Alouettes drop heartbreaker to Argos on Friday night

The Montreal Alouettes dropped a 23-20 decision to the Toronto Argonauts at home on Friday night. The Als were down 23-20 with under 30 seconds remaining, when they got into field goal range. David Cote’s 45-yard field goal attempt to tie the game was blocked with no time left on the clock. The Als have now lost four games in a row and they’re now 6-7 on the season.

“It’s obviously not one play that defines the game,” running back Jeshrun Antwi explained. “There are about six plays that we’d like to have back, but we just have to play smarter. We’ve been saying week in and week out the past three weeks, we just need to come out here and put it into action.”

Stout D:

You have to give this defence credit for their performance on Friday night. They found a way to keep the team in the game when they struggled to put points on the board in the first half. The Argos started two drives late in the first half on Montreal’s side of the field, and the defence was able to hold them to just one long field goal attempt.

The fact that the Als only trailed by seven points is a testament to just how good the defence was in this one.

“I loved our defence tonight,” head coach Jason Maas said after the game. “They played hard, they played aggressive, they were physical. Obviously, we put them in some bad situations against Toronto in the three games against them. In the last two (games), there were times our defence was put in very bad field position. They have done a good job limiting production for an offence that scores a lot of points.”

They limited the Argonauts offence to 369 net yards.

Worthy finds a spark

Als kick returner Chandler Worthy didn’t score a touchdown on his 30th birthday, but he definitely made a positive impact on the field. Worthy had multiple explosive returns on both kickoffs and punts, and he set his team up with some strong field position throughout the night.

He returned four kickoffs for 109 yards (his longest was 50 yards) and he also brought back six punts for an impressive 94 yards (his longest was 37 yards).

This is the third week in a row where Worthy looks particularly dangerous. It’s only a matter of time before he brings a kick back for a touchdown.

Offensive adjustments:

The offence struggled to produce in the opening 30 minutes of the game, as they managed to score just three points in the first half. The team seemed to have a hard time producing on first down. They often found themselves in second-and-very long situations, which makes it tough to go on long drives. But things turned in the second half.

The ball was coming out of quarterback Cody Fajardo’s hands quicker, and they seemed to be able to keep Toronto’s defence off balance for a good chunk of the third quarter by keeping things simple.

“We weren’t running really well, and our perimeter blocking wasn’t very good, either” receiver Austin Mack said of his team’s first-half performance on offence. “We were in a lot of second and longs and backed up in our own area.

“I think we simplified everything (in the second half). Just getting the ball to our guys. Protection was a lot better in the second half, we ran the ball a lot better, and we just converted on second down and staying on the field.”

The gut-punch offensively came late in the fourth quarter. With the score tied, 20-20, and the Alouettes in great field position to take the lead, Fajardo was hit as he threw a pass down the field on second-and-seven that ended up being intercepted by the Argos.

“I thought Cody played an extraordinary second half,” Maas said. “He made a lot of really great throws. It’s unfortunate that the last throw he makes gets (intercepted) because I think if we pick that up, it may be a touchdown to Kaion (Julien-Grant).”

Quick hitters:

  • Austin Mack became the first receiver in the CFL to reach the 1,000-yard mark tonight. After the game, he mentioned that this was his first 1,000-yard season since high school. “I’ve had an up and down journey,” he said. “I’ve dealt with a lot of injuries. I didn’t flourish during my NFL career, but Montreal gave me a chance. I can’t thank Montreal enough for giving me this opportunity to play football again. The love for football is back in my heart. To have success and to have a 1,000-yard season, for every receiver, that’s the goal. That’s the benchmark.”
  • Newcomer Darnell Sankey was second on the team in tackles, with 5. He signed with the Als as a free agent earlier this week. The 2021 West Division All-Star played for Arlington in the XFL earlier this year.
  • Rookie Lwal Uguak continues to impress this season. The seventh overall pick in the 2023 draft had an impressive defensive series early in the second half, when he stopped Argos running back A.J. Ouellet for a five-yard loss on first down before batting down a Chad Kelly pass at the line of scrimmage of second down.
  • The fans voted for Tyson Philpot as the Budweiser Player of the Game. He finished the night with a team-high nine receptions for 105 yards and a touchdown. This was the first 100-yard game of the season for him and his first touchdown of 2023.

Coming up next:

The Alouettes will travel to Calgary to take on the Stampeders next Saturday at 4:00 pm ET. The next home game will be on Thanksgiving Day Monday, as the Als will host the Ottawa Redblacks at 1:00pm ET. You can purchase your tickets for that game by visiting