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We end our 2019 season review with the playoff game against Edmonton!
Sunday November 10 2019,
Final score : 37-29
THE big day has finally arrived: it’s our Alouettes first playoff game since 2014. More than 21,000 fans have shown up for the main event despite some pretty hostile weather. A few weeks prior, specialists favoured the Alouettes over the Eskimos, but with Trevor Harris being back under centre and CJ Gable coming out of the injured list, the predictions has become blurry.
If one thing is certain, it’s that the people of Montreal and the rest of the province believe in their Alouettes. The atmosphere inside the stadium is electric, fans are buzzing with excitement, giving our guys the energy they’ll need for the tough battle to come.
With Harris back in the game, the defence was prepared to face an interesting challenge. The quarterback was known for his incredible run game, which meant that our men had to react flawlessly if we wanted to get the big win. Unfortunately, in the first half, the defence is struggling to keep Harris at bay. Before halftime, he’s completed no fewer than 23 passes.
The offence, on the other hand, is performing relatively well. When they have the ball, magic happens, but they can’t seem to keep it for long. After the Eskimo’s first touchdown, Dante Absher gets the drive moving. Adams Jr. connects Stanback who caps off the drive with a four-yard touchdown run, the first of his post-season career. The Eskimos retaliate almost immediately and this time, we have to thank our special team and incredible return by Mario Alford for helping us stay in the game. Despite our efforts, the Eskimos land their third touchdown. We answer back with another major by Stanback and the crowd goes crazy. At the break, we’re trailing behind by 6 points only, it’s 25-19 Edmonton.
In the second half, our defence has stepped up its game. Harris is still flying, but we’re giving up less and less yards, forcing the Eskimos to rely on field goals to score 9 more points to take a 12-point lead. 34-22 Eskimos. On their following possession, a deflection off the hands of John Bowman lands in the hands of defensive tackle Woody Barron… and it’s a first down for Montreal! Adams Jr. takes advantage of that momentum with a 10-yard touchdown scramble. Before we know it, it 34-29 Edmonton, with eight minutes left.
Fans all around the stadium are stunned. Knowing how their Alouettes almost always pulls through in the final seconds, they’re expecting that magic to operate again. Our offence has one last ditch opportunity but an interception on a pass by Vernon Adams Jr. with 51 seconds left on the game clock seals our fate. It’s the end of the road for us while Edmonton moves on the Eastern final.
Our guys are hurt. After the incredible season they had, this loss feels like a slap in the face. Proof of his men despite the unfortunate outcome, Khari will conclude with some wise words. “This team never quits, which is why I’m so proud of them,” he said with tears in his eyes. “Many teams would have given up, but not this.”
A big thank you to you, our 13th man, for all the emotions, the ups, the downs, the tears, the screams. We’ll see you again on the field.