For a second straight week the Montreal Alouettes snatched a victory from the jaws of defeat with a last second drive to beat the Ottawa Redblacks 20-16 Monday afternoon at Percival Molson Stadium. That marked the first home field win of the season for Montreal and puts them at .500 with a 4-4 won-lost record.
Authoring the drive was backup quarterback Matt Shiltz as starter Vernon Adams Jr. was stretchered out of the stadium with a shoulder injury suffered on the previous series. He is expected to miss starts due to the shoulder injury, but it’s unclear yet if he’ll require surgery. ‘‘My heart goes out to him,’’ Matt Shiltz said. ‘‘We’re really close. In the locker-room all week, we’re together, we watch film, we talk outside of football just about life and my heart goes out to him. I hope he’s OK.’’
With 42 seconds left in the game, Shiltz went to work and guided his team 36 yards to paydirt for the game-winning touchdown scored by running back Cameron Artis-Payne. Shiltz also completed his three passes in the drive. ‘‘It’s just about putting the moment in perspective and not letting the moment be bigger than it is,’’ Shiltz said. ‘‘In my mind it was just going out there and playing football. That was my mentality going out on the field. The coaches trusted me enough to go out there and win the game so I’m just very thankful for that.’’
Alouettes’ head coach Khari Jones knew that the game was in good hands when Shiltz took the ball. ‘‘He was Matt,’’ Khari Jones said. ‘‘He’s calm, he doesn’t let the situation bother him and it’s great for me because I don’t have to change what I’m doing. I had the utmost confidence in him too. He doesn’t let the moment get too great for him. It’s nice to have a guy who’s been around the league and that had opportunities and it just felt really comfortable calling the game for him.’’
Artis-Payne was also an injury replacement as he took the spot of William Stanback, the leading rusher in the league, who was sidelined for the game. The former Carolina Panther made a stellar CFL debut as he logged 122 yards to go along with his game winning touchdown. ‘I was excited but there were no nerves,’’ Cameron Artis-Payne said. ‘‘We had Schiltz in, I knew he was going to make the right decisions.’’
The Alouettes will travel to Ottawa Saturday to take on the Redblacs at TD Place Stadium