Alouettes score 41 points in lopsided win over Riders

There was a lot to like during Friday night’s 41-12 victory over the Saskatchewan Roughriders. All three phases of the game came together to lead the Als to their third consecutive victory. Their record currently sits at 5-3 heading into next week’s game in Ottawa.

The “backups” make an impression:

The Alouettes went into this game without a pair of starters, as quarterback Cody Fajardo and running back William Stanback both missed the game due to injury.

The Als turned to third-year quarterback Caleb Evans and Walter Fletcher to lead the way offensively, and both players delivered. Evans finished the game by completing 8 of 13 passes for 144 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He also added an impressive 66 yards on 11 carries and two touchdowns on the ground.

Fletcher added 73 rushing yards on 15 carries, and he caught a screen pass for 68 yards. Canadian tailback Jeshrun Antwi, who scored his first career touchdown in this game, added 47 yards and a touchdown on seven rushing attempts.

“I think it set the tone pretty well,” Evans said of the Alouettes’ running game. “It all starts with the offensive line. They were moving guys out of the way and opening holes. When you have Fletcher running the way he’s running and I’m sprinkling in some runs, it’s hard to predict who is going to have the ball. Antwi ran the ball well, too. When you have a lot of guys running, it makes everything lighter and the play-calling easier.”

The Alouettes offence got the game started on the right foot, as they managed to score on their opening drive to take a 7-0 lead. The team never relinquished the lead after that point.

“It helps a lot,” Fletcher said of the team scoring a touchdown on the opening drive. “It’s a three-phase game. When the offence does well and scores points, the defence is more excited and they have momentum on that side of the ball. We just wanted to do our part.”

The Als also went three-for-three in the red zone on Friday night.

Receiver Austin Mack scored his third touchdown of the season on a beautiful pass from Evans in the third quarter to increase The Als’ lead to 24-3 at the time.

“I think we all know how good he is,” Evans said when asked about Mack. “It was just great protection by the offensive line. I had time go through my reads, see their safety go to the field, and if I trust any guy, I’m going to trust Mack. I just wanted to give him a chance. I threw it to him, and I just let him do what he does.”

The defence scores again

For the third time this season, the Alouettes defence found a way to score a touchdown. Linebacker Tyrice Beverette scooped up a fumble created by a Wesley Sutton hit, and he returned it to the house to make it 38-6 for the Als.

The entire unit did their part tonight, as they held the Riders to a field goal for most of the evening. Saskatchewan eventually added a late field goal and touchdown, but the damage had already been done by that point.

“Credit to the offence,” Sutton explained. “They came out and scored on the first drive. The pressure has been important. The pressure has been getting to the opposing quarterback and it helps us out so much. The quarterback isn’t comfortable, and we love that. He’s throwing picks and the ball is on the floor. (Defensive coordinator) Noel Thorpe has been calling amazing plays these past two games. I’m just grateful to be part of it.”

Cornerback Kabion Ento recorded his second interception in his last three games.

The Als defence held the Riders to just 221 yards of net offence.

Impressive special teams coverage

The Alouettes special teams units didn’t have to go out and win the game for the Als, but they had an important role in the outcome. They managed to hold the reigning Most Outstanding Special Teams Player in the CFL, Mario Alford, in the return game.

Alford didn’t have much room to maneuver, and it led to the Als winning the field position battle all night.

What’s Next?

The Alouettes will travel to Ottawa to take on the Redblacks at TD Place next Saturday night. This will be the second matchup of the season between these two teams. The Als defeated the Redblacks at Percival Molson Stadium, 19-12, in Week 1.