Alouettes coach Jim Popp was at a loss for words when describing the late interception that eventually cost Montreal the football game.
Montreal lost 19-14 against the Ottawa Redblacks on Thursday after quarterback Kevin Glenn’s easy interception ended the Alouettes’ comeback attempt.
With Ottawa leading 16-14 with six minutes remaining in the fourth, Glenn threw up an ill-advised pass that was intercepted by former-Alouette Mitchell White, all but sealing the contest for the Redblacks.
“It was an outside route but the ball was thrown inside,” said Popp, who couldn’t explain what went wrong on the play.
“I’m not sure. Did Kevin have enough time to let the play develop? Did he have to get rid of it? The ball was supposed to be outside. I just can’t answer that.”
The interception was the only play of Montreal’s drive, and the very first play after Chris Milo kicked a 36-yard field goal to give Ottawa the lead.
After the interception, Ottawa killed three minutes off the clock and tacked on another three points to go up 19-14.
Ottawa has been making a habit of losing games late. Recent defeats against B.C. and Toronto came on the opponent’s final drive. But the Redblacks held on to their lead in Montreal as time wound down.
“Big momentum swing in the game,” said Redblacks coach Rick Campbell of White’s interception. “The game was in the balance there. That’s him stepping up and making a big play and we were able to score points off that.
Ottawa (5-4-1) quarterback Trevor Harris went 27 for 40 for 282 yards and a touchdown as the Redblacks snapped a two-game losing skid.
Ernest Jackson scored a touchdown for Ottawa while kicker Milo converted four field goals.
The last-place Alouettes (3-7) were without receiver Duron Carter, who was serving a one-game suspension. The Als recorded a league-worst fifth loss at home (1-5).
Carter’s offensive prowess was notably absent, especially in the first half. Until the last five minutes of the second quarter, Montreal did very little with the ball.
Of the Alouettes’ seven first-half drives, five ended with a punt and one with an interception, to the displeasure of the 19,117 in attendance.
The home side had 50 total yards of offence before Glenn put together a 62-yard touchdown drive.
The biggest play of the scoring drive was a 36-yard catch by Kenny Stafford. Glenn capped off the possession with a five-yard toss to Nik Lewis, who was all alone in the end zone for his second touchdown of the season.
“I made every play that came my way,” said a frustrated Lewis, who made 10 catches for 92 yards and a touchdown. “Pretty much every play. Let me carry it. I didn’t get a chance to carry it like I wanted to. I keep making plays when they give me an opportunity to make plays.
“I just do what they allow me to do.”
Montreal was up 8-6 at the half.
Less than three minutes after the restart, Ottawa took a 13-8 lead when Harris found Jackson in the end zone for a 31-yard catch _ the receiver’s sixth TD of the year.
The scoring drive was twice kept alive by penalties against Montreal, including a 15-yarder on Jeffrey Finley for roughing the passer.
“It kept their drive going, it kept them on the field,” said Popp. “It changed the complexity of the game. It’s 15 yards, then another 15 yards. That’s 30 yards of penalties.”
The Alouettes answered back on their ensuing drive, narrowing Ottawa’s lead to just two points with a 52-yard field goal by Anthony Fera. Another field goal by Fera gave Montreal a 14-13 advantage before Milo converted back-to-back field goals of his own.
Notes: Montreal’s Chip Cox recorded his 800th career tackle. He now ranks sixth all-time in CFL history… Thirteen Olympians were honoured at halftime, including bronze medallists Meaghan Benfeito and Roseline Filion.