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(Saturday, July 9th)
Final Score: Montreal 39, Saskatchewan 25
Regina, SK (Sports Network) - Anthony Calvillo threw five touchdown passes for the third time in his career as he not only tied the all-time CFL record for TD passes, he also led the Montreal Alouettes to a 39-25 win over the Saskatchewan Roughriders at Mosaic Stadium.
Calvillo, who threw to eight different receivers on the day, watched six of his targets gain at least 40 yards as the signal-caller finished with 419 yards overall for the Alouettes (2-0) as they remained undefeated on the young season. Calvillo converted 29-of-43 passing and was intercepted once as he matched Damon Allen for the all-time record for passing touchdowns with 394 in the victory.
"I had a great time. I didn't get hit too much and the guys take a lot of pride in that," Calvillo said. "I appreciate that as well. Overall, it was a great job. We wanted to play four quarters and that's what we did today."
Brian Bratton finished with five receptions for 76 yards and a pair of majors for the Als, while Jamel Richardson captured nine balls for 114 yards, both of which represented game highs.
Saskatchewan (0-2) quarterback Darian Durant converted 22-of-39 passing for 273 yards and a touchdown, but that one passing major didn't come until late in the contest when it was already too late.
"I thought we did a good job in the first half, and I told them there would be ebb and flow, and there was in the first half," Riders coach Greg Marshall said. "I thought we'd do that in the second half but in the third quarter the conditions favored them. We didn't get them off the field. We dropped some passes and that didn't help."
Calvillo went right to work in the first quarter, attacking the Saskatchewan defense and guiding the Als into the end zone on a 26-yard TD strike to Bratton.
The Roughriders responded almost immediately as Wes Cates crossed the goal line from 16 yards out to lock the score at 7-7. The hosts found themselves with tremendous field position after Tristan Jackson delivered with a 75-yard kick return.
Before the opening frame could close, Calvillo again had Montreal in attack mode and connected with Brandon Whitaker for a five-yard TD strike to give the visitors a 14-7 edge heading into the second period.
Saskatchewan's Neal Hughes then capped a 13-play, 85-yard drive with a one- yard TD run, the subsequent PAT again locking the score at 14-14.
The teams traded field goals in the final few minutes of the first half as Montreal's Sean Whyte made good on a 21-yard effort and Eddie Johnson returned the favor for the Riders with a 15-yard conversion, making the score 17-17 at the break.
Just over midway through the third quarter, following a play in which Whitaker was involved in a violent collision that required a break in the action, Calvillo dropped back and found S.J. Green with a short pass over the middle, the receiver turning it up the field and splitting the defense for a 24-yard TD.
On the ensuing kickoff Whyte added another point to the Montreal lead as he sent the Roughriders into the end zone, making the score 25-17.
Calvillo, who had more than 300 yards passing through three quarters, remained in rhythm as he guided his squad down the field once more and into the end zone as he combined with Bratton on a two-yard TD pass play to give the Als a commanding 32-17 advantage with 15 minutes left to play.
Johnson stopped the bleeding for a moment as he posted a single to begin the fourth quarter, making the score 32-18, but clearly the day belonged to Calvillo.
The Montreal signal-caller tied Allen for the CFL's all-time touchdown passing record at the 9:28 mark of the fourth period when he found Tim Maypray on a simple crossing route. The receiver turned up the field and streaked down the right sideline 55 yards and into the end zone. The monumental completion was the 15th in a row for Calvillo.
Refusing to go away quietly, on the ensuing possession Durant combined with Chris Getzlaf in the back of the end zone, the receiver laying out to make the catch and cut the deficit to two touchdowns again, but that's as close as the Riders would get as time ran out.
Calvillo, who is in his 18th season, began the weekend less than 4,000 yards behind Allen (72,381 yards) for the all-time league record in that category as well...The 400-yard passing effort by Calvillo was the 27th of his career...Calvillo will aim to break the record for career TD passes next week at home against the Toronto Argonauts, the same team Allen ended his career with back in 2007...Cates finished with a game-high 54 yards rushing on seven attempts.
07/10 00:03:22 ET
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