Backup quarterback Buck Pierce replaced an injured Dave Dickenson late in the first half and threw three touchdown passes Friday night to lead the first-place B.C. Lions to their fifth straight win, 48-13 over the reeling Montreal Alouettes.
"We know that Buck is ready to play, we get a lot of reps with him and we can see his confidence growing every week," said Simon, who caught eight passes for 175 yards and a touchdown. "It's unfortunate Dave went down, but Buck came in and did a great job. We're a very confident group. Regardless of who comes in, we know we're going to go down and score. It's not even a question whether or not we're going to score."
Dickenson -- who missed the previous two games with an ankle injury -- left the game in the second quarter limping off the field after throwing an incomplete pass. He finished the night with 159 yards and one touchdown on 10-of-15 passing.
"I certainly wouldn't have come out of the game if it wasn't bothering me," Dickenson said of the ankle. "I felt like I was playing well and moving well, but it's tough to play this game when you're worried about every hit taking you out of the game."
Pierce was near-perfect in place of Dickenson, completing 13-of-16 passes for 221 yards with no interceptions.
"I knew we had to stick to our guns and not change a lot," Pierce said. "I really feel that when I go in, we don't have to change the game plan at all. I try to be consistent, I try to play smart like Dave, and I'm getting better at doing that."
Simon, Jason Clermont, Ryan Thelwell and Brent Johnson caught touchdown passes and Joe Smith ran one in for the Lions (8-3), who have a bye week before hosting the Alouettes (7-4) at B.C. Place on Sept. 16.
Lions defensive end Johnson, last year's Most Outstanding Canadian, caught his second touchdown pass of the season and recovered a third quarter Robert Edwards fumble in the end zone.
"When we fumbled in the end zone, that really deflated us," Alouettes coach Don Matthews said. "It was a different game from that point onward."
Montreal quarterback Anthony Calvillo continued to struggle despite completing 23-of-33 for 292 yards with a touchdown pass and an interception.
Calvillo led the offence to only one touchdown as the Alouettes lost their fourth straight game in front of a restless sellout crowd of 20,202 at Percival Molson Stadium. The crowd cheered for one of the few times all night when Calvillo was lifted for backup Nealon Greene late in the fourth quarter.
The Alouettes have scored only four touchdowns over their four-game slide, and it doesn't get any easier as Montreal faces B.C. again before a home-and-home with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers over the next three games.
Montreal has been outscored 120-42 over its last three games.
"That was a case where we were outclassed in every facet of the game, on both sides of the ball and on the bench," Matthews said. "We're going to have to improve right now, because we're not playing good football."
The Lions jumped out to a 20-6 lead by halftime despite losing Dickenson, with Pierce leading B.C. to
a touchdown and a field goal in the final three minutes of the half with a 7-for-7 passing performance.
Calvillo -- who entered the night with six interceptions and one touchdown pass in his last two games -- managed to complete his first six pass attempts of the night, but Montreal had to settle for a 23-yard David Duval field goal to open the scoring.
Dickenson came out of the gate just as hot, leading B.C. on a 75-yard drive culminating in a 25-yard touchdown strike to Clermont at 8:59 of the first to make it 7-3 Lions.
After Paul McCallum and Duval exchanged field goals in the second quarter, Pierce found Johnson wide open in the end zone on a play action fake for a four-yard touchdown at 13:48 of the second.
The Als went two-and-out on the next possession, and Pierce needed only 44 seconds to drive B.C. to an 18-yard McCallum field goal at the halftime gun to make it 20-6 Lions.
Things looked to be changing for the Alouettes to open the second half when Calvillo led Montreal to the B.C. one-yard line, only to have Edwards fumble while reaching for the goal line.
On the subsequent possession, Pierce hit Simon on a slant at midfield and Simon outran three Montreal defenders to the end zone for a 67-yard touchdown at 7:47 of the third.
The Alouettes got some life at the end of the third quarter when Calvillo threw a 12-yard touchdown to Thyron Anderson, set up by a 68-yard catch-and-run by Kerry Watkins, to cut the Lions lead to 27-13.
B.C. opened the fourth quarter with another surgical touchdown drive capped by a one-yard run by Smith at 6:06 of the fourth, and Pierce found Thelwell in the end zone from eight yards out at 11:42 to make it 41-13 Lions.
Markeith Knowlton returned a Greene interception 67 yards for a major at 13:52 to complete the scoring.
Adriano Belli, acquired in a trade with the Hamilton Tiger Cats for Clinton Wayne and Philippe Gauthier earlier this week, rotated with starter Ed Philion at defensive tackle. Belli played for the Alouettes from 2001-03 before signing as a free-agent with the Tiger-Cats in 2004...Lions guard Bobby Singh missed the game, with his spot was filled by Sherko Haji-Rasouli. Singh is expected to return for the Lions home game Sept. 16 against the AlsaMontreal was missing import linebacker Timothy Strickland, the defensive captain, who is out with an ankle injury. That allowed the Als to dress import wideout Kerry Watkins, who was a healthy scratch in Montreal's 41-23 loss to Calgary on Aug. 24. Watkins finished with six catches for 132 yards.