Alouettes lose to Bombers on stormy night in Montreal

The Alouettes (2-1) suffered their first loss of the season on Saturday night, as they fell to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers (3-1), 17-3.

The night was far from perfect on several fronts. Kick-off was scheduled for 7 p.m. ET, but because of lightning in the area, the game didn’t start until 8:49 p.m. On the field, things were difficult for the Als as well.

Give the Blue Bombers credit, after getting obliterated at home by the B.C. Lions last week, they came to Montreal and played a very solid road game this week.

Mistakes on offence

It’s never ideal when your team is held to three points in a game. The Alouettes simply couldn’t put it all together offensively on Saturday night. There were moments where it looked like things were starting to click, but turnovers led to them being held out of the end zone.

“We turned the ball over too much against a very good football team,” quarterback Cody Fajardo said after the game. “Obviously, the elements weren’t great, but (Winnipeg) had to play in it, too. They executed better than we did. I thought we moved the ball pretty well in the second half, we just turned the ball over too much.”

In the end, the Als turned the ball over four times (three fumbles and one interception), while the Bombers turned it over just twice.

“It was multiple things,” centre Justin Lawrence said when asked what went wrong offensively. “We just let the moments slip away from us. You’d get momentum going on a drive and then you’d just slip up. In general, we just have to be cleaner on offence. It comes down to us executing stuff.”

Player of the game

As disappointing as Saturday’s loss was, it’s important to mention receiver Kaion Julien-Grant’s performance when searching for positives.

Julien-Grant finished the night with a game-high six catches and 129 yards in the loss to the Bombers. This was the first 100-yard game of his professional career. A good chunk of his yardage came on a 69-yard catch-and-run, which put the Alouettes in prime scoring position.

The 26-year-old has looked explosive with the ball in his hands. He posted a six-catch, 94-yard performance in Hamilton last week, and he now has 14 receptions for 275 yards in the first three games of the 2023 season.

Kordell Rodgers’ first interception

The Alouettes were able to force a pair of turnovers in this game. Safety Marc-Antoine Dequoy was able to scoop up a fumble that he, Najee Murray and Nick Usher helped create in the first half.

Rookie cornerback Kordell Rodgers had the other Montreal takeaway, as he intercepted a tipped Zach Collaros pass. Rodgers made his CFL debut in this game, as he was in the starting lineup for the injured Dionte Ruffin. This was also the first interception of his career.

What’s Next?

The Alouettes will hit the road again, as they’ll play a West Division opponent for the second week in a row. The Als will travel to Vancouver to take on the B.C. Lions next Sunday night at 7 p.m. ET.