Calgary Stampeders quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell named Grey Cup MVP

Calgary Stampeders quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell named Grey Cup MVP
Calgary Stampeders defeat Ottawa Redblacks to win Grey Cup title
Darcie Cooper and friends cheer on the Calgary Stampeders in the Grey Cup at Schanks North in Calgary on Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018. Darren Makowichuk / Postmedia

Calgarians dressed in their Stampeders jerseys filled local establishments Sunday evening as they cheered their team to victory in the Grey Cup.

While this year’s game took place a lot closer to home than the previous two championship games in Ontario, many longtime fans who didn’t snag tickets to the sold-out final in Edmonton opted to join viewing parties at Calgary bars and restaurants.

At Home and Away on 17th Avenue S.W., Jonathan Stoddart and a group of his friends reserved a spot in front of the sports bar’s big screen. He said after heartbreaking losses for the Stamps in the 2016 and 2017 championships, he had a feeling the team would triumph against the Ottawa Redblacks this year.

Fans across the room erupted into cheers and whistles as the clock ticked down in the fourth quarter, and were on their feet as the Stamps claimed the CFL title.

“I was at the Toronto Grey Cup and so happy to see them win this one,” she said. “They’ve worked so hard for it. Our city is super proud of the team.”

Dillabough said Sunday’s victory “totally” makes up for the overtime loss to the Redblacks in Toronto two years ago.

“I’ve been going to the games with my dad since I was a little girl,” she said. “We’re season ticket holders and we’re happy to support the team.”

Stoddart, who has been a Stamps fan since moving to Calgary 19 years ago, called the team a “dominant force.”

Ive been lucky enough to stumble across commissioner Randy Ambrosie a couple of times this fall. The mans got a great deal of energy and a lot of ideas. Im on board with the Atlantic Schooners, by the way.

“Every year it seems like they’re right in the mix,” he said. “They might have lost the last two Grey Cups, but you don’t get there three years in a row without having a solid organization and a good team.”

I know this is a hockey blog, but in honour of the Grey Cup – and they did look like they were skating out there — I wanted to share an idea. (Besides, I can only write about William Nylander so much.)

Ian Choveaux, his wife and their seven-month-old were also among the fans cheering the Stamps on at Home and Away. Choveaux said his son, who took in the game wearing a miniature Calgary Flames jersey and ear-protecting headphones, seemed to like when the crowd erupted with excitement, such as with the record-setting touchdown to end the first half of the game.

I know this is a hockey blog, but in honour of the Grey Cup – and they did look like they were skating out there — I wanted to share an idea. (Besides, I can only write about William Nylander so much.)

With the third Grey Cup appearance in a row behind them, and now with a victory under their belt, Stamps fans are already looking ahead to next year’s showdown, which will be held on home turf at McMahon Stadium.

Id watch. Bet the rest of the country would too. Voila, two must-watch Canadian football games a year, bracketing and drawing attention to a league that – in the East anyway – needs attention.

“We’ve got to make sure Bo Levi (Mitchell) stays in the red uniform, and it would be great to return to the Grey Cup on home soil,” Stoddart said.

Id watch. Bet the rest of the country would too. Voila, two must-watch Canadian football games a year, bracketing and drawing attention to a league that – in the East anyway – needs attention.

A public rally to celebrate the Stamps’ championship is planned for Tuesday, from noon to 1 p.m., at Municipal Plaza.

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.

Four teams: Canada, United States, Europe, Asia. One round robin. Then the top two square off for the World Cup of Canadian Football, one Sunday in May.

And crowd goes wild as the stamps have done it! Grey Cup is theirs! It looks like the third time is really a charm. #YYC @660NEWS pic.twitter.com/ElPb5VKwm2

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.

Canada might be weak at the quarterback position, but the gold medal game would be Canada vs. The United States.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

“It’s alright, it is what it is,” he said before the game. “It’s the CFL.”

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 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.

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

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.

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 Trevor 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.

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.

[email protected] is live outside #GreyCup106 for us tonight! #yeg #Edmonton pic.twitter.com/sINYK9hdXd

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.

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 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.

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.

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 wasn’t 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.

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I couldn’t get a job at the Post Office so I bet the family farm on this one. Somehow I thought the “stamps” were part of the Post Office so I got my foot in the door anyway I could. LOL

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