MONTREAL — Jerald Brown’s interception with 1:36 remaining in the fourth quarter paved the way for a Patrick Lavoie touchdown, as the Als stormed back for a narrow 33-32 win over the Calgary Stampeders on Thursday night.
Thursday night’s matchup marked the second encounter in 12 days between the two teams, with the Stampeders taking round one in a convincing 38-10 win.
After the Als played to a quick two-and-out on their opening drive, the Kevin Glenn-led offence took the field.
Glenn was getting his first start under centre since the 2011 East Division Semi-Final at Olympic Stadium thanks to an injury to starter Drew Tate’s left shoulder.
Calvillo had injury issues of his own during the week, missing one day of practice to undergo further testing on his non-throwing shoulder.
However, he was eventually cleared to play and was at his usual post in the Montreal backfield.
But Calvillo showed signs of rust in the early parts of the first quarter, failing to garner a first down on the Als’ first two possessions.
Though Calvillo would eventually begin to show signs of settling down, the rest of the Montreal offence would not.
.One play after Calvillo took off for a nine-yard gain after his pocket collapsed, he found receiver SJ Green for only his second completion of the game. However, a forward pass interference penalty on Green would negate the catch, bringing the drive further back into Montreal territory.
Two plays later, kicker Sean Whyte was forced to concede a safety, giving Calgary a 2-0 lead.
The Stamps would add to their lead on their ensuing possession, thanks to a Rene Paredes punt that sailed into the endzone.
On Montreal’s next drive, the offence would finally catch up to their quarterback.
Calvillo completed a pass over the middle to receiver Brian Bratton, who stumbled to the turf untouched by the Calgary defence. Bratton would immediately rise to his feet and take off 68 yards to the endzone for a touchdown.
On the other side of the field, the Calgary offence continued to struggle in the dwindling minutes of the first quarter. Glenn would complete just two passes for 18 yards, while tailback Jon Cornish had just two carries, failing to register any positive yardage in the process.
With the offence unable to produce, the Stampeders defence was forced to carry the load. Aside from the allowed touchdown by Bratton, the unit brought pressure towards Calvillo for the majority of the first quarter, registering a pair of sacks.
Despite the success of the defence, the offence would continue to show signs of trouble.
After Glenn completed his second pass of the game – an eight-yard strike to Romby Bryant – Alouettes defensive back Wopamo Osaisai would force Bryant to fumble, handing possession back over to Montreal.
The Als would capitalize on the turnover, with Whyte connecting on a 38-yard field goal, extending Montreal’s lead to 10-3.
On the Als’ ensuing possession, another stalled drive would force Whyte to connect on another field goal, this time from 30 yards out.
Glenn Falls Short
Playing in relief for the injured Drew Tate, Kevin Glenn was impressive in Calgary’s loss to Montreal, but came up just short. The 33-year old completed 26 passes for 267 yards, but threw a costly interception in the fourth quarter.
In the latter parts of the second quarter, the Calgary offence would finally begin to develop some traction. Glenn orchestrated a nice drive highlighted by three consecutive completions to his big-play receivers. However, the drive eventually stalled, forcing punter Rob Maver to come out for the seventh time of the half.
Calgary’s defence continued to hold the fort while the offence attempted to figure things out. The unit would again force the Als to concede a safety, as they slowly chipped away at Montreal’s lead.
With time, the Calgary offence began to show signs of life. Though they were unable to find the endzone, they did cap off the half with a 46-yard field goal by Montreal native Rene Paredes, inching closer to the Alouettes’ lead.
The Stampeders came out in the second half with Glenn completing four consecutive passes for two first downs.
Facing third down and inches on the same possession, the Stampeders appeared primed to attempt another field goal. However, the Stamps faked their attempt, with Bo Levi Mitchell moving up from the holder spot, and rushing 10 yards to the strong side to extend the drive.
Glenn would then continue his strong second half, finding Marquay McDaniel just outside the endzone.
One play later, Mitchell would cap off a 13-play, 67-yard drive with a one-yard run, giving Calgary a 15-13 lead.
The third quarter was seemingly a role-reversal situation with respect to the two offences. After the Stamps increased their lead to five thanks to an 18-yard field goal by Paredes, the Als offence played to its seventh two-and-out of the game.
On the final play of the third quarter, Glenn found McDaniel for a big 38-yard gain, bringing Calgary’s drive into Montreal territory to start the final frame.
Calgary outscored the Als 10-0 in the third quarter.
Glenn would then go on to complete passes to Bryant and Nik Lewis, the latter of which was a 15-yard strike while facing second-and-long.
Two plays later, Mitchell would score his second touchdown of the night, again punching one in from one-yard out.
But the Alouettes offence would finally wake up for the first time in the second half on their ensuing drive. Calvillo would lead a furious nine-play, 57-yard drive that was eventually capped off by a one-yard bootleg touchdown run by backup Adrian McPheson.
The Stampeders would answer right back on their next drive, with Glenn orchestrating another strong drive, capped off by a four-yard touchdown run by Cornish.
With less than two minutes remaining, Calvillo would heave a deep 36-yard pass that was caught by Als receiver Brandon London inside the Calgary 10. Three plays later, Calvillo would find Green for a seven-yard score, bringing Montreal within five of Calary’s lead.
Montreal would continue it’s late-fourth quarter heroics on Calgary’s next drive, with Brown intercepting Glenn and returning it to the Calgary one-yard line.
The Als would complete the comeback, with Calvillo finding rookie Lavoie on third down, giving the Als a 33-32 win.
Glenn would finish the night with 24 completions for 254 yards but no touchdowns. Calvillo, meanwhile, showed effects of his bruised shoulder all game long, but did finish the night with an impressive 325 passing yards for three touchdowns.