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Alouettes' comeback 'never in doubt,' says head coach Maas


The Montreal Alouettes escaped with a victory in a nail-biter against the Calgary Stampeders on Saturday, rallying from an 11-point half-time deficit to win 30-26 and improve to 5-0 on the season.  

Despite the adversity in the first half, head coach Jason Maas never felt like the victory was in doubt.

"Doubt never crept into my mind, not one bit," said Maas to The Morning Show on TSN690 Montreal on Wednesday.

"Our guys fight and compete to the very end, it's what we're built on," he said. "That's our culture, and you can look into our eyes at half time ... Our whole sideline felt like we were going to come back."

Maas highlighted a couple of plays that he thought helped define the mantra of the team in the 2024 season.

After quarterback Tommy Stevens scored a one-yard rushing touchdown late in the second quarter to give the Stampeders a 16-7 lead, Alouettes defensive back Mustafa Johnson blocked the ensuing extra point try and Kabion Ento returned it all the way to put two points on the board for Montreal, keeping it a one-score game.

"We don't give up on any play, Mustafa's one of those guys who plays hard, every single play, and when he made that play, even though we were still behind at that point, you could just feel [we still had a chance]," said Maas.

Cody Fajardo completed a touchdown pass to Cole Spieker in the fourth quarter to bring the Alouettes to within five points, at 26-21. Fajardo dropped back for a two-point convert, but the pass was intercepted and Calgary threatened to run it back for two points of their own before the returner was tackled in the open field.

"You watch the two-point play that we tried and they pick it, you watch the effort coming back, not wanting to give up anything, we rallied around that point," Maas said. "I just felt like [effort] plays like that, I don't know if they were 'turning points,' but they were big momentum shifts in the game

"That's [what we always] talk about: Alouette ability, Alouette toughness, Alouette effort."

Montreal is scheduled to open up Week 6 action against the Toronto Argonauts at home on Thursday.

Watch the Alouettes battle the Argonauts LIVE on TSN1/4/5, and the TSN App, with coverage starting at 7pm ET / 4pm PT and kickoff scheduled for 7:30pm ET / 4:30pm PT. 

They defeated their Eastern Division rivals 30-20 in Toronto in Week 4, and Maas is preaching a simple approach to the game. 

"I don't think it's anything special. As always, we have to win the turnover battle," Maas said. "That's one of the biggest things for us each and every week. That's the greatest predictor of wins and losses."

In their five games this season, the Alouettes have committed six turnovers, while their defence has 13 takeaways. On their current 13-game winning streak, dating back to last season, they have a turnover differential of +23, by far the highest in the league in that span. 

"It's good, complimentary football, and I think if we can do that for all three phases for 60 minutes, we'll like the result at the end of the day," said Maas.