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OTTAWA — It’s not like Henry Burris needed any more accolades.
Burris ran for two touchdowns, threw for another two and completed a record-setting night with 45 completions as the Ottawa Redblacks downed the Montreal Alouettes 39-17 on Thursday night.
In the most lopsided win in the Redblacks’ two-year history. The 40-year-old Burris had 43 completions after three quarters and broke the CFL record for most completions in a game with 45. The old record of 44 was set back in 2008 by Anthony Calvillo of the Alouettes.
“I didn’t even know there was a record being broken,” said Burris. “You know me, I’m a guy that wasn’t even thinking about the record. I was making sure that we execute every pay that was called, getting the ball to receivers, making the right call and the right reads.
“It’s a truly special moment to know that you’re recognized up there with some of the best quarterbacks that ever played this game.”
His 45th completion was a 13-yard pass to Patrick Lavoie early in the fourth quarter. Burris left shortly after that, giving way to Danny O’Brien, but not before raking up 504 yards through the air on 53 attempts.
All this just after being named one of the three CFL Top Performers for September.
“You want guys on your team that say ‘hey we’ve got this. We can get this done’. (Burris) has been all in on this since the beginning working hard,” Redblacks coach Rick Campbell said.
“I’m happy for him but I’m even happier for our team.”
Leading 23-3 at the half, Burris threw an eight-yard touchdown pass to Brad Sinopoli and then ran one in himself from a yard out in the third quarter upping that lead to 37-3
The Redblacks drive stalled on the Montreal one-yard line to open the fourth quarter, but the Alouettes were unable to gain any ground and conceded a safety rather than punting from their own end zone.
Anthony Boone came on in relief of Rakeem Cato at quarterback for Montreal and led a short drive that ended in a 14-yard touchdown pass to Samuel Giguere but the two-point conversion failed. Cato then threw a 27-yard touchdown pass to Fred Stamps with 1.4 seconds remaining and the two-point conversion was good.
“Not to take anything away from Ottawa, they have a great team and one of the best quarterbacks ever to play the game, we just have to figure out what’s going on and keep fighting,” Stamps said.
“It’s tough, and it never comes easy in the CFL, but we just have to stay focused and get ready for next week because we’ll be up against another good team.”
The Alouettes can consider themselves lucky things didn’t go much worse in the first half, both on the scoreboard and with their personnel.
They did trail 23-3 at the break, but the Redblacks twice had first downs in the red zone and were only able to come away with a pair of Chris Milo field goals.
More importantly, the injury suffered by defensive back Jonathan Hefney didn’t turn out to badly nearly as serious as it first appeared.
Hefney collided head-to-head with Lavoie early in the game and immediately hunched forward and fell head first to the turf.
He was knocked unconscious and stayed down for several minutes before being removed on a stretcher. Hefney was alert and walking around in the Alouettes’ locker room shortly after the incident. He did not return to the game.
The Redblacks eventually turned that drive, their first of the game that included two third-down conversions, into a one-yard touchdown run from Burris.
The Alouettes responded with a 38-yard field goal from Boris Bede before the end of the quarter, but the Redblacks came back in the second quarter with an 18-yard touchdown pass from Burris to Chris Williams and field goals of 17, 34 and 16-yards from Milo. The final one came on the final play of the half.
Darren Desaulniers, The Canadian Press
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