CALGARY — The Calgary Stampeders and Terry Williams head into their bye week feeling good about themselves.
Williams scored the first three touchdowns of his CFL career in Calgary’s 59-11 win over the visiting Montreal Alouettes on Friday.
The 25-year-old out of Kutztown University had appeared in just two games this season and not since Week 3 when he had one carry for a loss.
Williams had big shoes to fill in his first game as a starter as he replaced injured running back and CFL rushing leader Jerome Messam.
Williams totalled 156 rushing yards on 16 carries. He collected his trio of touchdowns with one- and two-yard efforts in the first half and a 45-yard rumble in the fourth quarter.
"It meant a lot," Williams said. "It was my first game actually playing. I tried to be mistake-free. It felt good going in and doing what I’m supposed to do.
"My biggest thing coming in wasn’t really numbers. It was blocking assignments. I just want to improve on that so the coaches will trust me a little more."
Already assured a playoff berth, Calgary (12-1-1) could clinch a home playoff date before the end of September if the Winnipeg Blue Bombers (9-3) beat the Edmonton Eskimos (7-5) on Saturday.
Anthony Parker and Rob Cote had touchdown catches and Tunde Adeleke returned a punt return 51 yards to score for the Stampeders. Marquay McDaniel hauled in a two-point convert catch.
After relying on five field goals to beat the Saskatchewan Roughriders 15-9 the previous week, Stampeder head coach Dave Dickenson wanted to see drives finish with touchdowns.
"We needed a little of that," Dickenson said. "The offence has been a little depressed in the last few weeks and didn’t have that same swagger or feel.
"We wanted to be aggressive and get touchdowns."
Calgary kicker Rene Paredes was good from 32, 45, 39, 24 and 14 yards to extend his streak to 18 field goals in a row.
Tyrell Sutton scored the lone touchdown for Montreal (3-11). Boris Bede kicked a 28-yard field goal in front of an announced 26,394 at McMahon Stadium.
Montreal is the only team to have beaten the Stampeders so far this season with a 30-23 win at home in Week 4, but the Als have lost nine of 10 games since then.
Head coach Jacques Chapdelaine and defensive co-ordinator Noel Thorpe were fired earlier this month.
General manager Kavis Read took over as interim head coach with defensive line coach Greg Quick calling plays on defence.
"What do you expect from a team that loses a head coach and a defensive co-ordinator?" linebacker Chip Cox asked. "It’s a rebuilding process.
"We’re going through training camp right now while everyone else is mid-season. We’re learning all new stuff."
Calgary starter Bo Levi Mitchell completed 14-of-19 passes for 265 yards and a pair of touchdown throws in almost three quarters of work.
He came out of the game for backup Andrew Buckley when the Stampeders led 49-11. Buckley completed 5-of-7 passes for 43 yards.
With Alouettes starter Darian Durant sidelined because of a lower body injury, backup Drew Willy went 13-for-19 in passing for 137 yards and a touchdown pass.
Third-stringer Matthew Shiltz entered the game at the same time as Buckley and finished 8-for-10 for 60 yards.
The Stampeders are off for a week before facing the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Oct. 13. The Alouettes are at home to the Eskimos on Oct. 9.
"Bye weeks are always sweeter when you get there with a nice win and this was a nice win," Dickenson said. "I felt like we had a lot of things that could go wrong. It was a short week. It felt like we were playing a team that everyone was saying we should beat and a bye coming up
"I felt like our guys had a chance to maybe go on vacation early and I really tried to harp on them, keep them ready and push them. "
The Alouettes were also without Nik Lewis, the league’s all-time reception leader, because of a lower-body injury.
Lewis, who was a Stampeder for 11 years and is expected to retire after this season, was recognized with a tribute on McMahon’s scoreboard. He received a standing ovation.