MONTREAL — Following a dominant performance on the ground, Alouettes running back William Stanback delivered a warning for the rest of the Canadian Football League.
"Don’t take us lightly, because you never know what’s going to happen," Stanback said.
The running back scored three touchdowns in a 36-29 victory over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats at Percival Molson Stadium Thursday night, making it the Alouettes’ first win of the season.
Stanback ran for 203 yards to go with his three scores, becoming the first Alouette to run for over 200 yards since Mike Pringle did it in 1998. Alouettes quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. threw for 202 yards and scored a rushing touchdown of his own. Alouettes head coach Khari Jones also won his first game as head coach.
"(Hamilton) is a tough team," Jones said after the game. "They fought. But I like the fight that we had. I really did. I like the guys’ attitude. No one got down. There were a lot of ebbs and flows in the game and guys just kept playing."
Hamilton’s Jeremiah Masoli threw two touchdowns and an interception to go with his 401 yards.
The Alouettes began the game with a Boris Bede field goal following a six-play, 60-yard drive led by quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. Later in the quarter, Stanback and the Alouettes got the ball back following a Glenn Love interception off Masoli. Stanback then scored his first of the day off another six-play drive, giving his team a 10-0 lead halfway through the opening quarter.
With less than two minutes to go in the first, Masoli threw a 17-yard touchdown pass to Jaelon Acklin on a five play, 78-yard drive. Hamilton, however, missed a two-point conversion. The score ended 10-6 after the first quarter.
In the second quarter, both teams’ kickers provided all the scoring. Hamilton’s Lirim Hajrullahu scored four field goals in the quarter, while Bede added his second of the day. The Ticats took an 18-13 lead into the break.
Bede began the third quarter with his third field goal of the day, cutting Hamilton’s lead to two points. With less than three minutes to play, Stanback scored his second touchdown of the day and capped off a nine-play, 100 yard drive.
The back was given the ball before running towards the corner of the end zone. The Alouettes tried to extend their 22-18 lead with a two-point conversion, but were unsuccessful.
Adams Jr. then scored a rushing touchdown 13 seconds into the final frame, giving his team a 29-18 lead. Over four minutes later, Stanback scored his third touchdown of the game. He ran to the left before hurdling defensive back Richard Leonard before diving into the end zone.
"I saw everything that we thought he could be," Jones said when asked about his running back. "And he’s still getting better which is scary. He’s a tough guy."
Masoli threw a second touchdown pass with over five minutes to play, this time to Marcus Tucker. Hamilton’s two-point conversion was successful and the score was 36-26. Hajrullahu added a fifth field goal with 1:03 left in the quarter to cut the score to 36-29, but it was as close as they got.
NOTES: Today’s game was the final one for Alouettes offensive lineman Luc Brodeur-Jourdain. The two-time Grey Cup champion announced he would retire earlier this week. The 36-year old was also a league all-star and two-time East Division all-star…18,673 were in attendance at Thursday night’s game.