Blue Bombers 13
MONTREAL — The Montreal Alouettes’ late-season slide looks to be over.
Anthony Calvillo returned from a calf injury to throw two touchdown passes and Damon Duval kicked six field goals as the Alouettes pounded the Winnipeg Blue Bombers 48-13 on Sunday afternoon for a team record-tying 14th win of the season.
The victory came a week after a 41-24 loss in Winnipeg with back-up Adrian McPherson at quarterback and gave the Alouettes a perfect 9-0 record at home for the season.
Calvillo said the calf was completely healed and he’ll be ready to play when the Alouettes (14-3) go after a 15th win as they close the regular season Saturday against the 3-14 Argonauts in Toronto.
“Every team’s goal is to be undefeated at home and have a winning record on the road and that would get you to about 14-4, so we’re right on target,” the veteran pivot said. “We didn’t want to make them think they could beat us at home. Last week, they played well and give them credit for that, but we wanted to play the way we wanted, putting offence, defence and special teams together, and we did that and you saw the result.”
Marc Trestman’s Alouettes equalled their win total set in 2004 under former coach Don Matthews, although that year Calvillo was injured in the East final and they were beaten by the Argonauts.
Brian Bratton and Andrew Hawkins caught TD passes, Larry Taylor also scored on a 115-yard missed field goal return and Avon Cobourne ran in his 15th TD of the season for Montreal.
Titus Ryan had a TD catch and Alexis Serna booted two field goals for the Blue Bombers (7-10), who can finish second in the East Division with a win over Hamilton (8-9) next weekend.
The Bombers and Ticats split two games this season, both in Hamilton. If the Ticats win, they take second place outright and Winnipeg will be bumped from the playoffs by a crossover team from the West Division. If Winnipeg wins, they will tie Hamilton but get second place based on winning the season series.
That may be why the Bombers, who beat Montreal 41-24 in Winnipeg last weekend, were never in the return match.
But coach Mike Kelly was irate when it was suggested his team didn’t show up, even though his offence was held to 197 net yards and only seven first downs, compared to 392 yards for Montreal.
“We played hard,” he said. “I never questioned the effort our players put in and if anyone questions it they’re dead wrong.”