Burris, DeAngelis lead Stampeders to Grey Cup win
Home advantage proved to be no advantage at all for the Montreal Alouettes.
Henry Burris threw for a touchdown and Sandro DeAngelis kicked five field goals to lead the Calgary Stampeders to a 22-14 win over the hometown Montreal Alouettes in Sunday's 96th Grey Cup game.
Brett Ralph had the only touchdown for the Stampeders, who won their sixth Grey Cup in franchise history and their first since beating the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the 2001 final in Montreal.
Buoyed by the roar of 66, 308 fans — the second-largest crowd in Grey Cup history — the Alouettes jumped out to a 13-3 lead in the second quarter but let the game slip away from them as the Stampeders slowly chipped away and took the lead for good on the last play of the third quarter.
DeAngelis was named the game's most outstanding Canadian, while Burris took home the game MVP honour.
Stamps show character
"I'm trying to hold back tears right now," a choked up Burris said after the game. "Just the thought of being a champion — wow.
"To win in such a tough circumstance, on the road and in Grey Cup against a team that was playing at home in front of a million people at Olympic Stadium — it's huge. But it shows the character of this team."
DeAngelis was just as emotional.
"It's one of the best days of my life," said the Calgary kicker. "All the hard work ever since I was a little kid to get to this point, I'll tell you, I'm so happy to be a Calgary Stampeder right now.
"This is truly the most amazing day of my life."
The Alouettes were vying to become the first team to win a Grey Cup in their home city since the B.C. Lions did it in 1994. Montreal's last Grey Cup victory came six years ago in Edmonton, its only win in six Grey Cup appearances since 2000.
Sunday's victory capped off a sensational 2008 campaign for the Stampeders, who were the best team in the regular season with a 13-5 record. Burris was also able to exact a little revenge after finishing runner-up to Montreal quarterback Anthony Calvillo for the CFL's most outstanding player of the year award last week.
The Calgary QB completed 28 of 37 passes for 328 yards and one interception. He also rushed for a game-high 79 yards on nine carries.
Calvillo, by comparison, completed 29 of 38 passes for 352 yards and two interceptions.
"This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and we just let it slip through our hands," said Calvillo. "This is what you thrive for, to compete, to get a chance to play in this game and of course to win it and the record is not good on our side, and it's never fun losing your chance. It's going to make it a long off-season and its not going to be fun."
Aside from Burris and DeAngelis, receiver Nik Lewis starred for Calgary, catching 11 passes for 122 yards.
"We all know this will take a few days for us to get over," said Montreal coach Marc Trestman. "We've spent a lot of time together the last six months, we can't let the last three hours define our team.
"We had some drives that we didn't finish. I was disappointed in the first half that we couldn't finish off a couple of drives. And we turned the ball over a couple of times and that hurt us."
Duval opens the scoring with short field goal
On Montreal's first possession, Jamel Richardson (six catches, 123 yards on the night) took a short pass, broke a pair of tackles and ran for a 55-yard gain to put Alouettes on the Calgary 24-yard line, setting up a 14-yard field goal by Damon Duval at 11:26.
DeAngelis responded with a field goal of his own, splitting the uprights from 44 yards early in the second quarter.
The Stampeders' momentum was short-lived, however, as Burris, who completed his first 11 passes of the game, was intercepted by Reggie Hunt on the Stampeders' next possession.
Calvillo made good use of the turnover, driving down the field before running back Avon Cobourn scored on a 16-yard touchdown run to give the Alouettes a 10-3 lead midway through the second quarter.
Duval connected on a 19-yard field goal with less than three minutes to go in the half to make it a 10-point game.
Burris responded by putting together a seven-play, 76-yard drive, capped off by a 20-yard touchdown strike to Ralph with 44 seconds left in the half to pull the Stampeders within three points.
DeAngelis comes through for Calgary
DeAngelis's second field goal of the game, this one from 12 yards, tied things up at 13-13 with 5:38 left in the third quarter.
A 65-yard punt single by Duval made it 14-13 for the Als, but DeAngelis kicked his third field goal on the final play of the third quarter to put Calgary out front 16-14, its first lead of the game.
DeAngelis then booted a 30-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter and put the Als away when he connected on a 50-yard with 4:12 left in regulation after Calvillo threw his second interception of the half.
"I knew I was going to make it," said DeAngelis. "I blew one against B.C., last week and this time, I knew I'd make it.
"This is one of the greatest days of my life. I'm very proud to be a member of this Calgary Stampeders organization. This has been a dream for me since I was a little kid."
With files from Canadian Press