Montreal Alouettes Anthony Calvillo racked up 369 passing yards with three touchdowns in his team's 45-19 win over the Toronto Argonauts on Sunday.) ((Peter McCabe/Canadian Press))

The Montreal Alouettes' top-ranked offence hardly missed a beat Sunday afternoon, even without running back Avon Cobourne.

Veteran quarterback Anthony Calvillo threw three touchdowns and rushed for another to lift the Alouettes to a 45-19 win over the Toronto Argonauts at home, a victory that gives the Als a little more breathing room atop the CFL's East Division.

Montreal sits first in the East with a 7-3 record, ahead of the second-place Argos (4-6), and is 6-0 against East Division opponents this season.

The Alouettes were without Cobourne, who leads the CFL in rushing this season with 815 yards but suffered an ankle injury late in Montreal's win over the B.C. Lions last week.

Cobourne, 29, has enjoyed a breakout season, his third with the Alouettes, and also ranks 15th in receiving with 487 yards on 49 receptions.

But that hardly mattered to Calvillo, though, who tore apart the Argos' secondary, completing 36 of 49 passes for 369 yards.

"We felt that it was an Eastern opponent and we needed to keep stretching our lead, but we didn't look at it as a game we had to win to make a point," Calvillo said.

"We don't know what kind of team we have yet. We'll still be building right up to the end.

"No matter how much we put up or how much we stop them, we still need to improve."

Virginia Tech tailback Mike Imoh started in place of Cobourne, rushing for 75 yards on 12 carries.

Kerry Joseph completed 21 of 40 passes for 259 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions in a losing effort for Toronto.

The Als took a 17-3 lead into the halftime break after Calvillo threw a pair of touchdown strikes in the second quarter.

Calvillo 3rd on all-time TD list

Calvillo capped off a lengthy drive early in the quarter by connecting on a 10-yard touchdown play with Jamel Richardson.

It was Calvillo's 307th career touchdown pass, moving him past Matt Dunigan for third place all-time in the CFL behind Damon Allen (394) and Ron Lancaster (333).

Calvillo ended the quarter by throwing a short dump pass to Kerry Watkins, who shook off a tackle and burst into the end zone.

Argos kicker Mike Vanderjagt booted a 34-yarder, his second field goal of the game, early in the second half to cut into Montreal's lead, but the Als quickly responded when Calvillo threw a 12-yard touchdown to Brian Bratton.

Toronto's Dominique Dorsey made things interesting when he scored a 92-yard touchdown on the ensuing kickoff to make it a 24-13 game.

Any chance of a Toronto comeback was quickly snuffed out when Calvillo rumbled into the end zone on an eight-yard run early in the fourth quarter to give Montreal an 18-point cushion. Minutes later Larry Taylor scored on a 69-yard punt return to give the Als a 38-13 lead.

Joseph found Arland Bruce in the end zone on a 10-yard pass with six minutes left in regulation.

"[Joseph] didn't play great," said Argos' coach Rich Stubler. "He played well last week, but we didn't help him either. We need to block people and keep them out of his face."

The Alouettes added a final touchdown with 1:17 left to play when third-string quarterback Adrian McPherson scored on a one-yard plunge into the end zone.