1981 Grey Cup Classic

CFL: Edmonton Eskimos 26, Ottawa Rough Riders 23

Grey Cup, Nov. 22, 1981

Final Score: Edmonton Eskimos 26, Ottawa Rough Riders 23 Attendance: 52,478 at Olympic Stadium, Montreal

J.C. Watts always had a sense of history.

Fresh off successive Orange Bowls with the Oklahoma Sooners, the future U.S. Congressman quarterbacked the Ottawa Rough Riders to an improbable Grey Cup berth as a CFL rookie.

At 5-11, Ottawa was, and remains, the worst finalist in league annals.

Yet it nearly upset the powerhouse Edmonton Eskimos, 14-1-1 and three-time defending champions.

Led by Watts, the Rough Riders built a seemingly insurmountable 20-1 lead before falling prey to the greatest comeback in Grey Cup history.

Capped by Dave Cutler's 27-yard field goal with six seconds to go, the Eskimos erased the 19-point deficit for their fourth of an unprecedented five consecutive Cups.

J.C. Watts was Offensive MVP, John Glassford was Defensive MVP, and Neil Lumsden, Top Canadian.