Alouettes 16 Lions 12
VANCOUVER — Damon Duval kicked four field goals for Montreal as the Alouettes won their first game in Vancouver in a decade, beating the B.C. Lions 16-12 on Friday night.
It was an ugly victory but good enough to snap a nine-game losing streak on the West Coast for the defending Grey Cup champions. Montreal last won a game in B.C. in August of 2000.
Neither team could mount a sustained offensive attack on this night. Montreal should have had the edge as the Lions were missing three starters on defence and played with five rookies. Alouettes quarterback Anthony Calvillo spread the ball around with wide receiver Brian Bratton and running back Avon Cobourne making some big catches.
The Alouettes put some good drives together but couldn’t find the end zone, instead settling for Duval kicks.
Duval booted field goals of 40, 32, 20 and 15 yards. He also added singles of 42 and 65 yards.
Defensive back Jerald Brown had a big game for Montreal. After making a critical interception in last week’s win in Edmonton, the Alouettes defensive back snuffed out a late B.C. drive with another pick. He also recovered a fumble to set up Montreal’s tying points.
Casey Printers threw a 14-yard touchdown to Jamal Robertson for the Lions late in the first half, while Paul McCallum kicked a 14-yard field goal.
A great catch by S.J. Green gave Montreal a chance to take the lead with just over six minutes left and the game tied 12-12.
Green hauled in a 48-yard pass with two Lions hanging on him to give the Als a first down on the B.C. 12-yard line. But the Lions defence stiffened and Duval kicked a 20-yard field goal for a 15-12 lead.
Montreal had capitalized on a B.C. fumble to tie the game with just over four minutes gone in the fourth quarter. The Lions were driving, and looked poise to build on a 12-9 lead, when Robertson fumbled and Brown recovered on the B.C. 25.
The Alouettes took advantage to move down the field but had to settle for a 40-yard Duval field goal.
The win, in front of a crowd of 25,162 at Empire Field, improves Montreal’s record to 2-1, while the Lions sit at 1-2 and are winless at home.
B.C. scored the game’s first touchdown on their last drive of the second quarter to lead 9-6 at half-time.
Both teams showed some offensive spark in the first half but neither caught fire.
Duval had a tough half. The Montreal kicker was wide on a 40-yard field goal attempt, then hit the uprights from 47 yards out.
Printers finally got the Lions marching with 55 seconds left in the half. Slotback Geroy Simon was the workhorse on the series, making three catches for 55 yards.
Robertson capped the drive, taking a little dump pass and outrunning the Montreal defenders into the end zone.
One of the Lions prettiest plays of the night came early in the third quarter.
Just when it looked like Printers was going to be sacked he squirmed loose and connected down the field Derick Armstrong. The wide receiver laid himself out to make a 23-yard catch at the Montreal 14.
The drive ended with a McCallum field goal.
Notes: The Lions inducted former coach Vic Rapp, defensive tackle Mack Moore and middle linebacker Tyrone Crews into the team’s wall of fame during half time . . . VANOC CEO John Furlong participated in the coin toss before the game . . . The Lions play their next two games on the road, next Friday in Toronto then July 30 in Edmonton . . . Current Lions Sherko Haji-Rosouli, Angus Reid, Davis Sanchez, Keron Williams and O’Neil Wilson are all former Alouettes . . . The Lions will wear their retro 1970s uniforms three times this year, beginning with their next home game Aug. 7 against Calgary.