July 20th, 2024

Montreal Alouettes remain undefeated with 30-20 road victory over Toronto Argonauts

By Dan Ralph, The Canadian Press on June 28, 2024.

Toronto Argonauts quarterback Cameron Dukes (11) gets tackled by Montreal Alouettes linebacker Darnell Sankey (1) as teammate Geoffrey Cantin-Arku (19) moves in during first half CFL football action in Toronto, Friday, June 28, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

TORONTO – Backup quarterback Caleb Evans threw a TD pass and ran for another as the Montreal Alouettes remained unbeaten with a 30-20 road win over the Toronto Argonauts on Friday night.

Montreal (4-0) earned a team-record ninth straight regular-season victory and also extended its overall CFL win streak to 12 games that includes last year’s playoff and Grey Cup wins. Three of the Alouettes victories this season have come on the road.

Evans cemented the win with a one-yard TD run at 9:15 of the fourth that put Montreal ahead 30-12. Starter Cody Fajardo finished 33-of-41 passing for 284 yards with a touchdown and interception.

Toronto (2-1) had its home unbeaten streak snapped at 11 games. The Argos are the last team to beat Montreal with a 23-20 victory Sept. 15, a span of 287 days.

But on Friday night, all they could muster offensively was Makai Polk’s 40-yard touchdown catch – and Daniel Adeboboye’s two-point convert – with a minute to play at BMO Field. And Toronto did itself no favours with 10 penalties for 105 yards.

Toronto starter Cameron Dukes was 22-of-32 passing for 199 yards and threw his first interception of the season. Backup Bryan Scott completed all five passes he attempted for 79 yards and the TD.

Tyson Philpot and Cole Spieker scored Montreal’s other touchdowns. David Cote added three converts and three field goals.

Toronto’s Lirim Hajrullahu kicked four field goals.

Hajrullahu cut Toronto’s deficit to 23-12 with a 23-yard field goal at 12:31 of the third. It came after Evans, on third-and-short, hit Spieker on a 44-yard TD strike at 9:20 to put the Alouettes ahead 23-9.

Hajrullahu pulled Toronto to within 16-9 with a 40-yard field goal at 5:35.

Cote connected from 21 yards out at 3:35 to extend Montreal’s lead to 16-6. The 56-yard, eight-play drive was aided by face mask and roughing-the-passer penalties against Toronto.

Cote’s 10-yard field goal at 14:55 of the second gave Montreal its 13-6 halftime lead. The 52-yard, eight-play drive was set up by James Letcher Jr.’s 43-yard punt return to Toronto’s 54-yard line with 2:11 remaining.

Fajardo completed 17-of-19 passes for 154 yards and provided Montreal with most of its offence as the ground game managed just 10 yards on six attempts. Dukes was seven-of-12 attempts for just 51 yards but Toronto ran for 109 yards on 12 tries.

Cote put Montreal ahead 10-6 with a 38-yard boot at 9:49.

Hajrullahu’s 21-yard field goal to end the first cut Montreal’s lead to 7-6. But Toronto settled for three after guard Ryan Hunter’s illegal procedure penalty with the Argos going for it on third-and-four inside the Alouettes’ 10-yard line.

Fajardo put Montreal ahead 7-3 with a 38-yard TD strike to Philpot at 9:23.

Hajrullahu’s 26-yard field goal opened the scoring at 6:21. It was set up by Toronto’s defence stopping Evans on third-and-one at the Alouettes’ 41-yard line.

At halftime, former quarterback Ricky Ray was inducted as an all-time Argo. Former coach/executive Lew Hayman, Canadian linebacker/broadcaster Peter Martin and head coach/GM Bob O’Billovich were honoured as all-time Argo builders.

UP NEXT

The Argo travel to Regina on Thursday to play the Saskatchewan Roughriders (3-0).

The Alouettes host the Calgary Stampeders on July 6.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 28, 2024.

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