Friday, August 24, 2018
ALOUETTES UPSET ARGONAUTS 25-22
Pipkin passed for 303 yards and ran in a pair of touchdowns as the Alouettes ended a six-game losing streak with a 25-22 victory over the Toronto Argonauts on Friday night. Boris Bede kicked the winning field goal with 1:10 left to play and the Argonauts' Zack Medeiros hit an upright with a 54-yard attempt on the final play of the game.
Pipkin, the first Montreal pivot to throw for more than 300 yards in a game this season, helped the Alouettes (2-8) post their first home win in five tries this season and their first since Aug. 11, 2017.
It was a second strong outing in a row for the 23-year-old, who made his first CFL start last week as Manziel sat out under concussion protocol. Manziel returned to practice only on Thursday and did not dress against Toronto, but may be OK to play next week against Ottawa.
That leaves coach Mike Sherman with a decision.
"We'll go back and look at the tape and we'll go into next week, see where we're at, and make those evaluations during the week. Not after an emotional win,'' said Sherman.
"I don't see any dilemma whatsoever.''
Asked if he earned another start, Pipkin said "that's not my call, but I'll be ready.
"That was a lot of fun. It was fun and we won the game.''
Armanti Edwards and Aiden Darby had touchdowns while Medeiros had three field goals for Toronto (3-6), which ended a two-game winning run. It was a first defeat in three outings for Argonauts quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson.
After Bede put Montreal ahead, the Argonauts marched back to the Montreal 40. But a heads-up defensive play by Henoc Muamba put Toronto back on the 47, leaving Medeiros a 54-yard kick to try to tie the game. It was long enough, but veered left and struck a post.
"It's not like I've never faced one before,'' Medeiros said of the last-play attempt. "The offence gave me a good opportunity, so I've got to cash in on those and make that kick.''
Bethel-Thompson led the Argos on a 10-play drive on their first possession to set up a 12-yard Medeiros field goal at 6:02, but Montreal marched back for a Bede boot of its own.
Tommie Campbell stripped the ball from Declan Cross and ran it to the Toronto 24 on the final play of the first quarter, leading to a 31-yard Bede field goal. The French kicker added another from 29 yards at 4:55 after Pipkin's 52-yard completion to Ernest Jackson.
The crowd of 16,480 booed when Montreal opted to punt on a third-and-one and Martese Jackson rubbed it in by returning it for a touchdown, but it was called back when video review showed he stepped out on the 31. Five plays later, Bethel-Thompson hit Edwards with a seven-yard TD strike.
Montreal stormed back and Pipkin crossed from the two at 14:20, although the two-point conversion failed, to give Montreal a 15-10 lead at the half.
Bethel-Thompson led a more than seven-minute drive to open the second half but settled for Medeiros' 25-yard placement. On the next play, Pipkin's pass went off Ernest Jackson's hands to Darby, who ran it back 45 yards for the touchdown at 7:52.
After Montreal punted for a single, a 69-yard catch by Edwards set up Medeiros' 11-yard field goal on the last play of the third quarter.
A weak punt out of bounds gave Montreal the ball on the Argo 42. Pipkin hit B.J. Cunningham with a 41-yard pass, then ran it in himself at 7:41. Bede missed the convert, which left the game tied at 22-22.
Bethel-Thompson completed 26-of-37 passes for 296 yards. His favourite target was Edwards, who hauled in four catches for 114 yards.
The Argos next have back-to-back meetings with Hamilton, the team they are chasing for second place in the East Division.