THE CANADIAN PRESS
- With files from CFL.ca
MONTREAL -- Veteran Anthony Calvillo got the win against a rookie making his first CFL start but the 40-year-old Montreal Alouettes quarterback wasn't crowing about it after the game.
The Alouettes took the lead in the first half and held on for a 28-17 win over Drew Willy and the Saskatchewan Roughriders at Percival Molson Stadium on Sunday.
"What I liked is that when we came back into the locker-room guys were excited that we won but they were also upset at the fact that we didn't perform offensively," said Calvillo. "That's a good sign."
Calvillo threw a touchdown pass to Brian Bratton while Brandon Whitaker and backup quarterback Adrian McPherson ran for TDs as the Alouettes bounced back from their worst loss of the season, a 43-10 setback last week in Vancouver. Sean Whyte added a pair of field goals and a single on a partially blocked attempt.
However, Bratton was injured while scoring his TD and Whitaker, who picked up 102 receiving yards, left with a sore knee in the fourth quarter. Both will have MRI exams Monday and coach Marc Trestman said he does not expect either to play against the Argonauts.
The 40-year-old Calvillo threw for 266 yards, but all but 30 yards came in the first half as Saskatchewan's stingy defence came together in the final 30 minutes. Montreal did not get a first down in the entire third quarter.
The sunny, cool weather seemed ideal for football, but both teams turned it into a festival of flags. The normally disciplined Roughriders were called 17 times for 181 yards in penalties while Montreal drew 11 calls for 85 yards.
That made it tough for either team to sustain drives.
"There were a lot of penalties and you just can't have that and continue to win on a consistent basis," said Trestman. "We had some of our own.
"Retaliation penalties, and the talk stuff, and the sideline stuff -- it doesn't help anyone and it doesn't do our league a service. We're just trying to take care of our own business and do a better job. The team that has the best discipline has the best chance to win, if they don't turn the ball over. We have to work on that."
Montreal scored on the opening drive as Calvillo went to Whitaker on six of seven plays before the stocky running back took the ball in from the three.
The Alouettes and Argos will be playing for first place and Toronto will be looking at winning the season series between them after beating Montreal 23-20 earlier in the season.
"We had a chance to get one game ahead of Toronto and we did that, and now we're going to play them and it's going to be huge because they've already got one game on us and this could be one of those four-point swing games," said Calvillo. "Plus we could be up by two games. This is how it's going to be for the rest of the season."
A 62-yard completion to S.J. Green in the first half was the Alouette slotback's league-leading 12th catch for 30 or more yards this season.