by John Furgele
The Calgary Stampeders love playing Grey Cup Games in Montreal’s Olympic Stadium. In 2001, the Stampeders beat the Winnipeg Blue Bombers 27-19, and last night, before 66,000 plus fans, the majority who were rooting for the hometown Montreal Alouettes, the Stamps rallied from a 13-3 second quarter deficit to beat Montreal 22-14.
Montreal came out charged up by the home fans and on their first possession drove the field, but in a sign of things to come had to settle for a Damon Duval 14 yard field goal. Montreal stretched its lead to 13-3, but Calgary scored right before the halftime break when quarterback Henry Burris (Temple) hit Brett Ralph in the left corner of the end zone to make it 13-10.
The second half was all Calgary. They were able to move the football and outscored the Als 12-1. As good as the Calgary offense was, they had to settle for four Sandro DeAngelis field goals. Calgary moved ahead 16-14 and Alouettes QB Anthony Calvillo (Utah State) was hit and his floater was intercepted. Calgary took advantage and kicked another field goal to go up 19-14.
But, the Als were not done. They moved the ball deep into Calgary territory, but Calvillo made the crucial mistake. His pass to the left corner of the end zone was picked off by Shannon James. Once again, Burris smoothly moved the Stamps into field goal range and the Canadian DeAngelis booted a 50 yard field goal to make the score 22-14. Montreal had two more chances, but like they did last week in the West Division Final, the Calgary defense had all the answers and won their sixth Grey Cup in franchise history.
The loss had to be tough for Montreal QB Anthony Calvillo. Since 2000, he has played in six Grey Cups (2000, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2008) and his only win came in 2002, when he led the Als over the Edmonton Eskimos. At age 36, he had one of his finest seasons, throwing for over 5,600 yards, and garnering league MVP honors, but the only trophy that really matters is the Grey Cup and the Alouette signal caller is now 1-5 in Canada’s Big Game. He will likely contemplate retirement, but after a stellar season, will likely decide to come back for another try at Lord Grey’s Cup.