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Calgary Stampeders Beat Ottawa Redblacks to Win 8th Grey Cup in Team History

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistNovember 26, 2018

EDMONTON, AB - NOVEMBER 25: Chris Matthews #81 of the Calgary Stampeders celebrates a touchdown against the Ottawa Redblacks during the Grey Cup at Commonwealth Stadium on November 25, 2018 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images)
Codie McLachlan/Getty Images

The Calgary Stampeders won their eighth Grey Cup, defeating the Ottawa Redblacks 27-16 on Sunday at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton, Alberta.

Bo Levi Mitchell threw for 253 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions, but the Calgary defense stole the show. The Stampeders held the Redblacks to 387 total yards and forced six turnovers.

Mitchell took home the Grey Cup MVP Award.

CFL @CFL

Your 106th #GreyCup Most Valuable Player: @calstampeders QB Bo Levi Mitchell. πŸ“ | https://t.co/6BNCbu0UOY https://t.co/BvAAlct1X2

Trevor Harris is a two-time Grey Cup champion and a big reason Ottawa was one game away from a second title. He was fourth in the league in passing yards (5,116) and fourth in passing touchdowns (22).

Harris had a 2018 Grey Cup to forget, though. He finished 20-of-38 for 288 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions. His last two interceptions came inside the final three minutes of the game to all but lock up the defeat for the Redblacks.

TSN @TSN_Sports

Tre Roberson picks off Trevor Harris with 1:22 remaining in the 4th quarter!! @calstampeders #GreyCup #CFL https://t.co/Ddk2E6EC7D

Ottawa's defense did well to keep the Calgary offense in check for the most part. Both Mitchell and leading rusher Don Jackson (53 yards) came in below their season averages.

But the turnovers were too much for the Redblacks to overcome.

Stampeders running back Terry Williams also stepped up and delivered what proved to be the decisive score of the game. With one second left in the first half, Williams fielded a punt and eluded the first would-be tackler before turning on the jets and running 97 yards for a touchdown to help give Calgary a 21-11 lead.

TSN @TSN_Sports

Terry Williams returns a punt 97 yards for a @calstampeders touchdown with one second remaining in the first half! πŸ”₯πŸ‘ #GreyCup #CFL https://t.co/lRMCpLAm5t

Beyond the game situation, the Calgary Sun & Herald's Danny Austin explained why Williams was an unlikely Grey Cup hero for the Stampeders.

Danny Austin @DannyAustin_9

It's genuinely amazing that Terry Williams had that moment. Is nursing a shoulder injury, needs surgery in the off-season on his wrist, had never even returned kicks before and didn't think he'd be doing it this year until the Roy Finch stuff happened.

The Stampeders were well-aware how tenuous a halftime advantage can be. They led the Toronto Argonauts by nine points after two quarters in last year's Grey Cup before watching the Argonauts come back to win 27-24.

This time around, Calgary's defense held firm in the second half.

The Stampeders and Redblacks exchanged field goals in the third quarter before Rene Paredes made it a 13-point game in the fourth quarter with a 29-yard field goal.

The Redblacks' best chance to try to overturn the deficit came on their possession immediately after Paredes' field goal.

Ottawa drove the ball down to the Calgary 10-yard line with 9:56 left in the game. A second-down completion to Brad Sinopoli on second down set up a 3rd-and-2 for the Redblacks. Harris tried to Sinopoli, but Sinopoli couldn't maintain possession, resulting in a turnover on downs.

The Redblacks went two-and-out on their next drive, and their next two possessions each ended in a Harris interception, as the Ottawa quarterback grew more desperate late in the game.

Calgary finished as the Grey Cup runner-up in 2016 and 2017, losing to Ottawa two seasons ago. That heartbreak will make Sunday's victory taste even sweeter.

With eight Grey Cups, the Stampeders are now tied with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats for the fourth-most in CFL history.

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