Alouettes’ defence shines as Montreal opens season with win over Redblacks | CBC Sports

Cody Fajardo threw for 261 yards and ran for a touchdown in his first game as the Alouettes quarterback, and Montreal hung on to beat the visiting Ottawa Redblacks 19-12 in the CFL regular-season opener for both squads.

Fajardo wasted no time getting going, finding receiver Austin Mack with a 61-yard heave on his first pass of the game before running in a one-yard touchdown in front of an announced crowd of 20,865 at Percival Molson Stadium.

Montreal is short a few starting receivers to begin the season after Greg Ellingson and Tyson Philpot joined Reggie White Jr. on the six-game injured list Friday. Mackled the Alouettes’ group on Saturday with 120 yards on four receptions.

Fajardo, who completed 14 of 21 pass attempts, was sacked six times.

Both kickers were perfect in the game. Lewis Ward scored all of Ottawa’s points, going four-for-four on field goals. Montreal’s David Côté also went four-for-four.

Nick Arbuckle started under centre for the Redblacks with No. 1 quarterback Jeremiah Masoli ruled out at least the first two games of the season as he continues to recover from a broken leg suffered last season.

Arbuckle struggled, throwing three interceptions and 176 yards on 19 of 35 completions. Ottawa halfback Devonte Williams ran for 36 yards.

Montreal starting running back William Stanback, who missed most of last season after breaking his ankle, ran for42 yards on 16 attempts.Defensive back and free-agent signing Ciante Evans had two interceptions in the game.

The Redblacks had won 10 of their last 11 games played in Montreal entering Saturday’s game.

Montreal opened the scoring 2:32 into the game when Fajardo completed his QB sneak into the end zone.

The good start got even better for the Alouettes when Evans picked off Arbuckle’s first pass attempt. Alouettes receiver Chandler Worthy ran in a touchdown off a punt return on their next possession, but the play was called back due to an offside penalty against Montreal.

After the Redblacks struggled to get anything going offensively in the first quarter, Ward put them on the board early in the second frame with a field goal from 41 yards out. Ottawa prevented Montreal from building on its lead in part thanks to four sacks on Fajardo in the first half.

The Redblacks settled for a field goal after two incomplete passes in the end zone to end the first half. The score was 10-6 in favour of Montreal at the break before Canadian rock band Our Lady Piece performed during halftime.

Arbuckle found receiver Quan Bray with a 41-yard pass early in the second half to set up Ward’s third field goal and cut the lead to one.

Kaion Julien-Grant gave Montreal a big gain of 51 yards, leading to a 46-yard field goal from Cote that increased Montreal’s lead to 13-9 at 3:45 of the third quarter.

Ottawa and Montreal traded field goals early in the fourth quarter to keep it a four-point game.

Arbuckle threw his third interception of the game as Montreal’s Najee Murray picked off a deep throw with five-and-a-half minutes left.

After Cote hit his fourth field goal with 1:03 left to put the Alouettes up 19-12, Montreal stopped Ottawa from getting a first down to ice the game.

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