S.J. Green caught a touchdown pass and Jonathan Crompton was a winner in his first career start at quarterback as the Montreal Alouettes downed the Ottawa Redblacks 20-10 to end a six-game losing streak on Friday night.
James Rodgers scored a touchdown in his first CFL game while Sean Whyte added a field goal and had three punts roll into the end zone for singles for Montreal (2-7), which moved into second place in the feeble East Division.
Wallace Miles had a 27-yard pass-and-run TD in the fourth quarter and Brett Maher had a field goal on Ottawa’s opening drive as the Redblacks (1-8) lost a sixth game in a row.
A season low of 19,440 turned out to Percival Molson Stadium for a flag-filled game that until the fourth quarter had few big plays from either offence to cheer.
Crompton, who relieved Alex Brink in the second quarter of a loss last week in Winnipeg, looked comfortable behind centre and led some promising drives, but struggled to get the ball into the end zone.
It was third-stringer Tanner Marsh, who plays in short-yardage situations, that threw the one-yard touchdown pass to Green in the first quarter.
A pair of turnovers had Montreal settling for an 8-3 halftime lead despite controlling much of the play.
The Redblacks got a 30-yard Maher field goal 3:16 into the game.
An 11-play, 75-yard drive saw Marsh hit a wide-open Green in the end zone 13:12 into the game after the Alouettes were stopped twice from the one.
Whyte added a punt single early in the second quarter, but Montreal had a drive end when Crompton’s wobbly pass was picked off at the Ottawa eight by Travis Brown for his first career interception.
Another drive ended when Brandon Whitaker fumbled at the Ottawa two, with the Redblacks’ Jerrell Gavins recovering in the end zone.
Whyte got his third rouge early in the second half and added a field goal.
The Redblacks made a game of it as Henry Burris led an 80-yard drive capped by Miles’ 27-yard TD at 8:46 of the fourth quarter to close the gap to three points.
But Crompton answered with a 48-yard pass to Duran Carter to set up Rodgers’ 17-yard TD romp around the left end on which he bulled past three tacklers.
Ottawa’s last gasp drive ended with a turnover on downs.
Carter had five catches for 120 yards. Miles also passed the 100-yard mark.