Alouettes put up fight but can’t stop Chad Kelly in vintage CFL contest

Photo courtesy: Peter McCabe/CFL.ca

In a vintage CFL game with plenty of big plays, the Montreal Alouettes tested the undefeated Toronto Argonauts’ East Division supremacy but ultimately fell short by a score of 35-27.

It was the play of Argonauts’ quarterback Chad Kelly that proved to be the difference, as the 29-year-old was surgical with the aerial attack. He threw for 351 yards and three touchdowns in the win, including a spectacular 37-yard strike to David Ungerer III with 1:54 remaining to seize the game.

Time and again, when the Alouettes seemed to get some momentum in the late-game offensive duel, Kelly and the Argos would answer. Toronto lost and retook their lead three times in the final quarter, sealing the victory with a Tarvarus McFadden interception on the final play.

For his part, Alouettes’ quarterback Cody Fajardo passed for 257 yards and three touchdowns, all caught by rookie Tyler Snead in his second career appearance, while also tossing two picks. He again suffered through the recurring theme of no protection, as Montreal surrendered four sacks to bring their season total to 26.

Montreal’s defence, meanwhile, failed to get to the surging Kelly even once. Indeed, the team continues to lose the battle in the trenches.

Once again the running game didn’t help Fajardo very much, particularly in the second half. William Stanback totalled only 53 yards on the ground, his longest run being only 10 yards. The burst and power just aren’t there for Montreal’s ground attack, no doubt suffering from an inefficient offensive line this season.

The same was not true for the Argonauts, where A.J. Ouellette rumbled for 95 yards through the heart of an Alouettes’ defence still giving up too many big plays both on the ground and through the air.

Toronto will put its perfect record on the line in Hamilton next Friday, while the Alouettes will try and snap their three-game losing streak after a bye week on July 30th at home to Calgary.

NOTES: Despite being scheduled to return for this game, Ciante Evans was a late scratch and missed his third straight game for Montreal. The veteran defensive back was an elite performer in the team’s two wins and they have since lost all three outings without him. … There was some excitement at the end of the game when Toronto’s Boris Bede missed a field goal attempt with less than a minute to go, giving the ball back to Montreal down eight. Montreal’s line simply couldn’t give Fajardo any time to look downfield, resulting in the McFadden interception in the endzone.

Matthew Ross has covered sports in Montreal and beyond for over 20 years. He's contributed to outlets such as TSN, MLB.com, the Montreal Gazette, the National Post, and more. His Twitter account is @matthewevolves.