09/07/2014 05:10 EDT | Updated 11/07/2014 05:59 EST

Crompton overcomes personal loss to lead Alouettes over Tiger-Cats

MONTREAL - Alouettes quarterback Jonathan Crompton overcame the loss of a loved one to lead his team to victory.

After an abysmal first half, Crompton helped Montreal to a come-from-behind 38-31 victory over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats at Percival Molson Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Crompton divulged Saturday that his former fiancee, who had been diagnosed with ovarian cancer earlier this season, died Friday. Crompton was planning to head home to Tennessee after the game to be with her family.

"This was not the best week for myself personally," said the Als quarterback, who had been growing his hair for the Locks for Love charity. "That's the reason this is a team game. The guys came out and said, 'We got you. Go out there and be yourself. Emotionally, just let it out.' They had my back."

Crompton finished 18-of-27 passing for 205 yards with a TD and interception in his second straight start for Montreal, which scored four unanswered touchdowns and outscored Hamilton 31-10 in the second half to secure the victory.

"A lot of adversity was thrown young Jonathan Crompton's way, and he dealt with it," said Als coach Tom Higgins. "Sometimes, what people don't know is that (athletes) have lives, and other things happen within their life, and it was a tragic thing that he had to deal with.

"We truly feel that he always has the temperament to turn it around, no matter how bad he's playing. That's a sign of a good quarterback, one that has a short memory."

Montreal trailed 24-10 when Billy Parker intercepted a pass from Hamilton's Zach Collaros and returned it 45 yards to the Ticats' four-yard line at 9:10 of the third quarter. Four plays and a pass interference penalty later, backup quarterback Tanner Marsh scored on a one-yard run.

That seemed to energize the Alouettes as three minutes later, Crompton put together his best drive of the game to make it 24-24. He had a 33-yard completion to Duron Carter and 42-yard toss to Chad Johnson, then finished the five-play, 98-yard drive with a 10-yard scoring strike to Carter.

James Rodgers' 82-yard punt return for a touchdown broke the deadlock in the fourth quarter before Marsh added his second rushing TD of the game with three minutes remaining.

"The turning point was going in at halftime and regrouping," said Higgins. "We knew that we needed to help our offence, and we did. The defence came up. Our special teams helped out too. We played a pretty good football game.

"It was really a quiet locker room. We knew we had to come out and do these things in order to give ourselves a chance to win. The athletes have responded. There's never any yelling or any screaming."

The Alouettes (3-7) earned their second straight win to move into a tie with idle Toronto atop the East Division. Hamilton (2-7), meanwhile, fell to third in the East, two points ahead of Ottawa.

The Ticats were sitting pretty at the interval, up 14 points and en route to their second consecutive victory. But four second-half turnovers, including two lost fumbles and an interception, cost Hamilton the victory.

Montreal scored a total 24 points off turnovers, including seven in the first quarter.

"We gave too many points on turnovers," said Ticats head coach Kent Austin. "They killed us. You can't do it. You can't lose a turnover battle on the road and expect to win football games. You just can't do it.

"We gave them points, and we gave them momentum in the second half. I told the team that until we learn to be a disciplined football team for four quarters with respect to turnovers in particular — turnovers are killers — it's tough to win football games. It doesn't matter how well we play otherwise."

Collaros finished the game 30-of-43 passing for 345 yards and added 35 rushing yards.

"I don't think I can explain it yet," said Collaros, who threw a consolation touchdown pass to Andy Fantuz with 11 seconds remaining. "The defence played a great game, but we put them in some bad situations. Once Montreal got the momentum, it was hard to get anything going. We didn't execute like we should have in the second half."

Montreal made the Ticats pay on their first turnover early in the game.

Linebacker Winston Venable put the Alouettes in front 7-0 two minutes into the first quarter, returning Mossis Madu's fumble 59 yards for the TD.

Hamilton responded with a turnover score of its own when cornerback Rico Murray returned a Crompton interception 40 yards for the touchdown. Collaros then had a three-yard touchdown pass to Fantuz with time expiring in the first.

It was a disastrous opening quarter for Montreal, which had no first downs and one yard of total offence.

Justin Medlock added his second field goal of the game and a 53-yard single late in the second to put Hamilton ahead 21-7 at halftime. The two teams exchanged field goals in the third.

"It means so much," said Carter, who finished the game with 56 receiving yards. "Especially in the division, and against Hamilton. We have a big rivalry against them. Late in the game, there was a lot of turmoil. It's a big game for us. We got the crowd going. All the momentum on the field makes us want to go score."

Notes: Montreal's Marc-Olivier Brouillette left in the second with an undisclosed injury and didn't return. … The attendance was 20,551. … Hamilton and Montreal will meet again at Tim Hortons Field on Nov. 8 in the regular-season finale for both teams. … Montreal's Kenny Stafford and Dominique Ellis did not dress for the game, neither did Hamilton's Emanuel Davis and Carson Rockhill. … The Alouettes visit Edmonton on Friday while Hamilton is home to Saskatchewan next Sunday.