3rd and Long's Andy McNamara and Carlan Gay select their top two performers from the 99th Grey Cup in Vancouver. The B.C. Lions may have defeated Winnipeg 34-23 in Sunday's championship, but we breakdown who were the key difference makers.
Mac's Main Man
Well, my Mac's Main Man is obviously coming from a member of the 99th Grey Cup champion B.C. Lions who systematically picked apart the Winnipeg Blue Bombers on Sunday. Travis Lulay is the easy choice, but he is only as good as the receivers who catch and then turn those receptions into sizeable gains. No doubt the choice is 3rd and Long alumni guest, Arland Bruce III aka 'Runako Reth.'
What was extra special about Bruce's performance was how he was able to adjust his game and overcome being shut down for the majority of the first half. He finished the championship with a team high five receptions for 73 yards and one touchdown. The TD came at a key point in the fourth and essentially broke the back of any Blue Bombers comeback.
No. 1 on his jersey and in B.C. Lions' fans hearts, Bruce put an exclamation point on a season that began in Hamilton and answered any questions of whether he can perform at an extra high level when it is all on the line.
When we spoke with him leading up to the Grey Cup, Bruce commented that he spoke personally to the Grey Cup trophy saying, "they ain't treating you right baby, I'm going to bring you home," and he did just that. Bruce also boasted that he would score the most touchdowns ever in a CFL championship game ... he didn't come anywhere close to doing it, but getting that title ring will surely be a comfort.
- Andy McNamara
Follow on Twitter @AndyMc81
My darling this week didn't score a point. He didn't have a sack or an interception. He didn't return a punt or kick a field, but he was one of the most impactful players throughout Sunday's Grey Cup. Ben Archibald may have played one of his best games in his four-year CFL career and definitely played his best game in a B.C. Lions uniform.
Archibald and the offensive line kept Travis Lulay upright, not allowing a single sack in the 99th edition of the CFL's championship game. Archibald had the unenviable task of keeping Odell Willis, the mayor of Swaggerville in check. Willis was a non-factor in the matchup, and it was because of the play of the league's premier offensive lineman.
The Lions went out in the off-season to sure up the offensive line and grabbing Archibald was one of the most underrated signings of the year. His importance to the Lions O-line was shown Sunday afternoon as he allowed his young star quarterback the necessary time he needed to get the ball into the hands of his playmakers.
For the final time this year, my Darling goes to a man who will never truly get the credit he deserves, the league's best offensive lineman, Ben Archibald.
- Carlan Gay
Follow on Twitter: @carlangay
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