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Alouettes secure home playoff date with win over Argonauts

Jamel Richardson and Shea Emry scored second-half touchdowns Sunday to give the Montreal Alouettes a 24-12 victory over the Toronto Argonauts — and a home playoff date.

Richardson scored on a 75-yard touchdown reception at 12:25 in the third quarter for the East Division leaders, injecting some life into what had been a dreary game in front of 25,348 fans at Rogers Centre.

Richardson managed to dodge Toronto’s Pat Watkins before sprinting down the sideline to give the Alouettes a 17-12 lead. The long-distance catch also gave Richardson his first 100-yard game this season. He had a CFL-record 12 last season when he led the league in receiving.

Emry picked off a Jarious Jackson pass intended for Jason Barnes and ran 46 yards to give the Als a 23-12 lead. It was Emry’s first interception for a touchdown and Montreal’s first this season.

The game was a huge one with first place in the East on the line between two teams battling for post-season positioning. The victory put the Alouettes (9-6) in the driver’s seat, leading Toronto by four points with three games left and owning the tie-breaker.

Toronto dropped to 7-8 with their fourth loss in five games.

Finishing first in the division means a first-round playoff bye, then an East final played at home. The second-place finisher will host the East semifinal, with the winner of that game advancing to the conference final.

Andre Durie scored Toronto’s lone touchdown on a 24-yard catch 7:39 into the second quarter to stake Toronto to a 9-2 advantage. Durie evaded a tackle before taking a sharp right turn and headed for the open end zone for his second touchdown of the season.

Anthony Calvillo, who’s now 12-2 in 13 straight starts against Toronto, was 16-of-31 for 255 yards, one touchdown and one interception.

Jackson, making his third consecutive start in place of injured No. 1 quarterback Ricky Ray, was 20-of-40 for 239 yards, one touchdown and an interception for a touchdown.

Argos kicker Noel Prefontaine played his first game after missing 13 with hip surgery last July that he had feared may end his career. The veteran, who had said a day earlier he would only do punting duties as he eased himself back into game action, got Toronto on the scoreboard, booting a 57-yard single 2:21 minutes into the game.

He added a 59-yard single at 11:11 in the first quarter, but bobbled the snap and then was forced to avoid the rush. The Argos led 2-0 to start the second.

Sean Whyte scored Montreal’s only points of the first half, booting a 48-yard single at 2:06 into the second quarter, then field goals of 35 and 27 yards. His second came on the last play of the first half and capped an 81-yard drive highlighted by a 47-yard catch by Eric Deslauriers. The Als had to settle for three points, and the Argonauts led 9-7 at halftime.

Whyte connected again on a 37-yard field goal at 8:30 to put the Als up 10-9.

Toronto kicker Swayze Waters had four points on a 37-yard field goal and a convert.

The matchup was designated a CFL Pink game and players wore bright pink on their shoes and wrists, while the coaching staffs wore pink jackets in support of awareness and fundraising for women’s cancers. Fans in pink wigs, glasses and baseball hats dotted the crowd.

CBC | Sports News