OTTAWA — There weren’t many things that Vernon Adams Jr. did differently on Friday night than he had done in his three previous games this season.
But there was a little something that he admitted helped him to a big offensive performance in his team’s win in the nation’s capital and it wasn’t anything technical.
“I really had fun, I really was myself,” he told members of the media following the Alouettes 51-29 win to kick off Mark’s Labour Day Weekend.
“I was out there just pumped up and just ready to go. I saw the field clearly and receivers were making great plays for me. (William) Stanback running the rock hard, o-line doing their thing in the passing game and the running game, really helped me out a lot.”
After two losses in a row that had shaken the confidence of Montreal’s pivot, including a Week 4 outing against Hamilton where he threw for 171 yards, a touchdown and an interception, Adams Jr. had his best game of the young season so far. He threw for 288 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions in his team’s victory.
“My team, they kept me up,” said Adams Jr. about his confidence on Friday night. “They knew I was losing my confidence and they just stayed on me. They said, ‘man, VA, just be you, man. Do what you do and have fun. And we’ve got your back. You don’t have to be perfect, just go out there and move the chains and get three points. We’re going to punt sometimes, we’re going to score sometimes.’ I really appreciate my teammates, for real, for just staying with me because I was low on my confidence after these last two games and this just brings me up a little more.”
“I just want to see him play the way I knew he could play the game,” head coach Khari Jones said of his quarterback. “That’s when the game is fun and exciting and you’re enjoying it. And still, you can win games, you can lose games the same way and that’s what I saw today from the beginning to the end so that’s what I was really focused on. Just making sure that he could play the game the way that I knew he could play and he did that.”
Adams Jr. wasn’t the only one on Montreal’s offence that had a big performance. Two of his receivers, Eugene Lewis and Jake Wieneke, were impressive in the team’s win. Both scored two touchdowns, with Lewis hauling in 120 yards on five catches and Wieneke catching 118 on seven.
His running back, Stanback, also had a great game for the Alouettes, rushing for 112 yards on 15 carries.
So what changed from last week? Lewis’ explanation was simple.
“You get tired of losing,” Lewis said. “Losing is not fun. When you lose, people start thinking about all of this and that and changes happen and things like that so we wanted to just shut all of that stuff up and show people that we are a great team.”
Riding on the victory, the Alouettes now head into a Week 6 bye, where they can rest and get ready to return in Week 7 when they host the BC Lions.
“It’s huge,” Lewis said when asked about heading into the bye week 2-2. “I always say a game before the bye week, once you win one game, that’s two wins. But if you lose that game, it’s two losses.
“That’s how I look at it and going into the bye week, we’ve got some momentum and we’ve got to keep that up and keep it going and get ready for the next week.”
Get all the top stories from across the league delivered to your inbox.