08/08/2013 10:37 EDT | Updated 10/08/2013 05:12 EDT

Argonauts embarrass Alouettes 38-13 in Popp's return to Montreal sideline

MONTREAL - John Chiles caught a pair of Ricky Ray touchdown passes and Chad Owens returned a missed field goal attempt 118 yards in the first quarter to send the Toronto Argonauts on to a 38-13 win over the Montreal Alouettes on Thursday night.

Ray threw his third touchdown pass to Jason Barnes in the second quarter and Noel Prefontaine added a field goal moments later as Toronto roared to a 31-0 lead.

The Argonauts won their third in a row to improve to 4-2, increasing their East Division lead to four points over Montreal and Hamilton.

The Alouettes, who played their first game since head coach Dan Hawkins was fired a week earlier, fell to 2-4. Montreal, which lost last year's East Division final to Toronto, has one win in four games at home in 2013.

Ray threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to Chiles 1:18 into the first quarter on Toronto's second play from scrimmage after Shane Horton recovered a fumble by Montreal's Noel Devine on the opening kickoff.

Chiles was wide open in the end zone at 8:17 to catch Ray's 19-yard touchdown pass which gave the Argonauts a 14-0 lead.

Owens ran 118 yards to increase the lead to 21-0 at 10:57 after Alouettes kicker Sean Whyte missed wide left on a 49-yard field goal attempt.

Toronto had built up a 31-0 lead when Whyte kicked a 48-yard field goal to end the first half.

Anthony Calvillo made it 32-10 when he threw a 48-yard touchdown pass to Brandon London 34 seconds into the fourth quarter. Whyte added a 15-yard field goal.

It was the first of three meetings between the teams over the next five weeks.

Alouettes general manager Jim Popp Popp began his third stint as Montreal's coach in his 18-year career with the team. He took over as interim head coach after he and owner Bob Wetenhall fired Hawkins, who was brought in after Marc Trestman left to become head coach of the NFL's Chicago Bears.

Popp fell to 10-14 overall in the regular season.

Devine fumbled three times during the game, including twice in the first quarter. Tyrrell Sutton also fumbled and Calvillo was intercepted as Montreal turned over the ball four times in the first half.

Owens, who recovered a fumble by teammate Andre Durie on a 19-yard reception on the Argonauts' first offence play of the game, had a potential second touchdown called back in the second. Owens' 70-yard punt return was called back because of an illegal block by Quinn Porter.

Prefontaine kicked a 43-yard field goal to make it 31-0. He added a single in the third quarter and two more field goals in the fourth.

The two field goal attempts by Whyte were the only times Montreal made it across midfield on offence in the opening half.