Alouettes snap 13-game losing streak against Riders

Boris Bede kicked five field goals and the Montreal Alouettes snapped their 13-game losing streak with a 23-17 victory over the Saskatchewan Roughriders Saturday night.

Bede’s fifth field goal of the night snuffed a late bid for a comeback victory by the Roughriders and pushed the Alouettes’ lead to eight with less than three minutes remaining.

Montreal’s last victory came in the 2017 season when it beat the Toronto Argonauts 21-9 on August 11.

The Riders, led by No. 3 quarterback David Watford, were unable to find a late score. Watford did lead a late drive into Montreal territory before Najee Murray intercepted a deep pass attempt to Duron Carter with one minute remaining.

Montreal improved to 1-2 on the season. The Riders have lost two in a row and are 1-2.

Trailing 17-6 after three quarters, the Riders were sparked by a 53-yard punt return by Christion Jones, a play that set up Watford and the offence at the Montreal 17-yard line.

Two plays later, Watford hooked up with Naaman Roosevelt for an acrobatic five-yard touchdown pass. The two-point convert failed and the Riders trailed 17-12.

After the Riders defence forced a turnover deep in Montreal’s end, Saskatchewan was again poised to strike. However, a Watford pass attempt to a wide-open Caleb Holley ricocheted off the goal post and fell to the turf.

Saskatchewan settled for a Brett Lauther field goal, which cut the deficit to 17-15 with nine minutes remaining in the game.

Montreal’s backup quarterback, Jeff Mathews, pushed back and led Montreal on a scoring drive, capped by Bede’s fourth field goal that stretched the lead to 20-15 with five minutes to go.

On Montreal’s next possession, Mathews again led the team on another scoring drive that ended with a Bede field goal.

Watford replaced an ineffective Brandon Bridge to start the third quarter.

Bridge struggled for the Riders in his first start at quarterback this season. He was intercepted twice in the first half and was eventually replaced by the rookie.

Mathews came in for starter Drew Willy late in the third quarter. Willy was sacked on a second-down play and was helped off the field. He later jogged to the locker room and did not return to the game.

Lauther kicked three field goals for Saskatchewan.

A Montreal loss on Saturday would have tied them with the Shreveport Pirates (1994) for the third-longest losing streak in CFL history.

The Riders will host Hamilton (2-1) on Thursday, while Montreal is at home to Ottawa (1-1) on Friday.

– CP

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