MONTREAL – A late interception sunk the Montreal Alouettes, who lost 23-20 to the Toronto Argonauts on Friday.
It was a 38-yard field goal by Boris Bede that sealed the outcome of this game, with 21 seconds left.
This placement was made possible thanks to Adarius Pickett, who came to chase his former teammates just moments before. The linebacker even pushed Cody Fajardo as the Alouettes (6-7) were well positioned to take the lead at the end of this duel. Fajardo’s pass was very affected and lacked strength, ending up in the hands of Jamal Peters.
The latter returned the ball to the Birds’ 50 line. Two games later, Beda gave the lead to Argos (11-1), which thus secured first place in the Eastern section.
“There was nothing left in that ball. It’s unfortunate that the ball went directly into his linebacker’s hands. That’s what’s so frustrating. If the ball jumps or goes higher we are not in the same situation. But when you play against a good team, you have to play your best football every play,” said Fajardo, who had his face buried in his hands when reporters entered the locker room.
“I told him to keep his head up. He played a great second half. “To do that after the kind of first half we played, it was great,” coach Jason Maas said. Losing a game like that clearly hurts. But he has to keep his head up, like everyone else in this locker room. We have lessons to learn from this match. We wanted to win a game against them. Now we have to move on to the next one. »
Damonte Coxie allowed the visitors to make it 20-20 with just under two minutes remaining on a 41-yard pass from Chad Kelly (21 for 35, 275 yards, one touchdown). The Argos’ offensive sequence lasted 13 seconds for 66 yards. AJ Ouellette scored the Argonauts’ other touchdown on a three-yard run.
Bede also made field goals of 47 and 16 yards.
Still, the Alouettes had a chance to tie the score with five seconds remaining, but David Côté’s 45-yard field goal attempt was blocked by the Argos defense. Côté also missed from 54 meters, after hitting from 33 and 16 meters.
Caleb Evans, on a one-yard gain, and Tyson Philpot scored the Alouettes’ touchdowns.
Two part match
The Alouettes’ attack went nowhere in the first half, and yet Montreal only returned to the locker room trailing 10-3.
After Bede gave up a 10-point lead on his second field goal of the game, the Alouettes’ attack suddenly got going.
Fajardo completed all of his passes in this third period to create a 13-13 tie. This sequence continued until the beginning of the fourth quarter, when the Alouettes’ quarterback connected with Philpot on a 15-yard play for the senior, making the score 20-13.
They also gave us the Philpot on sunny days. The receiver caught nine passes for 105 yards, easily his best game this season.
“Tonight he was the star of the game,” praised Maas. We hadn’t seen that from him this season. He played exactly the same as last year. He had a confidence and effectiveness that we hadn’t seen this season. If he starts playing like this regularly, we will benefit. »
“We played to win and we couldn’t do it. We’ll find good things by watching the tape, but at the end of the day, it’s still a loss,” Philpot said.
In this heartbreaking loss, Austin Mack caught six passes for 45 yards, raising his season total to 1,016.
As for Fajardo, he completed 30 of his 39 passes for 274 yards, one touchdown and one interception, which appears on his record, but isn’t really his fault.
The Alouettes will have to quickly put this failure behind them as they return to the field on Tuesday to prepare for their clash in Alberta next Saturday against the Calgary Stampeders.