The Toronto Argonauts won the Canadian Football League championship in front of hometown fans for the first time in 60 years, beating the Calgary Stampeders 35-22 in the 100th Grey Cup.
Ricky Ray threw two touchdown passes and Chad Kackert finished with 198 all-purpose yards, including 133 rushing yards, to earn the game’s most valuable player award last night at the Rogers Centre in Toronto.
Five minutes into the game, Calgary running back Jon Cornish, named the CFL’s most outstanding Canadian player three days before, had a fumble that set up Toronto’s first touchdown.
The turnover set the tone for the game as Toronto’s defense held Cornish to 57 rushing yards, sacked Calgary quarterback Kevin Glenn twice and also returned an interception for a second-quarter touchdown that put the Argos up 14-3.
Toronto quarterback Ricky Ray threw for 231 yards on the night, looking beyond receiver Chad Owens, the league’s most outstanding player. Jason Barnes and Dontrelle Inman had 125 receiving yards and Toronto’s three offensive touchdowns came from three different players.
With the Argos leading 27-9 late in the third quarter, Larry Taylor had a 105-yard punt return for Calgary, only to have the touchdown disallowed due to a holding call against Raymond Keon. Although Calgary finally found the endzone thanks to Bo Levi Mitchell’s 12-yard fourth-quarter pass to Maurice Price, it was too late to keep the most successful team in Grey Cup history from its first CFL title at home since 1952.
The Canadian Football League’s rules differ slightly from the National Football League in the U.S., featuring a larger field, 12 players on the field for each team as opposed to 11, and three downs to move 10 yards instead of four attempts.
The Argonauts have been a rare bright spot among Toronto’s sports franchises. The Toronto Blue Jays of Major League Baseball last won the World Series in 1993, while the National Hockey League’s Maple Leafs haven’t won the Stanley Cup since 1967.
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