Alouettes owner Gary Stern’s team might not have delivered on his promise of “killing” the Argos on Thursday. But Montreal came ever so close to providing Toronto with a buzzkill on its opening night at BMO Field. Instead, the Alouettes would lose the game in a killer fashion.
The Argos survived a late scare when the Alouettes, who rallied from ten points down in the fourth quarter, drove into field goal range for a short go-ahead field goal attempt in the final seconds. But David Cote, who had made four field goals on the evening, would miss wide left on the kill shot from 21 yards out.
The story of the game was the Argonauts’ inability to put the Als away, despite having multiple opportunities to do so throughout the game’s first three quarters. Toronto’s offence bogged down in the red zone, and Boris Bede uncharacteristically missed two makeable field goals.
And just like the Argos’ last game at BMO Field, an opposing team’s backup quarterback came off the bench to rally his team. Trevor Harris replaced Vernon Adams early in the game and helped lead Montreal to a near come-from-behind victory. This time, however, the Argos received a reprieve in what was nearly a repeat of their East Final loss last December, where Toronto also held a two-score lead.
It wasn’t a banner night for Toronto or something for the Argonauts to boast about. The hometown crowd of 12,498 nearly left BMO on a very sour note. But the Boatmen are happy to escape the harbor with a victory. And on an encouraging note, some of the new members of Double Blue had strong debuts. RB Andrew Harris carried the ball 18 times for 87 yards while adding 23 more yards receiving. Brandon Banks reeled in three receptions for 39 yards, including a touchdown in his Argos debut.
The now 1-0 Toronto Argonauts will travel to B.C. next Saturday night to face the 1-0 Lions. Montreal (0-2) will attempt to rebound from their crushing defeat when the Alouettes face Saskatchewan next Thursday night in their home opener.