Montreal Alouettes quarterback Vernon Adams Jr., couldn't explain what exactly happened in his team’s 27-10 home-opener loss to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Friday night.
“I don’t know what it is but I just got to shake it,” Adams Jr., said. “I got to shake it and I got to get back to being me and playing ball.”
One thing Adams Jr., was adamant about was taking responsibility for the Alouettes’ (1-2) loss. Despite Hamilton quarterback Dane Evans getting sacked six times, the Tiger-Cats (1-2) took the lead early on and kept it for the entire game.
Asked about the rest of his offence, including running back William Stanback’s mere 40 yards in rushing in the loss, Adams Jr., stood his line taking the blame for his teammates.
“This is a passing league, it doesn’t matter really,” Adams Jr., said. “I need to complete the ball, I need to move the chains, I need to make my correct reads and that’s it, man. If I played better, we were going to win. That’s it.”
Montreal head coach Khari Jones agreed that Adams Jr., had his role to play in Friday’s loss. However, Jones gave his quarterback a vote of confidence and thought that he can come back from the poor performance.
“There were passes that we should be hitting on, that we should be completing, but we’re not right now but I still have faith in him. I still believe that he can do his job,” Jones said.
After failing to record more than eight points in a game this season, the Tiger-Cats broke their 2021 scoring record in the first half alone.
Evans threw a 30-yard pass for Steven Dunbar Jr., to give the Tiger-Cats the early lead. Hamilton kicker Michael Domagala quickly followed by converting a short field goal for a 10-0 advantage.
Percival Molson Stadium roared for the first time when wide receiver Quan Bray notched the Alouettes’ first touchdown in the second quarter.
Adams Jr., located Bray to his left and the 10-yard pass resulted in Montreal’s first touchdown at home.
Montreal’s defence kept Hamilton from advancing in the second quarter but Domagala added a second field goal to his tally. His attempt from 46 yards out went straight through the uprights giving Hamilton a 13-7 lead.
Adams Jr., got into his groove late in the first half throwing twice to BJ Cunningham for 11- and 26-yard gains respectively. However, the quarterback struggled to find his receivers as he got to the red zone, settling for a field goal from kicker David Cote bringing the score 13-10 at the half.
After a scoreless third quarter, Hamilton’s defence took care of business as Frankie Williams notched the first interception of the game, placing the Ticats in a great position to score.
Evans found his second touchdown pass of the night with a three-yard attempt to fullback Nikola Kalinic lifting the Ticats to a 20-10 lead and silencing the Montreal crowd.
Jones believed that coming out flat in the third quarter slowed down his team’s efforts to come from behind and win. Instead, the Alouettes now find themselves with a losing streak and a 1-6 record against the Tiger-Cats in their last seven games.
“It’s become the problem. Coming out of the half it bothered me a little bit because it’s a three-point game, you want to move the ball,” Jones said. “Right now, we’re not just good enough to come back from some of those things on offense.”
Following a late Alouettes turnover on downs, running back Sean-Thomas Erlington ran in Hamilton’s final touchdown. The Montreal native’s five-yard run sealed the Ticats win.
With a lot on the mind heading into next week's away matchup against the Ottawa Redblacks, Adams Jr., once again admitted not knowing what will need to happen in order to shake up his 1-2 start.
“I don’t know why I’m feeling this way but I do need to play with more confidence and be more loose like I normally do. It’s just tough right now,” Adams said.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published August 27, 2021.
Tristan D’Amours, The Canadian Press