In his first career start, rookie quarterback Jake Meier threw for 304 yards and a touchdown on Friday night as the Calgary Stampeders overcame an 11-point second-quarter deficit and then hung on for a thrilling 28-22 victory over the Montreal Alouettes.
It was a dubious start as a pair of first quarter interceptions turned into Montreal touchdowns and a 14-3 lead for the visitors, but Maier settled in nicely after that, bolstered by strong defensive play by the Stampeders.
An eight-play, 100-yard drive — that began with a Royce Metchie interception of Vernon Adams Jr. — was capped off by a Ka’Deem Carey one-yard rush that closed the gap to 14-9. Rene Paredes’ second field goal of the game, this one from 52 yards out, made it 14-12 at halftime.
WATCH | Montreal falls just short as Stampeders pick up 1st win of the year:
In the third quarter, Calgary limited Montreal to just one first down on four possessions. The Stampeders eventually took advantage of its gradually improving field position by capping off a 41-yard drive with Meier’s first touchdown pass, a four-yard completion to Kamar Jorden.
The starting yard line for that drive, as well as 15 yards of that drive, was the result of Montreal roughing penalties. Another Alouettes penalty, this one for clipping, on the ensuing kick-off resulted in Montreal being pinned deep and punter Joseph Zema yielding a safety, which increased Calgary’s lead to 21-14.
More undisciplined play from the Alouettes opened the door for a second Carey touchdown, as he dove over the goal line from the one. Montreal had the Stampeders stopped at the two-yard line and facing third down on the play previous, but after the play, Tyquwan Glass punched Stampeders receiver Hergy Mayala.
Montreal finished the game with 16 penalties for 149 yards. Calgary had nine penalties for 80 yards.
But the Alouettes would not go down quietly.
Montreal’s late rally
A fourth-quarter fumble by Mayala turned the ball over to Montreal on the Calgary 45. Shortly after, Adams hit Quan Bray for a 10-yard touchdown pass to pull the Alouettes within six.
Calgary’s first win of the season improves them to 1-2 while the Alouettes fall to 1-1.
Next up for the Alouettes are the Hamilton Tiger-Cats who Montreal meet on Friday in its home opener. The Stampeders are next in action next Sunday when they hit the road for the first time, travelling to Winnipeg for a clash with the Blue Bombers.