Durant throws for two TDs as Alouettes down Redblacks 38-5 in pre-season play

Durant throws for two TDs as Alouettes down Redblacks 38-5 in pre-season play

B.J. Cunningham (85) and Ernest Jackson (9) celebrate a touchdown during first half CFL pre-season football action against the Ottawa Redblacks, in Montreal on Thursday, June 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes.

MONTREAL — Darian Durant threw touchdown passes to Tiquan Underwood and B.J. Cunningham in his first action as an Alouette as Montreal downed the Ottawa Redblacks 38-5 on Thursday night in CFL pre-season play.

Brandon Rutley and George Johnson also scored touchdowns for the Alouettes while Boris Bede added two field goals and a punt single before a sparse crowd announced as at Percival Molson Stadium.

Durant, a career Saskatchewan Roughrider who joined the Alouettes this season, said he felt sharp despite missing a week of camp with a sore knee.

“The main thing is I just wanted to get some live reps,” said Durant. “Move the ball. Put some points on the board.

“We know they left a lot of guys home and it’s going to be a lot tougher come the season, but it was about us going out and executing, showing that we can make plays and move the ball. I got that first drive out of my system. Threw a ball into the dirt, but after that I settled in. I also took a hit. I’m looking forward to next week when its live and we have a home game in front of our fans.”

The Alouettes open at home next Thursday against Saskatchewan, while Ottawa plays host to Calgary on June 23.

Brett Maher kicked a field goal for the Redblacks and another two points came from a safety.

The Alouettes dressed their first team while Ottawa went with second and third stringers and it showed as Montreal took a 29-0 halftime lead.

The opening kickoff was fumbled by Sharkir Bell and recovered by Bede, who turned it into a field goal at 1:44.

Durant hit Underwood with a 28-yard touchdown pass and, on the next drive, found Cunningham for a 55-yard TD. A two-point convert attempt failed.

“It was good to see he could duplicate what we did in training camp,” coach Jacques Chapdelaine said of Durant. “I thought the cast of characters around him did a good job also.

“His eyes were good. He made some good throws and good decisions as well.”

A John Bowman fumble recovery led to a 40-yard Bede kick 5:44 into the second quarter. Rutley ran one in the from the six at 12:35 and Bede added another boot from 37 yards as the half ended.

Armageddon Draughn picked off a Vernon Adams pass at the Alouettes 51 in the opening minute of the second half but the Redblacks couldn’t turn it into points. Instead, Montreal marched back and Johnson nabbed a four-yard TD pass from Adams. Johnson also caught the two-point convert.

The Redblacks got on the board 10:41 into the third when Maher kicked a 23-yard field goal after Kevin Brown picked off a Matt Shiltz pass on the Montreal 22.

Ottawa started Ryan Lindley at quarterback, followed by Austin Trainor. Danny Colins took over midway through the third.

Durant played only the first quarter for Montreal. Jacory Harris also played in the fourth.

Bill Beacon, The Canadian Press
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