BY Jeff Schneberk
The more the Montreal Allouettes screw up, the more the Toronto Argos look like rock stars.
Things appear to get even easier for the Argo club over the next five weeks; Montreal and Toronto will get together for 2 more games over the next 5 weeks. Might be 2 more guaranteed wins for the Boatmen.
John Chiles caught a pair of Ricky Ray touchdown passes and Chad Owens returned a missed field goal attempt 118 yards in the first quarter Thursday to send Toronto on to emphatic 38-13 victory over Montreal.
Ray threw his third touchdown pass to Jason Barnes in the second quarter and Noel Prefontaine added a field goal moments later as the Argonauts roared to a 31-0 lead in general manager Jim Popp’s coaching return for Alouettes.
Toronto has never had it this easy, sitting atop the CFL’s East Division, two games (wins) better than the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Montreal now, with Thursday night’s easy win. Winnipeg rounds out the East standings with their 1-5 record.
Montreal’s Noel Devine fumbled three times as Montreal turned over the ball six times in its first game since head coach Dan Hawkins was fired.
With Montreal showing all kinds of signs of futility, it means that the title of ‘king of the division’ is now likely up for grabs. With Toronto playing the way they are, they are the likely ‘next in line’ to the throne, however, a turn of events for the Tiger-Cats who had been a disgrace to Canadian football up until their last win in Edmonton, could challenge Toronto if they can keep the momentum going from the Edmonton win.
With Thursday night’s loss, the Alouettes (2-4), meanwhile, fell to 1-3 at home in 2013 to begin Popp’s third stint as coach in his 18-year career with Montreal. He replaced Hawkins, who was brought in after Marc Trestman left to become head coach of the NFL’s Chicago Bears, after just five games.
To show how bad this game got for Montreal, the Argos had built up a 31-0 lead before Montreal finally got on the board with a 48-yard FG, which was greeted with a chorus of mock cheers from the Montreal crowd.
Montreal was held out of the end zone until early in the 4th quarter when QB Calvillo found Brandon London for a 48-yard TD pass.
Montreal quarterback Anthony Calvillo made it 32-10 when he threw a 48-yard touchdown pass to Brandon London 34 seconds into the fourth quarter. Whyte added a 15-yard field goal.
It was the first of three meetings between the teams over the next five weeks.
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