Calvillo crowned QB king

Alouettes quarterback Anthony Calvillo signals during a game against the Argonauts in Montreal,...

Alouettes quarterback Anthony Calvillo signals during a game against the Argonauts in Montreal, Que., Oct. 10, 2011. (CHRISTINNE MUSCHI/Reuters)

FRANK ZICARELLI, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 5:53 PM ET

MONTREAL - History could not be delayed on a day when the Argos officially became history from any post-season race.

With so much focus on Anthony Calvillo's march for passing immortality, it was almost expected that even the cool and composed pocket passer would feel some inner pressure to produce on Thanksgiving Monday.

It was not vintage Calvillo, a guy known for his quick release and precision, but even an average Calvillo could not be denied his place in CFL lore.

When he hooked up with Jamel Richardson on a 50-yard touchdown play on the final play of the third-quarter, Calvillo had eclipsed Damon Allen as the league leader in career passing yards.

The timing was perfect as it came at the conclusion of a quarter, allowing enough time for both the Argos and the Als to resume their business on the field.

A four-minute ceremony was staged to honour Calvillo, who shed a tear as tributes played on the overhead screen.

It was a nice gesture, but it smacks of insecurity and bush league when Chris Berman presents a segment comparing Calvillo to Kurt Warner, which is utter nonsense.

It was the third time Calvillo broke one of Allen's records, each with the Argos providing the opposition.

For the record, Calvillo's hook up with Richardson gave Calvillo 72,387 career yards, which broke Allen's previous mark of 72,381.

Also for the record, the Als' 29-19 win officially books them a spot in the playoffs for the 16th year in a row.

For the Argos, their remaining four games will all be about nurturing Steven Jyles and trying to surround the quarterback with playmakers.

Calvillo would finish the game with 305 passing yards to give him 72,429 in his career, but many of his yards against the Argos came after the catch.

In fact, the milestone throw to Richardson should have been limited to about 15 yards, but a missed tackle led to a score that gave the Als a 29-19 lead.

"It's been an emotional week,'' Calvillo said. "I'm glad we won and I'm glad it's over with.

"It's definitely a blessing and it's something I'll always remember for the rest of my life. It hasn't set it."

Almost as ludicrous as comparing Calvillo to Warner is this silly notion of grouping the likes of Calvillo and Allen with NFL quarterbacks.

Has it ever occurred to these delusional individuals that three-down football requires passing and that CFL seasons feature more games.

What Calvillo has achieved cannot be downplayed and nor can it be dismissed.

Calvillo is a class guy whose passing numbers must be recognized and admired, but there's no point in rhyming off names such as Warner or Brett Favre because the two games are entirely different.

It's very similar to what Chad Owens is on the cusp of accomplishing.

The CFL should and must stand on its own because its history is deep and its history must be honoured.

If truth be told, Calvillo isn't the best quarterback the CFL has seen.

What Calvillo stands for is perseverance and precision.

In a fantasy pickup game, Doug Flutie and Warren Moon would go ahead of Calvillo.

Lost on Monday was the way the Argos actually confused Calvillo by mixing their looks.

Had Jordan Younger not dropped a potential pick six late in the first half, the game may have turned in Toronto's favour, even though the Argos offence still can't find a way to score touchdowns.

Toronto led 16-13 at intermission, but no offence spells certain doom and it was just a matter of time before the Als would take command.

It came in the third quarter when Owens dropped a punt in the shadow of his end zone.

With the Argos scrimmaging from their two-yard line, Jyles got flushed to his left and as he tried to head downfield Anwar Stewart sacked Jyles for a safety.

On Montreal's ensuing possession, the Als would run seven plays in roughly more than four minutes, drive the ball 67 yards for a touchdown that would give the homeside a 22-16 lead.

In the unlikeliest of touchdowns, it was Calvillo making like Flutie in using his feet on a 19-yard run, Calvillo's first rushing major of the season.

Owens scored Toronto's lone touchdown on a 58-yard punt return, his second special teams major on the season.


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