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Calgary Stampeders defeat Ottawa Redblacks to win Grey Cup title

NEWS STAFF AND THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Monday, Nov 26th, 2018

CALGARY – Terry Williams helped end the Calgary Stampeders end their Grey Cup misery.

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 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.

Calgary players will receive the $16,000 winner’s share while the Redblacks get $8,000 apiece.

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.

Ottawa head coach Rick Campbell downplayed the field conditions.

“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.

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