REGINA – The Montreal Alouettes beat the Saskatchewan Roughriders 19 to 14! Vernon Adams Jr. has won his first game as starting QB!
As far as first career starts go, Vernon Adams Jr. should have himself a pretty easy sleep tonight.
The former University of Oregon standout QB was solid in his CFL debut, completing 11 of his 24 passes for 177 yards and a touchdown as the Alouettes downed the Saskatchewan Roughriders 19-14 on Saturday afternoon.
The win by Montreal ended a four-game winning streak by the Riders.
In a losing effort, Darian Durant was also solid, completing 23 of his 35 passes for 188 yards and no touchdowns.
Adams Jr. got off to a solid, mistake-free start in his first game as Montreal’s leading-man under centre, completing three of his first five passes for 40 yards.
He also showed off his evasiveness and speed, taking off for an 18-yard gain on his second possession.
However, he and his offence weren’t able to generate any sustained traction and had to settle for a pair of field goals by kicker Boris Bede.
The Als carried their 6-0 lead into the second quarter.
The Riders managed to pick up their first points of the afternoon thanks to a conceded safety by Bede.
Adams Jr. and the Als started their drive on their own one-yard line after Riders kicker Josh Bartel pinned them with an accurate punt, and were unable to register any positive yardage.
Prior to the end of the first quarter, the Riders cut Montreal’s lead to just one after Tyler Crapigna split the uprights from 42 yards out.
Montreal took a 6-5 lead into the break.
With the severe weather doing no favours for both offences, Adams Jr. and Durant both posted modest first-half numbers.
Durant completed just six of his 12 passes for 49 yards, while Adams Jr. was good on only four of his 13 attempts for 75 yards.
Saskatchewan’s defensive line had themselves a field day in the opening 30 minutes, racking up six sacks against the inexperienced Adams Jr.
Willie Jefferson and A.C. Leonard registered two apiece, while Kacy Rodgers and Henoc Muamba both brought the rookie pivot to the carpet once each.
The defences continued their dominace once the second half got underway, with the Als and Riders exchanging three turnovers on just four plays.
First, Alouettes defensive tackle Alan-Michael Cash forced a fumble out of the hands of Riders tailback Joe McKnight, leading to the ball being recovered by Jovon Johnson.
Then on the very next play, Adams Jr. saw his deep pass intended for B.J. Cunningham intercepted by Tevaughn Campbell.
But two plays later, Durant had the ball knocked out of his hands by Chip Cox, allowing the Als to recover the loose pigskin well inside Saskatchewan territory.
The Als would score on their first play of the ensuing possession, as Samuel Giguere trotted into the right side of the endzone untouched for the game’s first touchdown.
From there, it was all Alouettes.
Almost like a light bulb went off above his head, Adams Jr. put together an impressive string of plays, completing five consecutive passes of significant yards, the last of which finding the hands of Marcus Henry for the 22-yard score.
Prior to that, Adams Jr. connected with Cunningham for seven yards, Nik Lewis for 13, Stefan Logan for 18, and Lewis again for 26.
Bede missed the ensuing extra point, giving the Als a 19-5 lead.
But the Riders refused to back down without a fight, as Durant – ever-the-veteran – answered with an impressive possession of his own. Durant guided his offence on a 10-play, 97-yard drive that was capped off by a vintage 10-yard TD scamper by the QB.
Durant and the Riders had one last attempt at the endzone, but a furious drive came to screeching halt at Montreal’s six-yard line, as Durant was unable to find the endzone.
Don’t miss the next home game, Sunday, October 30th at 1 p.m. against the Calgary Stampeders.