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Alouettes, Lions seek turnaround after rough losses

Jul 1, 2023; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Alouettes quarterback Cody Fajardo (7) passes the ball against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers during the fourth quarter at Percival Molson Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Kirouac-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: David Kirouac-USA TODAY Sports

The Montreal Alouettes came up considerably short in a measuring-stick game last week, and the B.C. Lions were dump-trucked by one of the CFL’s worst teams at home.

Neither team should be in a good mood Saturday night for their matchup in Montreal.

In a 47-17 defeat at Winnipeg on Aug. 24, Montreal actually led 17-14 late in the second quarter. Then it became pick your cliche time. The roof fell in, the floor caved in, the Blue Bombers pressed the figurative X button, etc.

Whatever the case, the Alouettes (6-4) not only didn’t score for the game’s remainder, they barely moved the ball. They managed only 21 yards of offense in the second half and managed just one first down — that after starter Cody Fajardo was benched.

Fajardo was 14 of 25 for a season-low 137 yards while committing a pair of damaging turnovers in the third quarter. It was his first game back after missing the previous two with a left shoulder injury.

“No excuses,” he said. “Speaking personally on my own game, I hold myself to a way higher standard. Any time you have three turnovers in a half, you’re never going to play good offensive football.”

Meanwhile, B.C. (7-4) endured a 30-13 loss to Hamilton, which was coming off a home defeat to previously winless Edmonton. Not only that, the Lions didn’t find the end zone until the 1:51 mark of the fourth quarter, then gave up an embarrassing touchdown on a poorly executed onside kick.

B.C.’s normally stout run defense was gashed by former Lion James Butler, who rolled up 118 yards.

“I thought the energy Hamilton brought was better than ours,” said B.C. coach Rick Campbell. “And that’s not typical of our guys. I sure like this football team but I didn’t like the way we came at it today. I think we just got stuck when it didn’t go our way.”

The Lions walloped Montreal 35-19 in the season’s first meeting on July 9 in Vancouver.

–Field Level Media