Toronto Argonauts slotback Chad Owens dives after catching a pass for a touchdown ahead of Montreal Alouettes defensive back Jerald Brown during first quarter CFL football action Friday

Toronto Argonauts slotback Chad Owens dives after catching a pass for a touchdown ahead of Montreal Alouettes defensive back Jerald Brown during first quarter CFL football action Friday

Owens leads Argos to win over Als

MONTREAL — Coach Scott Milanovich had a sense that his Toronto Argonauts were ready to have a big game. Then they went into Percival Molson Stadium and beat the Montreal Alouettes on their home turf.

MONTREAL — Coach Scott Milanovich had a sense that his Toronto Argonauts were ready to have a big game.

Then they went into Percival Molson Stadium and beat the Montreal Alouettes on their home turf.

Ricky Ray threw a pair of touchdown passes to Chad Owens and Toronto’s defence shone as the Argonauts downed the Alouettes 23-20 on Friday night.

“Our guys had an edge tonight, we felt it last night in the meeting room,” said the Argonauts’ first-year coach. ”These guys wanted it.

“We hadn’t played well on the road and we knew we’d have to come in here and really play hard for 60 minutes to get this win because we respect Montreal so much.”

Swayze Waters added three field goals, including two from 50 yards, for Toronto (3-2). The Argos became only the third CFL team after Saskatchewan and Edmonton to win away from home this season.

Part of what had Toronto jacked up was that Milanovich was making his first trip back to Montreal, where he had been Alouettes coach Marc Trestman’s offensive co-ordinator and right-hand man the last four years.

And ex-Als like safety Etienne Boulay were also playing their former team.

“There’s a lot of people (in Montreal) that I care about and always will, but this was about the Argos, about us getting a win. Not about me or anybody else,” said Milanovich.

Brandon London scored a TD and Sean Whyte had four field goals for Montreal (2-3), which has not won on the road and now has consecutive games in Winnipeg and Edmonton.

The crowd of 22,753 saw the Argonauts score on their first two possessions to take the lead. Then both defences came up big in the second half.

Ray passed for 236 yards in the first half, but only 44 the rest of the way. Montreal’s Anthony Calvillo, still looking uncomfortable with a sore left (non-throwing) shoulder, completed 25 passes for 317 yards, but found the end zone only once against Toronto’s league-best pass defence.

The difference in the game may have been two turnovers — an interception by Pat Watkins on Calvillo’s underthrown ball in the end zone late in the first half and Brandon Whitaker’s fumble that killed a drive early in the third quarter. Penalties also hurt Montreal.

“I think we showed signs of being a very good team tonight,” said Trestman. ”What stands out in my mind is we had a number of big plays negated by penalties, both offensively and defensively. We had some sacks that were negated. We had two or three big offensive plays and we went backwards because of penalties. And the turnovers.”