3rd and Long's Andy McNamara and Carlan Gay select their top two performers from the CFL's East and West finals on Sunday. The 99th Grey Cup is now set! Let's see who stepped up to lead their team one step closer to the Holy Grail.
Mac's Main Man
At a brutally cold Canad Inns Stadium in Winnipeg, it was expected that whichever team prevailed in the rushing game would take the East final between Hamilton and the hometown Blue Bombers. It was the championship-experienced Avon Cobourne of the Ticats versus Blue Bombers upstart Chris Garrett.
Garrett completely dominated on the ground, eating up yards, running down the clock, and keeping Hamilton's offence off the field. He accumulated an astounding 190 yards, scored a key touchdown, and picked up a reception as well.
Not bad for a man who was not even Winnipeg's first choice to replace injured star running back Fred Reid when he went down halfway through the regular season.
The Blue Bombers are headed to the 99th Grey Cup in Vancouver (Nov. 27, 3:30 p.m. PT) solely because Garrett put this club on his back and rumbled through a tough Ticats defensive line.
No other player in either of Sunday's CFL playoff matchups made as much impact as No. 19, making him my Mac' Main Man.
Travis Lulay is the best quarterback in the Canadian Football League. Those are words many never thought would be uttered prior to the start of the 2011 season. After starting the year the way the B.C. Lions did, did anyone imagine him being in the conversation at all?
Lulay started the Western final against the Edmonton Eskimos the same way he left off the regular season. All the talk of the week off being a disadvantage was put to rest early as Lulay reeled off six straight completions on the Lions' opening drive.
The young pivot in his second playoff start looked as though he had been doing it for years. 20-for-27, 293 yards and two touchdowns, Lulay even got it done with his legs compiling 63 yards and another touchdown in a 40-23 triumph.
The Lions have surely found their quarterback of the future. In his third year in a B.C. uniform, Lulay can engrave his name on the same Cup like many legends before him.
Lulay is young enough to have the opportunity to make multiple Grey Cup appearances, his first will be this Sunday.
All eyes and pressure will be on him to duplicate his divisional final performance. If the Lions marquee star is able to do that, this time next week we won't be saying Lulay is the best QB in the CFL, we'll be saying he is the best player in the league.
Follow hosts Andy McNamara and Carlan Gay on Twitter: @AndyMc81 and @carlangay
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