Calgary Stampeders trample Redblacks to claim Grey Cup championship

Calgary Stampeders trample Redblacks to claim Grey Cup championship
Stampeders beat Redblacks to win 106th Grey Cup
Williams had a record 97-yard punt-return touchdown on a slippery Commonwealth Stadium turf Sunday night to lead Calgary past the Ottawa Redblacks 27-16 in the Grey Cup.

Calgary finally won the CFL title in its third straight appearance; the Stampeders lost 39-33 in overtime to Ottawa in 2016 before dropping a 27-24 decision last year to the Toronto Argonauts. It's the franchise's eighth Grey Cup and its first since 2014.

After losing both the 104th and 105th Grey Cups, the Stampeders finally earned a win in the CFLs biggest game, besting the Redblacks 27-16. When looking back at how this game played out, it is hard to argue that any other play impacted the game the way Williams special teams effort did.

Stampeders Williams sets Grey Cup record with 97-yard punt return touchdown

Calgary quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell — the CFL's most outstanding player this season after tossing a league-best 35 TDs — was the game MVP with two touchdown passes but also two interceptions.

In the dying moments of the second quarter, the Ottawa Redblacks punted the ball away trailing 14-11. Williams, the Stampeders running back who hadnt played since November 3rd, returned the punt for a 97-yard touchdown.

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"It feels surreal," Mitchell said. "I know we talked that [the two previous losses] didn't mean anything but we couldn't make the game bigger than it was. We had to understand that this was one game and you can only win one game and win only one Grey Cup.

The implications the touchdown had on the game was paramount. Rather than heading into half-time up by a field goal, Williams effort broke the game open and turned it into a two-score contest.

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"I think the guys who were on those two teams, even on the team last year, the emotions at the 30-second mark kind of hit. It wasn't about redemption against anybody else or the league … it felt like as an organization we've been at the top too much not to finish the job. It feels amazing to get it done for the city of Calgary."

Stampeders receiver Lemar Durant was named the outstanding Canadian with four catches for 30 yards and a TD and a 22-yard run.

Terry Williams returns a punt 97 yards for a @calstampeders touchdown with one second remaining in the first half! 🔥👏#GreyCup #CFL pic.twitter.com/lRMCpLAm5t

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"It's huge, it's like a 100-pound weight lifted off me," Durant said. "Growing up, all you want to do is be a champion and to have those chances and let them slip out of your hands and think like you might not get a shot at this. There's been people in this league 10-plus years and never get a chance. To be able to come back and just get that is huge."

The release also states that an estimated 500,000 CFL fans from coast to coast arrived in Edmonton to take in the big game, festival, awards and other fantastic events. It is expected to bring an economic boom of approximately $80 million to the local economy by the end of the festivities.

Mitchell finished 24-for-36 passing for 253 yards. Redblacks counterpart Trevor Harris had a rough night, going 20-for-38 for 288 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions.

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Ottawa — in its third Grey Cup in four years — appeared to score on Greg Ellingson's acrobatic one-handed grab in the fourth quarter but replays showed the ball hit the turf. The Redblacks ended up turning the ball over on downs at the Calgary seven-yard line with just over eight minutes remaining.

“This is a situation where words cannot express how we feel,” said Len Rhodes, Edmonton Eskimos president and CEO and 2018 Grey Cup co-chair in the release.

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After Ottawa turned the ball over on downs again, Calgary's Jamar Wall and Tre Roberson followed up with interceptions on consecutive Redblacks possessions. Roberson's pick came with 1:22 to play.

“This is a situation where words cannot express how we feel,” said Len Rhodes, Edmonton Eskimos president and CEO and 2018 Grey Cup co-chair in the release.

A Commonwealth Stadium gathering of 55,819 watched the opening kickoff in 1 C conditions with an 11 kilometre-an-hour wind. But the field in Edmonton proved to be the story of the game.

Despite being released in June, on Wednesday StarMetro reported that more than 300 tickets were available for Sunday’s championship game.

On Saturday, several Calgary players said the turf was hard and slippery and footwear would be important. During the pre-game warmups, many Stampeders wore shoes featuring short, traditional turf cleats or those with a flat rubber sole.

Despite being released in June, on Wednesday StarMetro reported that more than 300 tickets were available for Sunday’s championship game.

"It's alright, it is what it is," he said before the game. "It's the CFL."

Poll Todays winner will be the Stampeders Redblacks vote view results 57% Stampeders (59 votes) 42% Redblacks (44 votes) 103 votes total Vote Now More From Bluebird Banter Question time: Which player in Blue Jays history did you have the highest hopes for, but didnt live up to your expectations? Friday links Question Time: Which Blue Jays player turned out to be much better than you ever expected? Toronto Blue Jays Roster Tree Route Map Update Happy Birthday Mark Eichhorn Wednesday round up Most Read Question time: Which player in Blue Jays history did you have the highest hopes for, but didnt live up to your expectations? Toronto Blue Jays Roster Tree Route Map Update The roster tree has been updated with the newest additions to the Blue Jays 40-man roster Find Tickets Toronto area events happening soon:

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But it became apparent early footing would be an issue. That was especially clear with 38 seconds left in the first quarter when Williams had both feet slip from beneath him while returning a missed 47-yard Lewis Ward field goal try.

The team from the East is the Ottawa Redbacks (must be in the top 10 for worst names for a sports team, I liked it better when 2 of the leagues 9 teams were named Roughriders. I mean it works in the Premiership, where many of the teams are called United), who are playing in their third Grey Cup in the past four years. And they won it in 2016, over the Stampeders.

Rene Paredes put Calgary ahead 27-14 with a 29-yard field goal at 2:54 of the fourth. It was set up by Wynton McManis's recovery of Diontae Spencer's fumble on a punt return at the Ottawa 25-yard line.

Calgary went into the fourth leading 24-14 thanks to Paredes's 34-yard field goal at 11:24 of the third. It came after Ward's 41-yard boot at 7:56.

Anyway, lets have a contest. Pick the winner and the final score. Closest wins, well, nothing, but gets my admiration. Thats gotta be worth at last a buck fifty.

Julian Feoli-Gudino had Ottawa's touchdown. Jean-Christophe Beaulieu added a two-point convert while Ward booted two field goals.

But, it is also Grey Cup day. My Stampeders are playing in it for the third year in a row, and fifth time in the last 7. But they have only won one of those games.

Williams provided the first half's biggest play, a Grey Cup-record 97-yard punt return TD at 14:59 of the second. After taking the ball, Williams nearly slipped heading upfield but an Ottawa defender engaged with a blocker slid on by, allowing Williams to hit the open field, then run past punter Richie Leone to put Calgary ahead 21-11.

"I thought I was gonna bust my butt for a second but I caught myself, saw an opening and hit it full speed," Williams said. "It was big, we needed the spark. We were battling all game and needed to make it happen and that we did."

Williams provided the entertainment factor in an otherwise sloppy opening half. The two teams combined for four turnovers (three picks and a fumble), some ugly drops and eight punts.

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Ottawa's most consistent offensive weapon was William Powell, who ran nine times for 58 yards while sporting bring neon orange shoes before changing to white ones at halftime. But the CFL's second-leading rusher also had a costly fumble at the Calgary 28 in the second to end a Redblacks' scoring threat with the team trailing 14-3.

Betting odds give Calgary an edge, they finished with two more wins than the Redblacks this season and they defeated Ottawa twice already this year. But to get a sense about whether the Stampeders’ bad luck in the Grey Cup will continue, we turned to five tarot card readers across Calgary to tell us what the Stampeders’ future holds.

Ottawa pulled to within five at 14-9 on Harris's 55-yard TD strike at 12:45 to Feoli-Gudino, who broke two tackles after the catch. Harris then found Beaulieu on the two-point convert.

This is a time of hope and expectation for the Calgary side entering Sunday’s game, according to Starlein Fox, a psychic intuitive of nearly 30 years. Fox drew the Page of Wands card when looking to Sunday’s game, indicating an enthusiastic crowd, but showing that may hurt Calgary’s concentration.

Mitchell put Calgary ahead 14-3 with a 17-yard TD strike to Durant at 6:50. It came two plays after Durant dropped a wide-open screen pass.

This is a time of hope and expectation for the Calgary side entering Sunday’s game, according to Starlein Fox, a psychic intuitive of nearly 30 years. Fox drew the Page of Wands card when looking to Sunday’s game, indicating an enthusiastic crowd, but showing that may hurt Calgary’s concentration.

Ward — the CFL's top rookie and special teams player this season — connected from 30 yards out at 2:28 after a rare miss from 47 yards out in the first. Ward made 51-of-52 field goals this regular season, including a record 48 straight that will carry over into 2019.

Calgary Stampeders head coach Dave Dickenson, left, and Ottawa Redblacks head coach Rick Campbell, right, arrive for the head coaches news conference in Edmonton, Alta. Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2018. The 106th Grey Cup will be played Sunday between the Ottawa Redblacks and the Calgary Stampeders.

Jackson's 21-yard TD catch opened the scoring at 10:46 of the first. With Ottawa coming on a blitz, Jackson took Mitchell's screen pass and scored easily.

“This is a situation where words cannot express how we feel,” said Edmonton Eskimos president, CEO and 2018 Grey Cup co-chair Len Rhodes. “Edmonton and the entire nation have set a new standard of how to celebrate the Grey Cup together.”

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To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

Organizers estimate some 500,000 fans will take in the big game, as well as festival, awards and other events, equalling an $80 million injection into the local economy.

It is a priority for CBC to create a website that is accessible to all Canadians including people with visual, hearing, motor and cognitive challenges.

Officials with the Grey Cup Festival 2018 announced Sunday afternoon that all 55,819 tickets are sold for the 2018 Grey Cup, presented by Shaw.

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Williams had a record 97-yard punt-return touchdown on a slippery Commonwealth Stadium turf Sunday night to lead Calgary past the Ottawa Redblacks 27-16 in the Grey Cup.

Calgary finally won the CFL title in its third straight appearance. The Stampeders lost 39-33 in overtime to Ottawa in 2016 before dropping a 27-24 decision last year to the Toronto Argonauts.

Calgary quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell — the CFLs most outstanding player this season after tossing a league-best 35 TDs — was the game MVP with two touchdown passes but also two interceptions.

“Its something you always dream of, but it happens to very few people, so for me to do this – it just means the world to me,” Durant said following the Stampeders 27-16 victory. “And I love you fans for supporting us. And my teammates, I couldnt have done it without yall.”

“It feels surreal,” Mitchell said. “I know we talked that (the two previous losses) didnt mean anything but we couldnt make the game bigger than it was. We had to understand that this was one game and you can only win one game and win only one Grey Cup. I think the guys who were on those two teams, even on the team last year, the emotions at the 30-second mark kind of hit. It wasnt about redemption against anybody else or the league … it felt like as an organization weve been at the top too much not to finish the job. It feels amazing to get it done for the city of Calgary.”

After a series of drops to start his night against the Ottawa REDBLACKS, Durant found his footing at The Brick Field at Commonwealth Stadium and went on to haul in four receptions for 30 yards and one touchdown.  He also added another 22 yards on the ground.

Stampeders receiver Lemar Durant was named the outstanding Canadian with four catches for 30 yards and a TD and a 22-yard run.

While Durant missed last year’s Grey Cup in Ottawa due to an injury sustained earlier in the season, the Stamps receiver did play the year prior, recording four receptions for 59 yards and a touchdown.

“Its huge, its like a 100-pound weight lifted off me,” Durant said. “Growing up, all you want to do is be a champion and to have those chances and let them slip out of your hands and think like you might not get a shot at this. Theres been people in this league 10-plus years and never get a chance. To be able to come back and just get that is huge.”

Mitchell finished 24-for-36 passing for 253 yards. Redblacks counterpart Trevor Harris had a rough night, going 20-for-38 for 288 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions.

Ottawa — in its third Grey Cup in four years — appeared to score on Greg Ellingsons acrobatic one-handed grab in the fourth quarter but replays showed the ball hit the turf. The Redblacks ended up turning the ball over on downs at the Calgary seven-yard line with just over eight minutes remaining.

His 2-2 record as a starter in Grey Cup games changes the conversation around him and adds to his legacy. The choke talk will die down and his dominance over the league through the past seven years will shine through. The smack talkers and rapid-fire fingers on Twitter will always say otherwise, but winning is hard. Youre not going to do it every year just because youre the best team. Anthony Calvillos greatness in the CFL is unquestioned and he won three out of seven Grey Cups he played in. At 28, Mitchell has a ways to go to get to that level of conversation, but hes headed in the right direction.

After Ottawa turned the ball over on downs again, Calgarys Jamar Wall and Tre Roberson followed up with interceptions on consecutive Redblacks possessions. Robersons pick came with 1:22 to play.

Its tough, but we stuck together. Were a resilient group. We knew what we could do. We knew we could win. We knew we could finish. Thats the most important thing. We knew we could finish. We knew it was a couple of plays that were the reason we didnt finish the last couple of years. We all knew we could do it. We all stuck together. We all talked about when we get there, we could finish this year. And thats exactly what we did.

A Commonwealth Stadium gathering of 55,819 watched the opening kickoff in 1 C conditions with an 11 kilometre-an-hour wind. But the field proved to be the story of the game.

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On Saturday, several Calgary players said the turf was hard and slippery and footwear would be important. During the pre-game warmups, many Stampeders wore shoes featuring short, traditional turf cleats or those with a flat rubber sole.

Calgary never trailed on Sunday. Their largest lead was 13, their smallest three points, but they had their vulnerable moments. There were Mitchells two interceptions and there were Outstanding Canadian Player Lamar Durants two early drops before he broke through with a touchdown. There was the threat of the field, which was frozen and slippery, an X-factor that neither side wanted to be impacted by.

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But it became apparent early footing would be an issue. That was especially clear with 38 seconds left in the first quarter when Williams had both feet slip from beneath him while returning a missed 47-yard Lewis Ward field goal try.

Rene Paredes put Calgary ahead 27-14 with a 29-yard field goal at 2:54 of the fourth. It was set up by Wynton McManiss recovery of Diontae Spencers fumble on a punt return at the Ottawa 25-yard line.

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Calgary went into the fourth leading 24-14 thanks to Paredess 34-yard field goal at 11:24 of the third. It came after Wards 41-yard boot at 7:56.

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Julian Feoli-Gudino had Ottawas touchdown. Jean-Christophe Beaulieu added a two-point convert while Ward booted two field goals.

Williams provided the first halfs biggest play, a Grey Cup-record 97-yard punt return TD at 14:59 of the second. After taking the ball, Williams nearly slipped heading upfield but an Ottawa defender engaged with a blocker slid on by, allowing Williams to hit the open field, then run past punter Richie Leone to put Calgary ahead 21-11.

“I thought I was gonna bust my butt for a second but I caught myself, saw an opening and hit it full speed,” Williams said. “It was big, we needed the spark. We were battling all game and needed to make it happen and that we did.”

Williams provided the entertainment factor in an otherwise sloppy opening half. The two teams combined for four turnovers (three picks and a fumble), some ugly drops and eight punts.

Mitchell was 14-of-21 passing for 182 yards and two TDs with two interceptions. Redblacks quarterback Harris never seemed to be in any rhythm despite having time to look downfield, completing 8-of-17 passes for 132 yards with a touchdown and interception.

Ottawas most consistent offensive weapon was William Powell, who ran nine times for 58 yards while sporting bring neon orange shoes before changing to white ones at halftime. But the CFLs second-leading rusher also had a costly fumble at the Calgary 28 in the second to end a Redblacks scoring threat with the team trailing 14-3.

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Ottawa pulled to within five at 14-9 on Harriss 55-yard TD strike at 12:45 to Feoli-Gudino, who broke two tackles after the catch. Harris then found Beaulieu on the two-point convert.

Mitchell put Calgary ahead 14-3 with a 17-yard TD strike to Durant at 6:50. It came two plays after Durant dropped a wide-open screen pass.

Ward — the CFLs top rookie and special teams player this season — connected from 30 yards out at 2:28 after a rare miss from 47 yards out in the first. Ward made 51-of-52 field goals this regular season, including a record 48 straight that will carry over into 2019.

Jacksons 21-yard TD catch opened the scoring at 10:46 of the first. With Ottawa coming on a blitz, Jackson took Mitchells screen pass and scored easily.

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NOTES: Stampeders coach Dave Dickenson said Sunday eight Calgary players were stuck in an elevator Saturday night for an hour and 15 minutes. A coach was involved and Dickenson said he had to buy lunch for that member of his staff … Dickenson said a little bug worked its way through his players — including Mitchell — and coaches this week. Dickenson was confident the worst was over and added when he played quarterback he performed better when he wasnt feeling well. He was hopeful that would be the case Sunday. TSN reported six Ottawa players, including linebacker Chris Ackie and cornerback Sherrod Baltimore, battled sickness this week.