07/03/2015 22:43 EDT | Updated 07/03/2016 01:12 EDT

Cato had three TD tosses in CFL debut as Alouettes top Stampeders 29-11

MONTREAL - Rookie Rakeem Cato threw three touchdown passes in his CFL debut to lead the Montreal Alouettes to a 29-11 victory over the Calgary Stampeders on Friday night.Cato hit Samuel Giguere, Cody Hoffman and former Stampeder star Nik Lewis with TD strikes while Boris Bede had three field goals for Montreal (1-1).Jon Cornish had a touchdown, Marquay McDaniel added a two-point convert and Rene Paredes had a field goal for the Stampeders (1-1), who did not get on the board until Paredes' 28-yard field goal 11:41 into the third quarter. The Alouettes were forced to go with a rookie quarterback when both starter Jonathan Crompton and backup Dan LeFevour were hurt in a season-opening loss to Ottawa last week. Coach Tom Higgins opted for Cato over Canadian Brandon Bridge, who had seen his first CFL action against the Redblacks.Montreal's 230 yards of net offence in the first half with Cato behind centre topped the 188 they picked up in four quarters against Ottawa. They led 16-0 at the intermission.Cato led the Alouettes to a touchdown on their first possession. Looking calm and efficient, the 23-year-old went 5 for 5 on a 95-yard drive capped by a six-yard TD pass to Giguere.He led another drive for a 23-yard Bede field goal and, on the next-to last push of the first half, marched downfield again for a six-yard touchdown strike to Lewis, who ran over Brandon Smith on his way into the end zone.Cato's first drive of the second half led to a 16-yard TD pass over the middle to Hoffman.A Bede field goal to open the fourth quarter put Montreal up 25-3, but quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell answered with a 63-yard pass to Marquay McDaniel that led to Cornish's score on a one-yard carry at 4:25.But Calgary gave up the ball on downs on their 28 and Bede added another boot with 2:53 to play.Calgary's Jeff Fuller, named second star of the week for his 148 receiving yards in the season opener, was scratched, apparently with a nagging knee problem.Montreal had Michael Sam on its 46-man roster, but he was dropped when the team cut to 44 players before the game. Sam is not expected to be ready to play for three or four weeks.