Johnny who? Pipkin leads the Alouettes to second straight win

Montreal quarterback Antonio Pipkin won again, while Johnny Manziel watched from the sidelines.

Pipkin was 18 for 27 for 242 yards in the air and rushed for a touchdown to lead the Alouettes to a 21-11 victory over the East-leading Ottawa Redblacks Friday night at TD Place.

Montreal (3-8) avoided a season sweep by the Redblacks (6-4), who won the first two contests. The 23-year-old was picked off twice, but also showed up when needed and helped Montreal earn back-to-back wins for the first time since Oct. 30, 2016.

“We won the game so I feel great and it was a lot of fun,” said Pipkin. “I played well enough for us to win. I kind of got the chains moving and keep us with the lead and kill the clock some. I threw two interceptions so I’ve got to make up for those, but overall I played well enough for us to win.”

Pipkin got his first start last week with Manziel in concussion protocol and led the Als over Toronto to snap a six-game losing streak.

Ottawa QB Trevor Harris seemed to struggle to find a rhythm and finished the night 24 for 44 for 248 yards and an interception.

Harris was visibly troubled by the loss in the locker room following the game.

“Any time you don’t put a touchdown on the board it’s disheartening,” admitted Harris. “It’s a tough one, this sucks, it’s just tough, but we’ve got to be able to flush it and move on.

“If I want to be the quarterback I know I will be for this team I’ve got to be able to rise above things and make plays. I’ve got to be better and I’m going to be.”

Ottawa kicker Lewis Ward went 3 for 3 to extend his consecutive field goal streak to 27.

Leading 10-7, Pipkin finally managed to take the Alouettes into the end zone after an eight-play drive culminated with him punching in a one-yard touchdown. Montreal led 17-7 with just over one minute remaining in the third quarter and picked up a single on the ensuing kickoff to take an 11-point lead.

Ottawa closed the gap on a 35-yard field goal and picked up a single on a Richie Leone punt, but a 14-yard Montreal field goal gave the Alouettes some breathing room, leading 21-11 with five minutes remaining.

Three straight Alouettes penalties moved the Redblacks to the three-yard line with just over two minutes to go, but they were unable to capitalize to the frustration of the 25,132 on hand at TD Place.

“I’m not doing a roller coaster ride with these guys that we win and everybody’s happy and thinks we’re wonderful and when we lose it’s awful,” said Ottawa head coach Rick Campbell.

“I know the truth is somewhere in between. I know we’re a football team that has a lot of work to do and we’re going to continue to do it because we’ve got eight more games in the regular season.”

Ottawa appeared to tie the game on a six-yard touchdown pass to Brad Sinopoli in the third quarter, but the call on the field was overturned and the Redblacks were forced to settle for a field goal and trailed 10-7 early in the second half.

The first half was all about the kickers as Montreal led 9-4 thanks to three field goals from Boris Bede.

Ottawa replied with a 40-yard field goal and a single by Leone.

Ottawa had a scary moment late in the second quarter when Sinopoli struggled to get up and appeared to limp off the field, but the veteran receiver managed to return for the second half.

The Redblacks head to B.C to take on the Lions next Friday.

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