Calvillo leads Alouettes over battling Cats
Hamilton loses fourth straight and Lumsden again to injury
Anthony Calvillo threw for 326 yards plus two touchdowns and Damon Duval kicked five field goals to lead the Montreal Alouettes to a 40-33 victory over the visiting Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Thursday night.
Calvillo's first touchdown pass gave him 300 in his CFL career as the Alouettes broke a three-game losing streak and evened their mark at 3-3.
He became the fourth pivot in league history to reach 300, following Ron Lancaster, Matt Dunigan and Damon Allen.
Hamilton, losers of four straight, are now 1-5 and may be without star running back Jesse Lumsden for a while after the oft-injured player suffered what appeared to be an ankle injury in the second quarter that took him out for the rest of the night.
Leading 15-11 out of halftime, Calvillo struck quickly for No. 301. Off of play action, he found receiver Jamal Richardson down the middle between defenders for an 81-yard pass-and-run major that made it 22-11 with the convert.
He had made it to the 300 mark in the second quarter with a 30-yard pass to Kerry Watkins.
"It's something that I'm definitely going to reflect on, now and then when I'm done," Calvillo said of the mark.
"I continue to stay healthy and I'm surrounded by good talent. And good things are going to come from that, so as long as I stay healthy and these guys do their job around me, we're going to do some special things here in Montreal."
Despite those heroics, it took far too long for Montreal to put Hamilton away. The Als were helped to victory by some poor special teams play that included too many penalties.
A fourth-quarter drive that began with a long runback by Larry Taylor off a punt led to a short run from Avon Cobourne that gave Montreal a 19 point lead, 37-18.
Ticats cut lead to 11
But Cats backup quarterback Richie Williams, starting this game after Casey Printers hurt his thumb the week before, brought his club back down the field by taking advantage of a pass interference call on T.J. Hill against receiver Chris Bauman in the end zone.
A short dive by Williams capped an eight-play, 81-yard drive and the lead was 11 after a two-point convert.
Finally, inside of three minutes, Calvillo began going to Cobourne on the ground and he ran the clock down until a Duval field goal increased the lead to an insurmountable 40-26 with 1:12 left.
Even then, Williams had Hamilton at the one with seconds left. Tre Smith fumbled the ball into the end zone and offensive tackle Marko Cavka picked it up for the final touchdown of the night, with 3.2 seconds left.
Williams finished 18-for-24, with 260 yards and two interceptions, and had a nice 12-yard run in the third quarter for the first of his two majors.
Montreal finished with 443 yards total offence to the Cats' 356.
"Offensively, I thought we did some good things," said Hamilton head coach Charlie Taffe. "Richie did what he can do.
"We had too many penalties. The last time we lost the penalty ration was the first game against Montreal, and the rest of the games we've been plus."
Lumsden goes down again
Lumsden, meanwhile, went down in what's turning out to be an injury-plagued career so far in the CFL.
On a rumble late in the second quarter, the big runner suffered what coach Charlie Taffe said at halftime was an ankle injury, though no further details were available.
He did not return, leaving Cats fans worried he could be out for a longer period after he already missed one game this year and eight in 2007.
"He's got an ankle sprain, whatever that is," Taffe said. "I don't know if it's a high ankle sprain or not but it is a sprained ankle and obviously he wasn't able to come back in this game.
"So, we'll have to see how he responds over the weekend to treatment and we've got a full week to get ready for the next one, so hopefully, I know he'll do everything he can to get back."
Als take halftime lead
Montreal led 8-3 into the second quarter on two field goals a safety.
The Calvillo touchdown to Watkins made it 15-3 for the Als, but three turnovers kept Hamilton in the game.
Williams handed off to Smith from the five-yard line to make it 15-10 and a missed Setta field goal went for a single as Montreal led by four at the half.
With files from the Canadian Press