WINNIPEG – Jamel Richardson’s two touchdown receptions along with Sean Whyte’s four field goals lifted the Montreal Alouettes to a 36-26 win over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers at Canad Inns Stadium Friday night.
Richardson came into the game saying that he was not concerned with statistics and more focused on wins after being relatively limited by opposing defences that keyed in on him in the previous five weeks. He accomplished both by catching for 91 yards and two touchdowns on just 4 receptions.
Meanwhile Anthony Calvillo finished 17 of 29 passing for 368 yards and two touchdown tosses with no interceptions. It was also his fifth straight 300-yard game of the season.
The Bombers entered the contest trying to build off of last week’s thrilling home win over the Edmonton Eskimos while the Als were trying to head into the bye week with a road win under their belt.
Calvillo and the Alouettes got their offence rolling early on, engineering a 6-play, 81-yard touchdown drive capped off by Jamel Richardson’s first major of the year on an 11-yard grab. The Als added a punt single on the first possession of the game and were up 8-0 early.
Both defences settled in near the end of the quarter and no better example was when a Bombers sack forced the Alouettes into a 2nd and 24 situation. But the veteran Calvillo calmly found rookie Patrick Lavoie over the middle for a first down, leading to a 17-yard Sean Whyte field goal, putting his club up 11-0.
The Bombers offence would begin to gain some positive yardage towards the beginning of the second quarter as Alex Brink leaned on Chad Simpson for two big runs, the longest of which was 33 yards, leading to a 33-yard Justin Palardy field goal.
Brink would finish with 311 yards and two touchdowns on 35 of 39 passing. Meanwhile Simpson would finish with 65 yards on the ground off 7 carries.
Whyte would add another punt single and then kick through a 32-yard field goal with 1:48 left in the half to put the Alouettes up 15-3 at halftime.
Whitaker does it again
After a dominant performance versus the Blue Bombers in Week 2, Alouettes RB Brandon Whitaker accumulated 179 total yards on 24 touches, 115 on the ground. »More Stats
One Winnipeg’s primary objectives heading into Friday night was trying to shut down RB Brandon Whitaker both in the backfield and in the flat after the Als’ ball-carrier recorded 235 yards and three touchdowns in their Week 2 meeting last month. Whitaker picked up right where he left off, generating 122 all-purpose yards, 86 on the ground, by halftime.
The defences once again dug in to start the second half with the Als virtually shutting down Brink and the Bombers offence and forcing them into two and out situations on every possession until their last of the third frame.
The Bombers defence on the other hand played bend but not break defence shutting down the Alouettes in the redzone and forcing Sean Whyte to make good on two third quarter field goals.
The first, a 19-yarder, was set up by a 33-yard catch-and-run by receiver SJ Green while forcing a Clarence Denmark fumble on a punt return set up a 27-yarder on the following possession.
By forcing field goals, the Bombers defence kept themselves in the game and Brink would build off a few more big plays by Simpson and complete a five-play drive resulting in a 10-yard touchdown pass to sophomore WR Cory Watson to cut the Alouettes lead to 21-10.
That would be as close as the Bombers would come however as Calvillo put the game out of reach with just over seven minutes left when he dropped back and fired a pass 59 yards to a wide open Richardson who trotted into the endzone for his second major of the game.
Brink would add a late touchdown, taking a one-yard plunge on his own, late in the game and would add a two point conversion to make it close but the Als scored a late major set up by a 70-yard Eric Deslauriers reception and hung onto a 36-26 victory. The final Winnipeg score came on the last play of the game when they recorded a touchdown followed by a two-poing conversion.