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(Friday, July 27th)
Final Score: Toronto 23, Montreal 20
Montreal, QC (Sports Network) - Former Montreal Alouette return man Chad Owens came back to haunt his old team with a pair of majors to lead the Argonauts to a 23-20 victory over the Alouettes at Stade Percival-Molson Stadium on Friday.
Owens, who spent one season in Montreal before joining Toronto in 2010, caught seven passes for 97 yards and two scores to help the Argonauts (3-2) move into sole possession of first place in the East Division.
Ricky Ray went 20-of-30 for 280 yards and threw both of Owens' touchdowns, while Cory Boyd added 51 yards on 14 carries on the ground.
Swayze Waters connected on three of his four field goal attempts, including a pair of 50-yarders to allow the Argonauts to hold on for the victory.
"We can't seem to put two halves together," said Toronto head coach Scott Milanovich, who spent the last four years with the Alouettes as offensive co- coordinator and assistant head coach. "Offensively we played good in the first half, but we had break downs in the third quarter and we let it get close."
Montreal kicker Sean Whyte was equally impressive as he knocked down his first four field goal attempts, but his 54-yard try as time expired fell just short to send the Alouettes (2-3) to defeat.
Montreal trailed by three as they took possession with under a minute to play and Anthony Calvillo found Brandon London on consecutive passes to move the Alouettes into Toronto territory.
After a sack and an eight-yard completion, Whyte stepped up for the game-tying field goal attempt, but Owens caught the ball just in front of the field goal post to seal the victory.
Calvillo finished 24-of-41 through the air for 308 yards and a touchdown, but was also picked off once in the setback.
London hauled in five passes for 102 yards and a major as the Alouettes fell for the second straight contest.
"Our former coach, Milanovich, and their coaching staff put their game together and it worked to a certain extent," said Montreal defensive end John Bowman. "We pretty much knew what they were going to do."
Whyte's first field goal of the game came on the Alouettes opening drive, but the Argonauts wasted little time responding as Ray found Dontrelle Inman for 38 yards on their first play from scrimmage and then connected with Owens for a 32-yard major on his second pass to give Toronto a 7-3 lead.
Montreal answered with a touchdown strike of its own on its next series as an eight-play drive culminated with a 14-yard major from Calvillo to London as the Alouettes claimed a 10-7 advantage.
An offside penalty kept the Argonauts' subsequent drive alive late in the first quarter and Ray then found Owens on the first play of the second stanza for a 10-yard touchdown to restore Toronto's four-point lead.
"Our pass defense didn't hold us in the second quarter," admitted Bowman. "Everybody says we have the worst defense ever, but it's early and we have time to bounce back."
A quick series from Montreal gave possession back to the Argonauts, who got a 15-yard field from Waters, but the Alouttes quickly countered with a 26-yarder from Whyte to make it a 17-13 contest.
Waters then added a 50-yard field goal late in the half before a Patrick Watkins interception in the end zone on Montreal's next possession left the Alouttes facing a 20-13 deficit as they trotted into the locker room.
A 49-yard field goal from Whyte marked the only scoring in the third quarter before the Alouttes tallied a single on the first play of the fourth to pull within 20-17.
The teams then exchanged field goals as Waters buried another 50-yarder before Whyte answered with a 33-yard field goal to keep it a three-point spread.
Neither offense could get much going in the fourth until Montreal got the ball with under a minute to play, but Whyte's field goal in the closing seconds fell just short and the Argonauts escaped with the victory.
These teams are set to meet again in Montreal on September 23 and then a few weeks later the Argonauts are slated to host the Als in the third and final regular-season matchup...The Alouettes were without receiver Brian Bratton, who missed his second game with a hamstring problem...Montreal owns a 106-82-3 record in the series dating back to 1946.
07/27 23:39:20 ET
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