The smile on Duron Carter’s face said more than any words.
The Montreal Alouettes receiver had five receptions for 126 yards and two touchdowns on Friday night in a 43-19 victory over the Ottawa Redblacks at TD Place.
“It was just a lot of fun,” said Carter with a huge grin.
All eyes were on Carter as this was the first meeting between the two teams since June 30 when Carter knocked Redblacks head coach Rick Campbell to the ground following a touchdown celebration.
Carter received a one-game suspension for the incident, but appealed his ban and the case is now in the hands of an arbitrator.
Retaliation of some sort was anticipated, but in the end Carter let his play speak volumes.
“They made sure they didn’t say anything to me because that’s the thing, once you start with me I don’t stop, so nobody wanted to start with me,” said Carter.
“One of their coaches, I don’t know which one, started talking to me, he had the headset on, and I said ‘this touchdown is about to be on you’ and it happened.”
The Redblacks feel the loss was more a product of their own lacklustre performance than anything Carter brought.
“We just weren’t good enough to win on this night,” said defensive lineman Zack Evans. “They made a few plays more than us and we need to bounce back and be better next week.”
The Redblacks (4-3-1), fresh off a Week 8 bye, trailed right from the start and never seemed to find an answer for the Alouettes (3-5), who broke the 20-point mark for just the third time this season.
Montreal’s Kevin Glenn was 25-of-30 passing for 382 yards with five touchdowns, while Henry Burris was 21 for 31 for 322 yards with two touchdowns and one interception.
Brock Jensen replaced Burris for the final five minutes with the score out of reach.
The magnitude of the victory was not lost on the Alouettes, who are fighting to stay in the hunt for the playoffs.
“This is a division win,” said Montreal coach Jim Popp. “It’s a big deal. It puts us back in the race.”
Burris was clearly dejected following the game and had few answers for the Redblacks’ shortcomings.
“I expect us to play with more energy and do better than what we did,” said Burris.
“Montreal brought it. They found ways to put us in tough situations and they found ways to capitalize in the pivotal moments of the game. They fought harder than we did.”
Leading 30-19 to start the fourth quarter, the Alouettes put the game out of reach with 15- and 30-yard TD passes to Brandon Rutley and Carter, respectively.
The third quarter was no better for Ottawa. Ahead 23-16, the Alouettes extended their lead midway through the third as B.J. Cunningham ran in a 12-yard TD and Anthony Fera connected for the extra point to make it 30-16.
Ottawa, with a sellout crowd of 24,907, looked in position to close the gap at the end of the third, but saw its drive stalled and settled for a 37-yard field goal, 30-19.
“That was a disappointing game” said Campbell. “I’ll give Montreal credit, but way too many opportunities for us that we didn’t capitalize on.”
The Alouettes led 23-16 at the half as Glenn connected with Samuel Giguere for a 17-yard TD pass midway through the quarter, and with 36 seconds remaining connected with Carter for a 68-yard pass.
Not to be outdone and trailing 23-9, Burris threw a Hail Mary pass into the end zone where Ernest Jackson managed to catch a ball that bounced off Greg Ellingson. A Chris Milo convert allowed the Redblacks to head into the dressing room on a high after a difficult first half.
Trailing 10-3 to start the second quarter Burris connected with Chris Williams for a 58-yard touchdown pass, but Milo failed to connect for the extra point and Ottawa trailed 10-9.
The two teams exchanged field goals with Montreal opening the scoring with a 50-yard field goal, followed by an Ottawa 39-yarder.
The Alouettes took a 10-3 lead when Glenn connected with Nik Lewis for a 10-yard touchdown pass. The play was initiated when Stefan Logan had a 71-yard kick return to the Ottawa 23-yard line.
Ottawa hosts the B.C. Lions next Thursday, while Montreal hosts the Winnipeg Blue Bombers Friday.