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article imageCFL: Toronto beats Montréal for first time in nearly three years

By Joseph DeClara     Aug 15, 2010 in Sports
Montreal - Heading into last night’s game, the Alouettes hoped that Anthony Calvillo wouldn’t be hindered by the finger he dislocated last week against the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
Calvillo left that game for the locker room in the fourth quarter, but came back to try throwing the ball on the sidelines. He said after the game that the ball was slipping out of his hand, and that’s why he didn’t return to the game. Last night against the Argonauts, the Als let the ball and the game slip out of their hands.
Calvillo threw an interception and fumbled a snap in the 1st quarter, which was recovered by Toronto on Montréal’s 31-yard line. A De’Audra Dix pass interference call three plays later gave Toronto a first down on the one-yard line, and set up a Cory Boyd rushing touchdown and giving the Argos a 14-0 lead. On the fumbled snap, which was out of the shotgun position, it looked like the ball actually did slip through Calvillo’s fingers.
Until now the Argonauts had not won a game in which Boyd did not rush for 100 yards. Last night, the Montréal defense held him to 63 yards on 17 carries, but it wasn’t enough as the Als lost 37-22.
To his credit, Calvillo turned around an ugly 1st quarter and ended 37 for 49 with 450 yards and 3 passing touchdowns to: Kerry Watkins, Jamel Richardson and S.J. Green. Cobourne was held to only 26 yards on 11 carries.
It was a good night for Toronto on all fronts. Chad Owens, who ended the game with 6 receptions and 163 yards, took a short pass from Cleo Lemon and scampered 63 yards to give Toronto a 7-0 lead.
Montréal was able to cut Toronto’s 14-0 lead in half early in the second quarter but Toronto responded with the longest kick-off return in their history, when Ryan Christian ran the ball 110 yards for a major score. Another late Alouette touchdown made the score 24-14 at half time.
Montréal started the second half with the ball but after a quick two and out, Lemon took over and drove the ball 68 yards, capping the drive off with a 17-yard touchdown pass to Andre Durie.
Calvillo responded with a 49-yard touchdown pass to Green on a play where no Argonaut defender was close enough to even read Green’s number, but they weren’t able to generate any further offense other than a single on a missed Damon Duval field goal.
It was a tough loss for Montréal, no one expected Toronto to be doing this well, and with last night’s loss Montréal and Toronto are now tied for first place in the East with identical 5-2 records. They meet in a home and home series to end the season, a couple of games that could very well decide the fate of the East.
Before last night’s game, Montréal was second last in the league in pass defense. Many would dismiss that ranking citing that it’s due to playing two games against the Roughriders, including an opening day 54-51 loss, the third highest scoring game in CFL history. Against Lemon and the Argo’s, Montréal proved they’ve earned that low ranking. Lemon threw for only 269 yards but he did that on a mere 19 attempts and 13 completions. Three of those completions went for touchdowns. Boyd also threw a 13 yard pass to Lemon.
If Montréal wants to repeat as CFL champions, they’ve going to need to get tougher against the pass. The road to the Grey Cup looks like it’s going to go through Toronto as well as Saskatchewan, and both of these teams are going to look to take advantage of Montréal’s passing defense.
Jeremaine Copeland (right)
Jeremaine Copeland (right)
The Argos lost Jeremaine Copeland in the 1st after he caught a 50-yard pass. He returned to the sideline wearing a sling after appearing to injure his left elbow. Copeland fumbled on the play when he was tackled by Ramon Guzman and Jerald Brown.
Ben Cahoon moved into second place on the all time CFL receptions list when he caught an 11 yard pass in the 1st quarter. Cahoon ended the game with 10 receptions and 99 yards.
The Alouettes host the 2-5 Winnipeg Blue Bombers Thursday, their first meeting of the season.
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