Canadian Football League

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Argos move into first place in Canadian Football League East

Damon Allen's legend continues to grow.
The 42-year-old threw four touchdown passes and ran one in himself as the Toronto Argonauts routed the Montreal Alouettes 49-23 on Saturday in the battle for first place in the CFL East Division.
"He never ceases to amaze us," said Toronto coach Michael (Pinball) Clemons. "He had a lot of poise and played really well.
"I really want to mention the offensive line. He had a lot of time, but when Damon takes off with the ball and gets the yards to move the chains, he's as close to a deity as I've seen."
The most valuable player of the 2004 Grey Cup game came into an Olympic Stadium packed with 51,279 Alouettes fans and ended Montreal's four-game winning streak with a masterful performance.
Allen found Arland Bruce, R. Jay Soward, Robert Baker and fullback Jeff Johnson for TD passes, while Noel Prefontaine booted four field goals for Toronto (10-6).
Allen completed 32 of 40 passes for 414 yards, was never intercepted and scrambled for another 56 yards on legs that looked only marginally aged in their 22nd CFL season.
"MVP, finally," said Clemons. "That's my comment. MVP, finally, so you can't edit it.
"It was a complete performance. So much control. That's one of the amazing things. He was - best ever."
Allen has never won the league's Most Outstanding Player award despite being the CFL's all-time passing yards leader and the only quarterback to rush for more than 10,000 yards in his career.
The brother for former NFL running back Marcus Allen has won four Grey Cups - the first in 1987 with the Edmonton Eskimos.
"I'm quite thankful that my coach believes that, but when it's all said and done, it comes down to the writers (who vote on the awards)," said Allen.
"If this is the game that solidifies it, I'm quite thankful. But my goal is to play all 18 games, give our team an opportunity to host an Eastern Final and to win the Grey Cup. Anything else is gravy."
The loss left the Alouettes (9-7) in shock. They thought they had overcome the defensive woes that plagued them early in the season, only to be picked apart by Allen and the Argonauts.
With the win, Toronto not only took a two-point lead in the standings, but won the season series between the two clubs 2-1, which is the tie-breaker if they end the season tied in points. Each team has two games left to play and Toronto can clinch first place with a win Thursday at home against lowly Hamilton.
"This is as embarrassing a game as I've been in," said Montreal coach Don Matthews. "We'll have to take a long, hard look at a lot of things and see where we can go from here.
"I'm at a loss to explain why we played like we did. I'm at a loss why we played so badly with everything on the line. It was a total team collapse."


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