The Toronto Argonauts are officially Grey Cup champions.
Rider fans revel in Bombers’ Grey Cup defeat
It was never easy and not many gave them a chance, but in the end, it was the Argonauts who beat the Winnipeg Blue Bombers 24-23.
While everyone thought it would be quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson that would lead the team to victory, it was the backup Chad Kelly that gave the team a chance after Bethel-Thompson went down with a dislocated thumb injury in the second half.
The nephew of former NFL star Jim Kelly engineered the five-play, 36-yard drive to set up a goal line rush from their breakout star running back.
A.J. Ouellette’s five-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter rallied the Toronto Argonauts to a late lead to go ahead 24-23.
Ouellette’s TD, his second of the game came at 11:36 with Boris Bede’s convert giving Toronto its slender advantage.
On Winnipeg’s next possession, linebacker Henoc Muamba intercepted Zach Collaros to put the Argos at the Winnipeg 43-yard line with 3:20 to play.
Then the game down to the kickers, or rather those rushing at them.
With just two minutes to go in the fourth quarter, Bede trotted out to attempt a 37-yard field goal. Only seconds later, his kick was blocked by Blue Bombers Nick Hellett, giving them a chance with from their own 29-yard line.
Following Robbie Smith’s second-down sack, Smith got to Collaros again on third down but was flagged for a facemask penalty, putting Winnipeg at its 41.
After the penalty, Collaros drove the field like he has all year and in the final seconds, set up his kicker for a field goal attempt from the Argos 40-yard line.
But in a dramatic turn of events, the kick was blocked putting Toronto at its 14-yard line with 43 seconds remaining.
All that was left was the cheers from the Argos and the tears from the Blue Bombers.
Muamba has been named the Grey Cup most outstanding player and outstanding Canadian.
“We walked into this game with total confidence,” Muamba said in his acceptance speech. “We knew what we had as a team and everyone in that locker room believed. We knew that the odds were against us… We are champs forever.”
With files from the Canadian Press.
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