MONTREAL — The Ottawa Redblacks scored 17 points in the second half to spoil the Montreal Alouettes’ chance to clinch a playoff spot at home and grab a 24-18 win on Monday.
Trevor Harris tried to throw a game-winning touchdown from the 20-yard line on third down with seconds left. The Ottawa defence forced a turnover on downs and the visitors left Percival Molson Stadium with a win.
In their first game under interim head coach Bob Dyce, the Redblacks (4-11) snapped a three-game losing streak and improved to a 4-4 record on the road.
Caleb Evans had two rushing touchdowns from the one-yard line. Nick Arbuckle threw for 229 yards.
Harris threw for 338 yards and one touchdown.
In his long-awaited return after breaking his ankle in the season opener, William Stanback made a six-yard run on the first play of the game and finished the game with eight carries for 20 yards.
In their first visit to the red zone, the Alouettes (7-8) were stopped in their tracks by the Redblacks defence. Montreal settled for a field goal with David Cote completing a 16-yard attempt.
Arbuckle responded on the next drive with a 40 yard bomb to Darvin Adams. Caleb Evans made a one-yard sneak on the first play of the second quarter to give Ottawa a 7-3 lead.
Adarius Pickett recovered a fumbled punt return by Ottawa’s Devonte Deadmon on the Redblacks’ 17-yard line. Montreal tried to make the visitors pay but Ottawa’s defence stood tall once against. The Alouettes didn’t pick up a single yard on the drive and Cote completed a 25-yard field goal.
Montreal found the end zone in their third attempt from the red zone. Harris found Eugene Lewis with a 15-yard touchdown pass but then hit the upright on the two-point conversion.
Cote added a late 14-yard field goal to give the Alouettes a 15-7 lead at halftime.
Redblacks kicker Lewis Ward completed two field goals in the third quarter, cutting his team’s deficit to two points.
Ottawa regained the lead at the start of the fourth quarter then Evans notched his second one-yard TD sneak. Arbuckle then found Justin Hardy for the two-point conversion bringing the Redblacks up 21-15.
The Alouettes scored their first points of the second half with six minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. After the offence failed to record a TD within six yards of the end zone, Cote kicked his fourth field goal of the game.
Ward placed a 25 yard attempt through the uprights with 1:08 left in the game to give Ottawa a 24-18 lead.
NOTE: Alouettes centre Sean Jamieson fell injured and left the game, helped by two teammates, late in the second quarter.