on for 27 yards. We’re off to a good start but things abruptly come to an end with an interception on a screen pass intended for Jeremiah Johnson. True to form, Vernon Adams Jr. bounces back on the next offensive push and sets up a 2-play, 80-yard drive, which is capped off with 9-yard touchdown reception by Quan Bray. Bede’s convert kick is a success and we gain an early 7-0 lead. Hamilton retaliates right away with a touchdown by Brandon Banks.
As they’ve shown it all season, it’ll take more than a simple touchdown to undermine our men’s confidence. They open the second quarter with a six-play 75-yard during which Vernon Adams Jr. hits his partner in crime Eugene Lewis for a pair of first downs, and that finally ends with an 11-yard major by Wieneke. Our birds celebrate their eight-point lead and Geno’s career milestone as he’s just passed 1,000 receiving yards this season.
Our defence is also pulling out all the stops despite the absence of a few key players. Boseko Lokombo picks a pass from Dane Evans and knocks down Brandon Banks. The Ticats get back up to land a touchdown just a few minutes later and tie 14-14. That’s when Khari Jones decides to give our star QB a rest and continue the battle with Matt Shiltz at the helm. Our number 18 does not disappoint as he connects with Chris Matthews for a 15-yard touchdown pass just a few minutes before the end of the first half. 21-14 Alouettes.
The second half is tougher for our Alouettes. The absence of our big guns is starting to show and Hamilton takes advantage of our slump. During our shirt-lived opening drive, Shiltz get his pass intercepted and our opponents knot the game up with their first possession of the quarter. Steinauer’s men keep the ball rolling with a second major minutes after, taking a 28-21 lead. Our offence relentlessly attempts to answer back but the Ontarian defence manages to hold us. The clocks hits triple zeroes and the Ticats claim a 38-26 victory.
Khari’s men can leave the field with their head held high, knowing they gave one heck of a fight to one of the league’s best teams, despite missing many of their key soldiers.
Next and final stop of the regular season: Ottawa for an ultimate rehearsal before THE matchup we’ve all been waiting for.