Montreal Alouettes vs. Winnipeg Blue Bombers @ Percival Molson Stadium – September 20, 2015

montreal alouettes vs winnipeg blue bombers2The game on the hill was the first game in 17 days for the Montreal Alouettes coming off a bye week.  Legs were fresh and players must have been chomping at the bit to get back at it.  Over the break a couple more changes happened at the coaching level.  First, offensive coordinator Turk Schonert and named Ryan Dinwiddie and former quarterback Anthony Calvillo co-offensive coordinators.  This made sense as though the Noel Thorpe led defense has been stellar the offense for the Als has struggled.  Rakeem Cato was back with the team after an injury and some personal time due to a family issue.  So was last season’s starter, Jonathan Crompton, after an extended time on the injury list due to a shoulder injury.  Crompton was named the starter for only his second time this season.

 

Coming into the game both teams had been having similar seasons with Winnipeg sporting a 4-7 record and Montreal being 4-6.  Montreal has even had trouble at home this season with a losing record of 2-3.  Though they are in 4th place in the East Montreal still has playoff aspirations and one of them involves a cross over to the West.  This is the first year that a team from the East has a chance of crossing over to the West playoffs.  A lot was on the line in this matchup.

 

montreal alouettes vs winnipeg blue bombers4Boris Bede kicked off the ball to start the game.  Matt Nichols was the starting quarterback for the Blue Bombers.  He is their 4th starting quarterback of the season so far – the most in the CFL.  It was not a good start for him or his team as they went two and out on their first offensive series.  This was a sign of what was to come on this day for the visitors as they could not click on offense against the dominant Montreal defense.

 

Another sign of things to come was the first punt return by the Alouettes’ Stefan Logan.  On his first touch of the ball he turned in a 31 yard return to the Blue Bombers’ 46 yard line.  He was a force all day long threatening to burst out big returns every time he got his hands on the ball.  His addition to the team this season has brought a whole new dimension to the Als’ game that has not been there for many seasons.

 

Crompton also got off to a good start.  His first pass was a completion to Samuel Giguere good for 15 yards.  Crompton looked to the criminally underused Giguere more than has been typical this season.  This probably has a lot to do with the offensive scheme of Calvillo and Dinwiddie.  Similar to when he was quarterbacking the team Calvillo called a lot of quick release, short passes that are hard to defense against.  The Montreal offensive scheme seems to have been simplified and reduced.  They have fewer plays and are concentrating on doing what they have well.  These two big chunks of yardage led to the game’s first points courtesy of a Bede 33 yard field goal.  Bede doubled the Als’ lead at the 7:47 mark of the 1st quarter.  6-0 Montreal.

 

It was the first game starting for Jonathan Crompton since the first game of the season back in June and there was some rust.  Often he under or overthrew his receivers.  That is just who he is, though.  Consistency has never been his strength.  On Montreal’s next offensive series he was guilty of staring at his intended receiver for too long and was intercepted allowing Winnipeg to start on the Montreal 36 yard line.  Matt Bucknor stepped in front of Fred Stamps for the interception.  Once again the defense came up big.  After a completed pass to receiver running back Cameron Marshall, Kyries Hebert punched the ball loose to have it picked up by Winston Venable.

 

Early in the 2nd quarter Montreal scored their first touchdown.  After a 2 yard completion to Nik Lewis, Crompton connected with Giguere on a 41 yard touchdown pass.  It was Giguere’s third touchdown of the season.  Bede was good on the point after making it 13-0 Montreal and added another single point on the ensuing kick-off.  14-0 Montreal.

 

It took until the 5:03 mark of the 2nd quarter for Winnipeg to put their first points on the board.  Lirim Hajrullahu connected on a 24 yard field goal.  14-3 Montreal.

 

montreal alouettes vs winnipeg blue bombers3At 12:16 Billy Parker intercepted a Nichols pass.  Nichols never saw him as Montreal was in zone defense and Parker stepped into the line of the pass.  Montreal defensive players are all very quick getting to the ball and the players they are covering, which is a big part of their strength.  The interception led to another Montreal touchdown in that they pinned Winnipeg deep in their own end and sparkplug Logan broke the punt return for 77 yards.  He was making Winnipeg pay every time they kicked to the middle of the field.  Bede was again good on the point after.  21-3 Montreal.  Bede again crushed the ensuing kick-off through the end zone adding a point to the Montreal lead.  22-3 Montreal.  This could only be described as an offensive outburst by the challenged Montreal side.

 

The half time break did not slow down the Als as they came out and on their first offensive series notched another touchdown.  Logan was the origin of the points again.  He took the opening kick-off back 95 yards to the Winnipeg 9 yard line.  Two plays later Crompton hooked up with S.J. Green for a touchdown and a 29-3 Montreal lead.  Bede followed that up at 5:15 with another field goal making the score 32-3 Montreal.  This early 2nd half adding to their lead must have crushed any Winnipeg hope for a comeback.

 

Another interception deep of a Crompton pass deep in the Montreal end by linebacker Sam Hurl.  Despite Winnipeg starting on the Montreal 29 yard line they could only muster a field goal making it 32-6 Montreal.

 

In the 4th quarter Winnipeg was finally able to punch the ball into the Montreal endzone.  Back-up quarterback Brian Brohm ran it in from the 1 yard line and they were successful on the 2 point conversion thanks to a stupendous effort by Justin Viltong making it 32-14 Montreal.

 

The final points of the game were by Montreal at 12:33 of the 4th quarter.  Once again Bede was successful on a field goal.  His 18 yarder made the score 35-14 Montreal.  It was the first time of his young CFL career that he notched 4 field goals.

 

This was Montreal’s first victory against Winnipeg at home since the beginning of the 2011 season.  A long time coming after 5 straight defeats.  Montreal’s record was now 5-6 and their next game is against the lowly Saskatchewan Roughriders next Sunday in Regina.

 

 

 

Game Stats:

-Passing:  WPG Passing

Name  Comp   Att       Yards   TD        Int

NICHOLS, M    23        48        189      0          1

BROHM, B       1          1          15        0          0

MTL Passing

Name  Comp   Att       Yards   TD        Int

CROMPTON, J 14        27        181      2          2

-Rushing:  WPG Rushing

Name  No        Yards   Lg        TD

MARSHALL, C  11        68        16        0

WALKER, C      4          10        7          0

BROHM, B       3          10        7          1

NICHOLS, M    3          7          5          0

DENMARK, C   1          -6         0          0

MTL Rushing

Name  No        Yards   Lg        TD

SUTTON, T       12        49        17        0

GIGUERE, S      2          32        25        0

GREEN, S         1          3          3          0

MARSH, T        1          3          3          0

LOGAN, S         1          -18       0          0

-Receiving: WPG Receiving

Name             No         Yards   Lg        TD

VELTUNG, J     6          57        18        0

ADAMS, D       4          42        16        0

FEOLI-GUDINO, J         3          41        18        0

BASTIEN, K      1          19        19        0

MARSHALL, C  2          17        14        0

WALKER, C      3          16        10        0

STOUDERMIRE , T       1          7          7          0

DENMARK, C   3          4          10        0

PONTBRIAND, M         1          1          1          0

MTL Receiving

Name            No          Yards   Lg        TD

GIGUERE, S      4          66        41        1

GREEN, S         4          44        18        1

LEWIS, N          2          11        9          0

STAMPS, F       1          7          7          0

LOGAN, S         1          5          5          0

-Attendance:  23,262

-Final Score:  Montreal – 35

Winnipeg – 14

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