MONTREAL — Thursday night’s contest against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats was the game that running back William Stanback had been dreaming of.
A hat trick of touchdowns, over 200 yards rushing and a win all in front of his home crowd at Percival Molson Stadium.
“It felt great,” he told reporters after the contest. “It was something I was aiming for since training camp. I wanted to come out here and give it my all. I know we lost last week but we wanted to fight until the end.”
The Alouettes defeated the Ticats 36-29 and Stanback was without a doubt the standout performer in the game. To go along with his three rushing touchdowns, he also became the first Alouettes running back to rush for over 200 yards since Mike Pringle achieved the feat in 1998. The 24-year-old also added 46 yards through the air, bringing his total on the night to 249 all-purpose yards.
“My confidence began to build,” he said, explaining how he felt as the night went on. “I had the guys rallying behind me, pushing me, continuing to give me the confidence so I could run harder and harder every play.”
Perhaps forgotten by many because of the magnitude of offence he put up, Stanback fumbled the football in the second quarter. The fumble was recovered by Ticats defensive lineman Ja’Gared Davis and that led to a Lirim Hajrullahu field goal that put Hamilton ahead of Montreal 12-10, the Ticats first lead of the contest.
“I know I fumbled and everything and that’s something that I have to work on in practice but the guys made me forget about it,” Stanback said. “Telling me to flush it and keep moving forward because we’ve got a game to win tonight.”
Not only did Montreal need to win to stay competitive in the East, they also wanted to win for their teammate, offensive lineman Luc Brodeur-Jourdain, who was retiring following the game.
“It was important,” Stanback said when asked about the victory. “We know Hamilton is the top seed right now in the East. We wanted to come out here and we wanted to get the first win especially being at home, coming out with the new jerseys and everything. We wanted to try to make it special for Luc.”
The Alouettes now sit 1-2 on the season and have a matchup against the REDBLACKS next weekend in Ottawa.
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