Alouettes still in second place after yet another loss
Montreal Alouettes' quarterback Jonathan Crompton (18) gets sacked by Winnipeg Blue Bombers' Bryant Turner (92) during the first half of CFL action in Winnipeg Friday, August 22, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods
Published Saturday, August 23, 2014 1:21PM EDT
Another heartbreaking loss for the Alouettes – a 24-16 decision in Winnipeg Friday - was tempered by two factors: Jonathan Crompton shined in his Alouette quarterback debut and the team still sits in second place in the East in spite of their league-worst 1-7 record.
Some Als fans – and indeed the TSN TV commentators - questioned a video review decision late in the game that charged Billy Parker with pass interference following an incomplete Winnipeg pass with 2:37 remaining.
Coach Tom Higgins, who had previously served as Director of Officiating for the CFL appeared stunned by the call, which led to a Blue Bomber touchdown.
Some fans were critical on various on-line discussion forums of Coach Higgins’ failure to reciprocate with a challenge following a similar incomplete pass on a long Crompton pass going the other way soon after.
Crompton who relieved starter Alex Brinks after one quarter, went 18 for 29 for 266 yards. His three interceptions were all the result of receivers tipping the ball after failing to make a catch.
"It's tough tonight," said Crompton. "No one in this locker-room really wants to lose this game. We didn't think we were going to lose this game.
Tyrell Sutton deserved much of the credit in the Alouettes' first touchdown drive.
Crompton threw a pass to Sutton that he took down the sidelines for a 71-yard gain. He also ran for six yards and caught an 11-yard pass before he was hurt and went to the sidelines for a few series.
The Als took the spot Sutton got them to at Winnipeg's five-yard line and ended up scoring with quarterback Tanner Marsh's one-yard run at 13:28 for the 13-8 lead.
Winnipeg booted field goals from 22 and 24 yards to give Winnipeg the 14-13 lead with 9:12 to go in the game.
But Montreal regained the lead after an eight-play, 61-yard drive capped by Sean Whyte's 21-yard field goal with 4:18 left.
Whyte made three field goals and one attempt hit the upright.
Blue Bomber QB Drew Willy guided his team to a late-game victory, the latest a 24-16 win over the Montreal Alouettes on Friday.
Nic Grigsby ran 26 yards for a touchdown with just over two minutes left to lift Winnipeg's record to 6-3, while Montreal (1-7) has now lost six straight games.
"I definitely enjoy playing in the fourth quarters," Willy said. "I just try to stay calm, cool and collected.
"I wish we would have played better in the first half."
Willy completed 14-of-23 pass attempts for 200 yards, no TDs and one interception as Winnipeg ended a two-game losing streak.
The teams didn't give the 29,881 fans at Investors Group Field much to cheer about in the first half, with Montreal taking a 6-1 lead into the break. But the second half was a see-saw battle with several lead changes.
The Alouettes have 10 regular season games remaining and next play in Montreal next Friday against the Ottawa RedBlacks.