June 10, 2023

Fajardo-Mack connection paying early dividend for Als

David Kirouac/CFL.ca

MONTREAL — The Montreal Alouettes might have found a new prolific connection.

Rookie wide receiver Austin Mack had 120 receiving yards on six catches from quarterback Cody Fajardo as both players took the field as Alouettes for the first time in regular season action in the 19-12 win over the Ottawa REDBLACKS.

Fajardo’s first pass as an Alouette was a 61-yard bomb deep down the field to Mack that kickstarted the team’s only touchdown drive of the game.

“Every time I threw his way it seemed like he caught it,” Fajardo told TSN’s Kenzie Lalonde. “I told you guys leading up to this week that we had some young receivers that were going to make some plays.

“He was one of them. I’ve seen it in training camp and I couldn’t wait for him to put it on tape. People around the league will start taking notice.”

» Box Score: REDBLACKS, Als by the numbers
» Gallery: REDBLACKS at Als images
» Alouettes outlast REDBLACKS in defensive battle

WR Austin Mack caught a 61-yard pass on Cody Fajardo‘s first pass as an Alouette (David Kirouac/CFL.ca)

Despite the early success by the duo, Montreal’s offence moved the ball but didn’t find the end zone throughout the rest of the game, as the REDBLACKS defence got into the Als’ backfield often with six total sacks.

Fajardo knows that at the end of the day though, it’s all about coming out with the victory.

“We’re in Week 1,” said the veteran quarterback. “It’s what you expect in a Week 1 game. We had some amazing, made some mistakes, but we found a way to win a football game versus a good team and I’m proud of those guys.”

Montreal got a huge boost from a five-turnover defensive performance that helped them seal their first win of the season.

Even if it wasn’t all perfect for the offence, the new connection between rookie and veteran gives the Alouettes something to build on going forward. The team will have two weeks to continue developing that connection as the next time they take the field will be on June 23 when they travel to Hamilton to face the Tiger-Cats in Week 3.

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