A pair of defensive players made the difference for the Toronto Argonauts on a wet night of CFL pre-season football.
Akwasi Owusa-Ansah and Branden Smith scored touchdowns on second quarter interceptions as the Argonauts defeated the Montreal Alouettes 30-10 in a rain soaked game Thursday night.
Owusa-Ansah picked off starter Jonathan Crompton for a 39-yard TD return at 3:59 of the second and Smith grabbed a Dan LeFevour pass for a 28-yard score at 9:25 for the Argonauts (1-1), who had three picks in the game.
Crompton, pegged to be the starter, led Montreal to a touchdown on the first drive of the game on a Jonathan Bryant run, but then struggled to find his receivers.
“We got off to a good start but after that the level wasn’t anywhere near what we wanted it to be,” said Montreal coach Tom Higgins.
Crompton, who joined the Alouettes in mid-season in 2014 and led them into the playoffs with an 8-2 record as a starter, was not concerned.
“It’s pre-season, we’re getting the kinks out,” he said. “A couple of throws were a little high but when you’re knocking the rust off, some things are expected.
“We’re trying to fight through this. Luckily, this doesn’t count against our record.”
Diontae Spencer had a TD reception and Swayze Waters added 25- and 42-yard field goals for Toronto. The defence also forced a safety.
Bryant scored as he swept around the left side. But then the Argos took over for a 22-7 halftime lead.
Trevor Harris, starting for the injured Ricky Ray, played the first half for Toronto, completing 10-of-12 passes for 98 yards.
Mitchell Gale took over to start the second half and on his first series hit Spencer with a seven-yard TD pass, topped by a two-point convert catch by Lyle McCombs 4:03 into the third quarter.
“That was a great throw,” Toronto coach Scott Milanovic said of Gale. “I thought he did a great job considering the conditions.”
Former Alouette Adrian MacPherson took over in the fourth quarter.
Milanovic liked how Waters performed, especially his punting.
“It’s been an adjustment this year because we’ve asked him to kick it a little higher and shorter so we can cover with the new rules,” he said. “It’s not easy. I thought he did a great job.”
Crompton went 5 for 10 for 71 yards and was intercepted twice while LeFevour went 7 for 14 for 60 yards and had one picked. LeFevour looked to have made a sure TD pass late in the first half, but Cody Hoffman couldn’t get a handle on the ball in heavy rain in the end zone.
Brandon Bridge started the fourth quarter, when Montreal got a 31-yard field goal from Boris Bede. Rakeem Cato played the final three minutes.
Pouring rain started late in the first half and much of the already thin crowd at Percival Molson Stadium, announced as 16,325, left at the intermission.
Montreal opens the regular season at home next Thursday against Ottawa, while the Argos start at home against Edmonton on June 27.
Argos linebacker Akeem Whonder was carted off with an injury on the opening kickoff. In the third quarter, Alexander Robinson was helped off after a low hit from Cliff Coleman. Milanovic said offensive lineman Tyler Holmes was also banged up and left the game.