HAMILTON, Ontario Former Utah State star Anthony Calvillo became the second-leading passer in CFL history Thursday night, leading the Montreal Alouettes to a 33-10 victory over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the season opener.
Calvillo moved past Danny McManus (53,255 yards) late in the third quarter with a 22-yard completion to Jason Armstead. On the following play, Calvillo hit Kerry Watkins with a 32-yard touchdown pass to make it 23-3.
The recently retired Damon Allen is the leader with 72,381 yards.
"Yeah, that guy is a freak of nature," Calvillo said. "He played for so many years and I honestly believe that number is untouchable. No. 2 is not too shabby."
Calvillo, in his 15th CFL season and 11th with Montreal, was 25-of-37 for 293 yards. Watkins had six catches for 102 yards and two touchdowns.
Calvillo helped Marc Trestman win in his CFL head coaching debut. Trestman was hired in the offseason to replace Jim Popp, who returned to his full-time duties as the Alouettes' GM. Under Popp last year, the Als posted an 8-10-0 record, their first losing mark since returning to the CFL in 1996.
"It's undeniable that this is my first win as a head coach, but at the end of the day we have a long season," Trestman said. "It's a marathon. We all know it. It was a good start, but we have a long, long way to go."
Calvillo transferred to Utah State in 1992. A year later, he set a school record with 3,260 yards of total offense in the regular season and also set a school record with 5 touchdown passes in a single game.
With Calvillo leading the offense, USU won the Big West Conference championship for the first time since 1979. The Aggies finished the year with a 42-33 win over Ball State in the Las Vegas Bowl. It was Utah State's first-ever bowl victory.