Montreal Alouettes head coach Jacques Chapdelaine doesn’t want to give up top spot in the CFL East.
Darian Durant threw touchdown passes to Ernest Jackson and George Johnson as the Alouettes downed the visiting Toronto Argonauts 21-9 on Friday to snap their two-game losing skid and take first place in the division. Montreal improved to 3-4 while Toronto fell to 3-5. Both teams play each other next week in Toronto.
“We want to keep moving forward and we want to hold on to first place now,” said Chapdelaine. “It’s up to us now to keep our intensity and keep executing. Today we made plays when we needed them the most. That’s the sign of a winning team.
“This was a hugely important game for us and we’re going to keep pressing forward.”
‘We just didn’t get it done’
Boris Bede kicked three field goals for the Alouettes, while Argos kicker Lirim Hajrullahu kicked three field goals for the visitors’ only points.
“We just didn’t get it done,” said Toronto receiver S.J. Green, who was traded from Montreal to Toronto in the off-season. “It’s a tough loss against a decent opponent and we could have been two games up on first place. It’s a tough one to swallow.
“The good thing is we get this team again next week to redeem ourselves.”
Former coach Marc Trestman’s return to Montreal was spoiled as the Argonauts extended their losing streak to three games.
With starting quarterback Ricky Ray injured, Trestman gave the ball to 25-year-old Jeff Matthews. But Matthews threw for just 67 yards in the first half. Cody Fajardo, who replaced him at halftime, went 10 for 16 and 75 yards.
“We had opportunities with Jeff but we certainly didn’t give him enough time,” said Trestman. “I wanted to take a look at both quarterbacks. We didn’t go into the game that way but I wanted to see Cody play as well.”
Durant passes Etcheverry
Durant, who went 18-for-27 passing for 237 yards, got the Alouettes on the board in the first quarter with a 41-yard touchdown toss to Jackson, his third TD catch of the season.
Bede added a point to Montreal’s lead at the start of the second quarter after he missed a 31-yard field goal.
Durant made it 15-0 for the home side when he connected with Johnson from 16 yards out at 7:27 of the second quarter.
Before the end of the half, Durant became the 14th best all-time passer in CFL history when he reached 30,407 throwing yards, passing Sam Etcheverry.
Hajrullahu and Bede traded two field goals apiece to give Montreal the 21-6…