In a game where big mistakes are costly, the Saskatchewan Roughriders learned the hard way that this saying is all too true. Though the Riders were underdogs to the opposing Montreal Alouettes, they proved themselves, leading the game for all but the last second. After leading by as many as 16 points, the Roughriders fell short in the 97th Grey Cup at McMahon Stadium in Calgary.
With just over 30 seconds left to play in the fourth quarter, Anthony Calvillo threw two game—making passes to Jamal Richardson and Kerry Watkins. With the clock at :00, Damon Duval attempted a 43—yard field goal to win the Grey Cup for the Al's. Duval missed the uprights to the right and the sea of green went wild in the stadium.
However, penalty markers went down as soon as the play started. As fans watched nervously waiting for the call, there seemed to be a glimpse of hope for Duval and the Alouettes.
Montreal coach Marc Trestman and his Als had hope as Rider's coach Ken Miller stood in disbelief that the Roughriders had 13 men on the field. This moved the Als closer to victory, and Duval made the clutch field goal to put the Als up over the Riders, 28-27 the final score.
Riders special teams co—ordinator Kavis Reed took all the blame on himself and refused to name the player who cost his team the loss.
"The player's name is not important," Reed said. "What's important is that a mistake was made and ultimately I think I'm responsible for that mistake.
During the post-game report, there was an interesting question asked that caught my attention: Did the Als win or did the Riders lose?
Though everyone may think the Riders lost, I have to disagree with this. With the astounding difference in energy and commitment to playing that the Als had in the second half compared to their worst first half of the season, I think the Als deserved to win.
With the kind of skill it took for Anthony Calvillo to throw such on—target passes in possibly the highest stress levels in sports, and the level of playing the Als offence showed during their final drive, I firmly believe the Als deserved to win this football game.
Avon Colbourne won the Grey Cup MVP Award
Ben Cahoon won the Most Valuable Canadian Award