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Montreal Alouettes quarterback Anthony Calvillo holds the trophy after being named the CFL's Most Outstanding Player at the CFL Player Awards in Calgary, Alberta November 26, 2009. REUTERS/Todd Korol


Montreal Alouettes quarterback Anthony Calvillo is the CFL's outstanding player for the second straight year.

Calvillo received the award for the third time in his 16-year career Thursday at the CFL's awards banquet.

Calvillo, 37, enjoyed a banner '09 season, completing a stellar 72 per cent of his passes in helping lead Montreal to a CFL-best 15-3 record. His passing completion average was the best he's enjoyed since coming north of the border in 1994 with the expansion Las Vegas Posse.

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Calvillo also finished the season with a league-high 108.4 quarterback rating that exceeded last year's mark, and he threw just six interceptions in 550 pass attempts, the fewest picks given up by a CFL starter.

Calvillo was one of three Alouettes to receive awards as Scott Flory was named top lineman and kick-returner Larry Taylor captured special-teams honours. Defensive end Anwar Stewart and slotback Ben Cahoon were finalists as top defensive player and top Canadian, respectively.

All five Alouettes will be in action Sunday when Montreal takes on the Saskatchewan Roughriders in the 97th Grey Cup at McMahon Stadium (TSN, 6 p.m. ET).

Calgary Stampeders tailback Joffrey Reynolds, the league's top rusher in 2009 with 1,504 yards, was the West finalist for the award.

The other award winners included Saskatchewan Roughriders defensive end John Chick (defensive player), and defensive end Ricky Foley (Canadian) and tailback Martell Mallett (rookie) of the B.C. Lions.

Voting was conducted by the Football Reporters of Canada and all eight CFL head coaches.

Wally Buono, the B.C. Lions head coach and GM, received the commissioner's award for outstanding contribution to Canadian football. Buono completed his 20th season as a CFL head coach, becoming the winningest coach in league history (235 wins). Buono, 59, also was a linebacker-punter with the Alouettes from 1973 to '82 before becoming an assistant coach with the club in '83.

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Marwan Hage of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats received the Tom Pate award for outstanding community service.

Calvillo has flourished the past two seasons under head coach Marc Trestman's pass-first offensive approach and it's no coincidence the Alouettes find themselves in the Grey Cup for the second straight year and seventh time since 2000. But Montreal has won just one Grey Cup title over that span.

Calvillo's experience alone creates a huge challenge for a defence, because there's precious little Calvillo hasn't seen during his stellar CFL career. With a solid supporting cast around him, Calvillo is a master of not only finding the open receiver, but also spreading the wealth.

Montreal had three 1,000-yard receivers this season and the presence of tailback Avon Cobourne gives Calvillo a running back who's a rugged rusher but also capable of being a solid part of the passing game. Calvillo also anchored an offence that led the CFL in scoring (33.3 points per game), passing (288.4 yards), touchdowns (50) and passing TDs (33)

The six-foot-three, 250-pound Chick was a force for the Riders' defence, finishing fourth overall in sacks with 11, just one behind league-leaders Ricky Foley of B.C., teammate Stevie Baggs and Montreal's John Bouman. Chick also added 32 defensive tackles and two fumble recoveries.

Making Chick's accomplishments more impressive is that he has type 1 diabetes.

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The six-foot-two, 245-pound Foley had the unenviable task this season of replacing Cameron Wake, the former CFL sacks leader who signed in the off-season with the NFL's Miami Dolphins. The native of Courtice, Ont., performed admirably, finishing the season tied for the league lead in sacks with 12 his first season as a CFL starter despite playing with a broken thumb.

Taylor was tops in the CFL with 788 punt-return yards and two TDs, and finished third in kickoff returns. He also returned a missed field goal for a TD.

Jason Aragki of the B.C. Lions, a native of Oakville, Ont., who finished second overall with 35 special-teams tackles this season, was the finalist.

Flory, 33, of Regina, is a five-time East Division nominee for the honour. The six-foot-four, 300-pound University of Saskatchewan grad was part of a Montreal offensive line that helped the Alouettes lead the CFL in scoring (33.3 points per game), passing (288.4 yards per game) and total yards (390.3 per game).

Ben Archibald of the Calgary Stampeders was the runner-up.

The six-foot, 195-pound Mallett had a stellar first season with B.C., rushing for 1,240 yards and eight TDs. Mallett, 23, ran for a club-record 213 yards against Montreal on Sept. 4, 2009.

Defensive back Jonathan Hefney of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers was the finalist for the award.

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