TORONTO — Dahrran Diedrick scored three touchdowns while Anthony Calvillo broke the all-time CFL completions record as the Montreal Alouettes defeated the Toronto Argonauts 36-23 on Thursday night.
Calvillo added Damon Allen’s completions mark to his list of accomplishments, surpassing Allen’s record of 5,158 by starting the contest completing nine of his first 10 passes. Earlier this season, Calvillo broke Allen’s all-time mark of 394 career TD passes.
Montreal (4-2) earned its first win in three games but improved to 10-2 in its last 12 matchups against Toronto. Calvillo finished 30-of-36 passing for 349 yards and a TD with no picks while tailback Brandon Whitaker ran for 151 yards on 19 carries.
The Argos (1-5) lost their fifth straight before a sparse Rogers Centre gathering generously announced at 19,204 with the roof open on a brilliant summer night.
Toronto starter Cleo Lemon, back under centre after missing last week’s game in Edmonton with a cracked tooth, finished 25-of-40 passing for 314 yards with two TDs and one interception.
Diedrick put Montreal ahead 27-13 with a one-yard run at 4:19 of the third. After Toronto surrendered a safety later in the quarter, Diedrick put the Alouettes comfortably ahead 36-13 with another one-yard TD run at 2:23 of the fourth.
S.J. Green had Montreal’s other touchdown. Sean Whyte added the converts and two field goals. The other points came on a safety.
Spencer Watt and Mike Bradwell scored Toronto’s touchdowns, Grant Shaw booted three field goals and two converts.
Montreal took a 20-13 advantage at halftime, thanks to a strange finish to the second by Toronto.
Toronto had possession at the Alouettes’ 41-yard line with six seconds remaining but rather than try the field goal the Argos called one last play. Instead of throwing a quick out towards the sidelines to at least stop the clock, the ball went to tailback Chad Kackert, who couldn’t get to the sidelines before time expired.
Calvillo quickly took care of Allen’s all-time record, surpassing the mark with an 18-yard completion to Brandon London late in the first.
Play continued on although the achievement was acknowledged on the Jumbotron. Calvillo came in needing just nine completions to surpass Allen and Whyte’s 12-yard field goal at 13:31 put Montreal ahead 10-3.
Lemon pulled Toronto into a 10-10 tie with a 20-yard TD strike to Watt at 1:59 of the second.
But Diedrick’s two-yard run at 11:52 put Montreal ahead 17-10. The Toronto native capped a six-play, 47-yard drive set up by Billy Parker’s interception of a pass tipped by Jeremaine Copeland.
NOTES: Since Calvillo became Montreal’s starter in 2000, Toronto has had 16 different starting quarterbacks . . . Tailback Cory Boyd and punter Noel Prefontaine were among Toronto’s pre-game scratches. Veteran kicker Sandro DeAngelis didn’t dress for Montreal . . . Argos veteran halfback Bryan Crawford appeared in his 100th career game.