Montreal, QC, Canada (4E Sports) – Former Heisman Trophy winner Troy Smith tossed for 247 yards and three touchdowns in his first CFL career start to lead the Montreal Alouettes to a 36-5 demolition of the visiting Hamilton Tiger-Cats Sunday at Percival Molson Stadium.
With the win, the Alouettes (7-9) kept their hopes of hosting a home playoff game alive. The two teams will meet again next week in Guelph, in what should be a heated East Division affair.
Smith, who started after the Alouettes decided to shut down Anthony Calvillo for the remainder of the season, completed 17 of 35 passes to lead Montreal to victory. Before his first start, Smith had thrown just 12 passes for 100 yards and one touchdown.
Smith was not the only Alouette who shone in his first start as Tyrell Sutton ran for 84 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries and caught four passes for 37 yards. SJ Green caught five passes for 86 yards and two scores.
The Alouettes’ defensive unit also shut down the Tiger-Cats running game, holding them to just 66 yards with CJ Gable gaining zero yards on three carries.
Veteran rush end John Bowman collected two sacks and four tackles, linebacker Chip Cox registered six tackles and a pair of sacks of his own while Geoff Tisdale recorded his sixth interception of the year.
Henry Burris completed 11 of 23 passes for 106 yards with an interception for the Tiger-Cats, who slipped to 8-8.
Smith struggled early but finally found his groove when he connected for a 64-yard touchdown strike to SJ Green in the first.
Three minutes later, Smith found Green anew for a two-yard touchdown, extending Montreal’s lead to 14-0.
An illegal contact on the receiver penalty on Evan McCollough pushed the Als up 10 extra yards on the first play of the possession.
Following a 26-yard field goal by Luca Congi to get the Tiger-Cats on the board, Montreal’s offense shifted to ground attacks as Sutton rushed for a 19-yard touchdown to give the Alouettes a 21-3 lead.
One possession after Sean Whyte kicked a 32-yard field goal, the Alouettes marched 72 yards on seven plays before Smith hooked up with Arland Bruce for a 26-yard touchdown for a 28-point lead at the break.