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Alouettes turn in dominant second half in win over Ticats

Saturday’s game against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats got of to a rocky start for the Alouettes, but they managed to overcome a slim first-half deficit to win, 27-14. The victory allows the Als to clinch the season-series over the Ticats.

The Als trailed 11-3 at half-time, but they managed to outscore the Ticats 18-0 in the fourth quarter and 24-3 in the second half.

How did they get the job done? Let’s take a look.

Offence comes together in fourth quarter:

The offence got off to a slow start, but things started to come together when the Als gave the ball to running back William Stanback.

The Als tailback finished the game with 106 yards on 19 carries. This was the first time in 2023 that he crossed the century mark on the ground.

“We just stuck to the game plan,” Stanback explained after the game. “The guys up front really made it easy for me. There were some tough times when we only got two or three yards, but we stuck with it and stayed consistent and confident in our run game.”

Caleb Evans scored his first touchdown as an Alouette early in the fourth quarter to give the Als their first lead of the game. Former Montreal Carabins receiver Regis Cibasu added the insurance touchdown to put the game out of reach. That was the first touchdown of his CFL career.

The Als also got contributions from receiver Austin Mack, who caught five passes for 106 yards. The former Ohio State Buckeye was a game-time decision ahead of this game, but he managed to play and be a difference-maker.

Rookies Tyler Snead and Quartney Davis also made big plays. Snead had four receptions for 90 yards, while Davis had three receptions for 55 yards, including a 43-yarder on a flea-flicker.

Defence & special teams make big plays:

The defence deserves a lot of credit for the way this game turned out. Not only did they force the Tiger-Cats into a bunch of two-and-outs in the second half, they also created turnovers. Veteran Shawn Lemon registered a pair of sacks, a forced fumble on the opening drive and an interception in his second game with Montreal.

“It felt amazing” Lemon said. “I’m just thankful for coach (Noel Thorpe) and coach (Corvey) Irvin. They got me up to speed. They spend endless hours meeting with me early, answering questions and always being available. They just helped me understand the defence and helped me to play fast in the defence.”

Fellow defensive end Jamal Davis II also had a quarterback sack and he managed to partially block a punt.

“I really give credit to coach Byron (Archambault),” Davis said of the special teams play. “He dialed it up and he told me to go (block the punt). I feel like that was a momentum-changer and I’m happy I was able to do that for my team.

Cibasu wasn’t the only player to register an important “first” tonight. Rookie J.R. Reed managed to come up with his first career interception in the opening half. He was inserted into the starting lineup for the injured Najee Murray, and he played very well. He also had three tackles in his first start.

What’s next?

The Alouettes will have another short week, as they’ll take on the Saskatchewan Roughriders at Percival Molson Stadium on Friday night.

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