August 19, 2023

Big second half vital for Alouettes in victory over REDBLACKS

The Canadian Press

OTTAWA — The Montreal Alouettes went into half time trailing the Ottawa REDBLACKS 17-3 on Saturday night and they knew they needed to play a great second half of football if they wanted to leave TD Place with a win.

“It’s football, you get 60 minutes,” Evans told TSN’s Matthew Scianitti after the victory. “(You get) 30 in the first (half), 30 in the second (half). We just preach second half team, second half let’s go.

“We didn’t have our best start at the beginning, we just kept pushing, kept driving, kept sticking together, and you see the result.”

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The Alouettes were still trailing at the three minute warning, 24-13, but they weren’t ready to give up just yet.

Evans first found Tyler Snead for the receiver’s second major of the game to pull his team within five with 2:33 left on the clock (24-19).

That was followed up by a big defensive stop and Montreal was right back on the field with a minute and a half left on the clock. That was enough time for Evans and co. to flip the script and orchestrate what would end up being the game-winning touchdown drive.

Evans first rushed for six yards on first down and followed it up with an incompletion on second. On third-and-four, Evans found Hergy Mayala for a 51-yard gain down to the Ottawa five-yard line.

Evans admitted after the game that the deep shot to Mayala wasn’t the original call from his offensive coordinator.

“That was improvisation,” Evans said of the throw to his receiver. “I didn’t hear the play call, I just made a play up. And then I rolled out, saw him open and hit him. He had his hand up and he made a play for me.”

On third-and-two, and the game on the line, Evans ran himself into the end zone for the touchdown to put the team up 25-24. Montreal didn’t need any more points to win but they went for two anyways. It was incomplete, but it didn’t matter as that would be the final score.

Now boasting a 6-3 record, the Alouettes now face a tough stretch with games against Winnipeg (Week 12), BC (Week 13), and Toronto (Week 14) on the horizon.

Head coach Jason Maas, isn’t looking that far ahead, however, as he and his team look to take things one game at a time.

“We don’t care about the tough games,” said Maas. “We care about one coming up and that’s how we approach it. What we can’t wait for is to get on that bus, go home, rest up and get to work again. Because that’s what this team is about. It’s about working.”

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