Terry Williams helped the Calgary Stampeders finish their Gray Cup distress.
Williams had a file 97-yard punt-return landing on a slippery Commonwealth Stadium turf Sunday evening to steer Calgary previous the Ottawa Redblacks 27-16 within the Gray Cup.
Calgary lastly gained the CFL title in its third straight look. The Stampeders misplaced 39-33 in additional time to Ottawa in 2016 earlier than dropping a 27-24 choice final yr to the Toronto Argonauts.
Calgary quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell — the CFL’s most excellent participant this season after tossing a league-best 35 TDs — was the sport MVP with two landing passes but additionally two interceptions. Stampeders receiver Lemar Durant was named the excellent Canadian with 4 catches for 30 yards and a TD and a 22-yard run.
Ottawa — in its third Gray Cup in 4 years — appeared to attain on Greg Ellingson’s acrobatic one-handed seize within the fourth quarter however replays confirmed the ball hit the turf. The Redblacks ended up turning the ball over on downs on the Calgary seven-yard line with simply over eight minutes remaining.
After Ottawa turned the ball over on downs once more, Calgary’s Jamar Wall and Tre Roberson adopted up with interceptions on consecutive Redblacks possessions. Roberson’s decide got here with 1:22 to play.
Calgary gamers will obtain the $16,000 winner’s share whereas the Redblacks get $8,000 apiece.
A Commonwealth Stadium gathering of 55,819 watched the opening kickoff in 1 C situations with an 11 kilometre-an-hour wind. However the discipline proved to be the story of the sport.
On Saturday, a number of Calgary gamers stated the turf was exhausting and slippery and footwear could be vital. Through the pre-game warmups, many Stampeders wore sneakers that includes quick, conventional turf cleats or these with a flat rubber sole.
Ottawa head coach Rick Campbell downplayed the sphere situations.
“It’s alright, it’s what it’s,” he stated earlier than the sport. “It’s the CFL.”
But it surely turned obvious early footing could be a difficulty. That was particularly clear with 38 seconds left within the first quarter when Williams had each toes slip from beneath him whereas returning a missed 47-yard Lewis Ward discipline aim attempt.
Rene Paredes put Calgary forward 27-14 with a 29-yard discipline aim at 2:54 of the fourth. It was arrange by Wynton McManis’s restoration of Diontae Spencer’s fumble on a punt return on the Ottawa 25-yard line.
Calgary went into the fourth main 24-14 due to Paredes’s 34-yard discipline aim at 11:24 of the third. It got here after Ward’s 41-yard boot at 7:56.
Don Jackson had Calgary’s different TD. Paredes booted the converts and two discipline targets.
Julian Feoli-Gudino had Ottawa’s landing. Jean-Christophe Beaulieu added a two-point convert whereas Ward booted two discipline targets.
Williams supplied the primary half’s largest play, a Gray Cup-record 97-yard punt return TD at 14:59 of the second.
After taking the ball, Williams almost slipped heading upfield however an Ottawa defender engaged with a blocker slid on by, permitting Williams to hit the open discipline, then run previous punter Richie Leone to place Calgary forward 21-11.
Williams supplied the leisure think about an in any other case sloppy opening half. The 2 groups mixed for 4 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 by no means gave the impression to be in any rhythm regardless of having time to look downfield, finishing 8-of-17 passes for 132 yards with a landing and interception.
Ottawa’s most constant offensive weapon was William Powell, who ran 9 occasions for 58 yards whereas sporting carry neon orange sneakers earlier than altering to white ones at halftime. However the CFL’s second-leading rusher additionally had a pricey fumble on the Calgary 28 within the second to finish a Redblacks’ scoring menace with the staff trailing 14-3.
Ottawa pulled to inside 5 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 discovered Beaulieu on the two-point convert.
Mitchell put Calgary forward 14-Three with a 17-yard TD strike to Durant at 6:50. It got here two performs after Durant dropped a wide-open display go.
Ward — the CFL’s high rookie and particular groups participant this season — related from 30 yards out at 2:28 after a uncommon miss from 47 yards out within the first. Ward made 51-of-52 discipline targets this common season, together with a file 48 straight that can carry over into 2019.
Jackson’s 21-yard TD catch opened the scoring at 10:46 of the primary. With Ottawa approaching a blitz, Jackson took Mitchell’s display go and scored simply.