It was a night to remember

MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 10:16 AM ET

Damon Allen crumpled to the turf upon impact in obvious pain, his body contorting into a 43-year-old pretzel.

The football barely had left Allen's ailing right hand when he was smacked by Montreal Alouettes linebacker Louis Mackey late in the second quarter.

So close and yet so far.

Here Allen was last night, just 15 yards away from becoming the second pro quarterback to throw for 70,000 yards, and now it appeared he had been sidelined with a suspected concussion.

But for those among the crowd of 30,786 at the Rogers Centre who figured his night was over, Allen wasn't done yet.

After sitting on the bench watching backup Spergon Wynn misfire, Allen returned to the field with less than two minutes left in the third quarter.

Cue the highlight reels.

On his second snap back, Allen looped a short screen pass to receiver Keith Stokes, who galloped 37 yards on the historical play.

The milestone completion allowed Allen to surpass the 70,000-yard mark, enabling him to join former Edmonton Eskimos great Warren Moon as the only men to accomplish the feat.

More importantly, his resiliency in shaking off the pain proved to be inspiration for his teammates, who crushed the first-place Als 31-6 last night to up their record to 4-5 on the season.

"He was like the white knight riding in to save the day," coach Mike (Pinball) Clemons said.

"I've run out of superlatives for him. Maybe we should just call him The Man. Maybe Superman. I hear he's better than the movie."

After hauling in the monumental reception, a jovial Stokes had one request of his legendary pivot.

"Damon's got lots of cash," Stokes said. "Maybe he can buy me a pair of shoes. Tell him to get me some Gators. Size 10 1/2."

Allen finished the evening going 10-for-19 for 200 yards, including an electrifying 83-yard touchdown strike to Arland Bruce.

"I was a bit dizzy,"Allen said, describing the hit that temporarily knocked him out of the game.

"I thought it was flagrant, too, the way (Mackey) drove me into the ground.

"I wanted to come back at the start of the third but (the doctors) wanted to make sure. I can understand that. At the same time I was sitting there thinking, 'I wanted to hit the record in front of the fans and now I'm going to be 15 yards short.' "

After shaking off the cobwebs, Allen wasted little time hitting Stokes as part of an impressive touchdown drive that put Toronto up 21-6.

The next milestone looming on Allen's radar is Moon's career record for passing yards of 70,553. Allen needs 442 more to pass Moon and become the career leader.

When and if that happens, Allen might pick up the phone and get in touch with Moon, his boyhood idol.

"Warren's a friend of my brother Marcus,"Allen said. "If I need to phone (Moon), I have his number."

At this rate, Moon should expect a call soon.


Videos

Photos