Avon Cobourne rushed for 125 yards and a touchdown in his return from injury as the Alouettes beat the slumping Saskatchewan Roughriders 37-12 on Sunday afternoon in Montreal.
Cobourne, back after missing three weeks with a sore ankle, averaged 7.4 yards on his 17 carries. He's third in the CFL with 840 yards rushing.
Anthony Calvillo completed 27 of 39 passes for 287 yards with three touchdowns and an interception. He tossed a TD apiece to Kerry Carter, Jamel Richardson and Brian Bratton.
Reserve quarterback Adrian McPherson ran in a one-yard major early in the second quarter that put the Alouettes up 8-3, and they never trailed from there.
With its second consecutive win, Montreal (9-4) widened its lead in the East Division to eight points over Winnipeg.
"It's a feeling of accomplishment, but it's something we feel we can do," said middle linebacker Reggie Hunt, a former Roughrider who has become a valuable piece of the Montreal defence this season.
"We have a very athletic group here and we feel if we play hard and are assignment-sharp, these are the kind of games we can have. We feel there's more of these games to come. We'll need it in the playoffs."
The Als visit lowly Hamilton next week.
Riders without 2 key starters
Saskatchewan (8-5) is headed in the opposite direction. Following a 6-0 start, the Riders have dropped five of seven — including three straight — to fall into a second-place tie in the West with B.C.
The Riders, who beat Montreal 41-33 on July 19 in Regina, suffered their first loss in six games against East opponents this season.
"It's very impressive in any league when you can hold a team to no touchdowns," said Montreal coach Marc Trestman, who gave credit to defensive co-ordinator Tim Burke.
"That's really hard to do, and they did it against a team that has an offensive philosophy that's as good or better than any in the league."
West-leading Calgary is just two points ahead of Saskatchewan, but last place Edmonton is just two behind.
The Riders host Calgary next week.
Kicker Luca Congi accounted for all the Riders' points on Sunday, making good on each of his four field-goal attempts.
Quarterback Michael Bishop went 22-of-41 for 361 yards and a pair of interceptions.
Receiver Rob Bagg had a career day, racking up 146 yards on six catches.
Saskatchewan was without CFL rushing leader Wes Cates, who is nursing a lower-leg injury.
Linebacker Anton McKenzie, who went into the weekend leading the league in tackles with 63, sat out with a shoulder injury.
Cobourne puts it away
After a missed field goal by Damon Duval, Saskatchewan threatened to score the first major when Bagg took a 72-yard catch-and run down to the three-yard line. The play was one yard longer than Bagg's total receiving output for the season.
But Montreal's defence made Bagg pay for not getting the ball into the end zone, stuffing the Riders on two straight run attempts to force a chip shot by Congi that made it 3-0.
The Als' offence took advantage of the momentum, embarking on an 11-play 74-yard scoring drive. McPherson — a short-yardage specialist — capped it off with a one-yard sneak for a touchdown early in the second quarter.
Montreal struck again when fullback Carter gathered in a short floater from Calvillo and found his way to paydirt for a 21-yard score.
The Alouettes added another TD on a beautiful one-handed grab in the end zone by Richardson before Congi cut Saskatchewan's deficit to 22-6 with a field goal right before halftime.
A swap of interceptions went Montreal's way in the third quarter. Following Calvillo's pick, Diamond Ferri plucked one out of the air off Bishop and returned it to the Riders' 10-yard line.
One play later, Calvillo ran a play fake and tossed to Bratton, who stiff-armed his way into the end zone for a 29-9 Montreal lead.
After Congi booted his fourth field goal of the day, Cobourne put the game away with 4:38 left, running over the left side for a two-yard major.