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Alouettes lose to Lions at BC Place

BC Place has rarely been kind to the Montreal Alouettes and that trend continued Sunday night, as the Als dropped a 35-19 decision in Vancouver.

After a Marc-Antoine Dequoy pick-six was called back because of a penalty, the Lions went down the field and scored the game’s opening touchdown. The Als got the ball back and responded by scoring a Cody Fajardo rushing touchdown.

Unfortunately for Montreal, things unravelled in the second quarter.

SPECIAL TEAMS STRUGGLES

The Als gave up 17 points in the second quarter, and seven of those came off a blocked field goal that the Lions returned for a touchdown. That was a huge play that swung the momentum of the game in B.C.’s favour. It was an unfortunate turn of events because just a few plays earlier, rookie defensive end Lwal Uguak blocked a Lions punt.

Returner Chandler Worthy also lost a fumble on a punt return, which led to a Lions field goal.

The Lions did a nice job of winning the field position battle for most of the night, but penalties for illegal blocks and too many men on the field on special teams hurt, too. The Als were forced into the shadows of their own goalposts because of a penalty on the kick.

“Sometimes it’s demoralizing, but you have to push through it,” receiver Kaion Julien-Grant said of the field position hole the Als found themselves in. “We know it’s going to be a longer drive.”

EXECUTING IN THE RED ZONE

The Als converted on their first opportunity in the red zone, but they failed to get back into the end zone the rest of the way. The offence got back inside the Lions 20-yard line two other times, but they only managed to come away with three more points.

At times, the protection didn’t hold up (Cody Fajardo mentioned that some of the sacks were coverage sacks), sometimes it was receivers not coming up with contested catches, and sometimes there were other factors at play.

“I have to be better, but I know we all have to be better offensively,” Fajardo said. “I’m looking forward to being more efficient in the red zone. I think that’s going to be the main focus going into this rivalry game against Toronto next week.”

YOUNG RECEIVERS STEP UP

On a positive note, the three rookie receivers in the starting lineup found a way to contribute. Austin Mack, again, led the team in receiving yards, with 72 yards on eight catches. He came up with a pair of important grabs near the end of the first half to set up a 50-yard David Cote field goal.

Quartney Davis and Tyler Snead, who were both making their CFL debuts, contributed in the second half. Davis made an incredible catch over a Lions defensive back down the right sideline. Snead added four receptions for 61 yards.

“I was happy to be out there,” Davis said after the game. “Unfortunately, we didn’t come up with the win. Personally, I just feel like I have to do a lot better with my assignments and make sure I know what I’m doing out there. I want to make sure I give Montreal what they need.

“I told Cody I had his back. To me, the most important thing is to have the quarterback’s back. When I saw the ball in the air, in my mind I said: ‘I got you, Cody’. I made a play. That’s as simple as I try to keep it.”

NEXT:

The Alouettes will have a quick turnaround for their next game. They’ll be hosting the Toronto Argonauts at Percival Molson Stadium on Friday night. TICKETS.