CALGARY -- After taking an illegal hit from linebacker Shea Emry, Drew Tate got right back up and made the Montreal Alouettes pay.
Tate completed 25-of-35 passes for 299 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions as the Calgary Stampeders downed the Alouettes 38-10 in Canadian Football League action on Sunday.
With Calgary leading 18-7 in the second quarter and the Stampeders threatening to score once again, centre Mark Dewit snapped the ball over Tate's head. The starting Calgary quarterback alertly fell to the turf and covered up the ball before Emry charged towards him and hit him while he was lying on the ground.
"It didn't feel good," admitted Tate.
Emry was subsequently penalized for unnecessary conduct to give the Stampeders a first-down situation on the Montreal 17-yard line. Tate then completed a 14-yard pass to Larry Taylor before handing off to Jon Cornish for a three-yard touchdown run to give the Stamps an insurmountable 25-7 lead.
"Instead of just getting up and saying something, just say something with your play," said Tate, who is now 4-0 for the Stamps in regular-season games. "That really cuts deeper."
Calgary coach and general manager John Hufnagel commended Tate for his efforts in front of 26,387 fans at McMahon Stadium.
"He's a young quarterback that's learning on the fly and he can also win, so that's what counts," Hufnagel said. "When he's on the field, he makes plays for you and gets the ball to his playmakers. He didn't have a perfect game by any stretch of the imagination, but he played well enough to get us a win."
Cornish finished with a pair of rushing touchdowns, while veteran receiver Nik Lewis also caught a TD pass for the Stampeders (1-0). Rookie safety Keenan MacDougall recovered a fumble and ran it back into the Montreal end zone, Rene Paredes kicked three field goals, while Rob Maver had a punt single.
Brian Bratton caught Montreal's lone touchdown from veteran quarterback Anthony Calvillo, who went 16-for-31 for 174 yards and was also picked off twice. Sean Whyte added a field goal for the Alouettes (0-1).
"It was just a pathetic performance on us, especially myself," Calvillo said. "We've got to accept that and move on. It doesn't matter what we did the year before. We've got to come back and perform this year and today we didn't do it."
Paredes connected on a 38-yard field goal to give the Stampeders a 3-0 lead at 3:29 of the first quarter.
On Montreal's next possession, Richardson caught a nine-yard pass from Calvillo at midfield before Calgary linebacker Juwan Simpson levelled him with a heavy hit that caused a fumble. Playing in his first-ever CFL game, MacDougall picked up the loose ball and sprinted untouched for a 63-yard touchdown.
"It really worked out well for me," MacDougall said. "I wasn't really thinking of anything besides getting to that end zone. Adrenaline was rushing and everything. I don't even know what I did what I did when I got there. I think I just turned around and got to the sideline. It was definitely fun."
After Montreal went two-and-out to give Calgary the ball back, Tate engineered a seven-play, 66-yard drive culminating in a four-yard touchdown run by Cornish. Maver then kicked a 63-yard punt single to give the Stamps an 18-0 lead through one quarter of play.
After Calvillo tossed a 37-yard touchdown pass to Bratton early in the third quarter, Cornish responded for the Stampeders with a three-yard TD run to cap off a nine-play, 75-yard drive.
Whyte then kicked a 32-yard field goal for the Als, before Paredes responded with one from 29 yards out to give Calgary a 28-10 lead heading into halftime.
The Stamps threatened to increase their lead early in the third quarter, but Montreal cornerback Billy Parker intercepted a pass by Tate at the goal-line. Calgary defensive back Brandon Smith then picked off an errant throw by Calvillo at midfield before the rapid sequence of turnovers continued when former Stampeder and current Alouettes defensive back Dwight Anderson intercepted a pass by Tate.
Later in the third quarter, Lewis caught a short pass from Tate and then leapt into the end zone over Montreal defensive back Michael Carter for a 13-yard touchdown.
"By any means necessary, when you get that close to the end zone you've got to put it in and nobody better to put it in but me," Lewis said.
With Montreal threatening to score a short time later, Quincy Butler intercepted another errant pass by Calvillo in the end zone and ran it back out to the Calgary 29-yard line. The Stamps drove into Montreal territory and were rewarded when Paredes kicked a 29-yard field goal to round out the scoring.
"Any time you can start off with a win, it's a big thing for the team especially at home in front of all of our fans," said Smith. "That's big. It gets the season off to a great start. Going against a team like Montreal, they're able to beat any team on any given day. They're always at the top of the league, every year. Being able to come out and beat them in this fashion is a big boost for our team."
Notes: With the win, the Stamps now have an all-time record in the regular season record of 33-31-1 against the Alouettes, including a 20-12-1 mark at home. ... The Stamps also evened their all-time record during games held on Canada Day to 4-4. ... Tate completed the first seven passes he attempted in the game for 70 yards. ... The Stamps will play their next game in Toronto against the Argonauts on July 7 before travelling to Montreal for a rematch against the Alouettes five days later.