MONTREAL — Antonio Pipkin has Vernon Adams Jr.'s support when it comes to who is No. 1 for the Montreal Alouettes.
Pipkin and Adams Jr., each threw a touchdown, while Ottawa Redblacks pivots Will Arndt and Danny Collins threw for over 100 yards and an interception apiece in a 20-20 tie on Thursday in the final pre-season games for both team.
Pipkin reportedly has the inside track to start the regular season despite Montreal head coach Mike Sherman not yet naming a starter. Sherman played five QBs against Ottawa including Jeff Mathews, Matt Schiltz and Hugo Richard.
"I'm here to back (Pipkin) up," Adams Jr. said. "That's my guy. I'm here for him. If anybody else is the starter, I'm here for them and I'm going to come in and work every single day. Bring that energy and put the pressure on."
Pipkin was 5 for 10 for 107 yards, while Adams Jr., was 3-of-6 for 84 yards.
"I thought there was some big-time plays made by a lot of different people," said Sherman. "It wasn't a perfectly-played or perfectly-coached game when you have players going in and out, and different groups on the field that don't normally play together. You're always going to have a little bit of inconsistency."
It took the Alouettes only 90 seconds to score their first touchdown of the night. Pipkin threw a 72-yard touchdown pass on the third play of his game-opening drive. About four minutes later, Montreal's Boris Bede kicked a single following a missed 47-yard field goal.
The Redblacks scored a touchdown of their own thanks to an Arndt quarterback sneak with over six minutes to play in the first quarter. But his team couldn't complete a two-point conversion, leaving the Redblacks down 8-6.
Bede was luckier on his second field-goal attempt of the day, making it from 26 yards out. Ottawa's Jose Maltos responded with one of his own in the quarter.
"The thing I really liked about our group tonight was the guys who were new to the CFL or new to the Redblacks, they really kept competing," Redblacks head coach Rick Campbell said.
Adams Jr., stepped in as quarterback in the second quarter and wasted no time putting points on the board. He completed a two-play, 75-yard drive with a 27-yard touchdown pass to Quan Bray, making the score 18-9 with less than two minutes to play before halftime.
The Alouettes and Redblacks then traded singles before Maltos scored another field with 8:45 to go in the contest.
The Redblacks took the lead less than a minute later when Randall Evans forced a fumble off a sack on Mathews. Redblacks linebacker Jonathan Newsome then scooped the ball and ran it back 53 yards for the go-ahead score.
"He's been a good player," Campbell said. "We moved him to linebacker and he got to play a lot tonight at linebacker. Obviously he did a good job. It was good on him making the big play."
Ottawa then took a knee in the end zone off a Bede punt, giving the Alouettes a point and tying the game at 20 points apiece with three minutes to play.
Montreal started key players on both sides of the ball like B.J. Cunningham and Henoc Muamba before giving way to backups throughout the game. The Redblacks rested a number of starters in their final pre-season game, including starting quarterback Dominique Davis, receiver Brad Sinopoli, and defensive back Corey Tindal.
Julian McKenzie, The Canadian Press