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MONTREAL — Pivot Caleb Evans knows you always have to be ready when the opportunity comes knocking.
The quarterback got his when the team decided to give him the start in place of injured teammate Cody Fajardo against the Saskatchewan Roughriders on Friday. The veteran made the most of it by scoring three total majors to lead the Alouettes to a 41-12 win at Molson Stadium.
It doesn’t matter if you are the starter or the backup, Evans knows you always have to prepare yourself to step in at any given time.
“The hard work always shows,” said Evans to TSN after the game. “Every week, you never know when your time is coming so I guess now was my time and the guys around me helped out big time.”
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Evans completed eight of 13 passes for 149 yards, a touchdown and an interception. The pivot also added 66 yards and two scores on 11 carries.
Evans wasn’t the only one who stepped up in place of an injured teammate. Running backs Walter Fletcher and Jeshrun Antwi combined for 120 yards and a score in the absence of veteran William Stanback.
Head coach Jason Maas used to be the offensive coordinator for the Saskatchewan Roughriders and coached his team to a five-touchdown performance, including a fumble-return major by defensive back Tyrice Beverette.
“I think the coaches had a great game plan,” added Evans. “O-line was blocking great, (Fletcher) was running the ball great, had the defence on their heels, we completed a couple passes when we needed to.
Overall I think everybody did their job to get us that win.”
The quarterback scored touchdowns on the first drive of both halves, first on a two-yard touchdown run followed by a 56-yard strike to receiver Austin Mack.
Evans knows it’s important when you’re starting in place of an injured teammate to show right away that the team is going to stay competitive.
“Big time to start off on the right foot and to start off with a touchdown drive. Running or throwing it was big to calm everybody’s nerves and let us know we’re still in it and ready to play.”
The Alouettes now head to the road to face the REDBLACKS in Ottawa on Saturday, Aug. 19, as they try to keep pace with the Toronto Argonauts for first place in the East Division.