Stamps win Grey Cup by 8

Posted by ToxicDoom | Sunday, November 23, 2008 |

Sandro DeAngelis kicked five field goals as the Calgary Stampeders won the Grey Cup with a back-and-forth 22-14 victory over the Montreal Alouettes before a packed Olympic Stadium on Sunday night.

Brett Ralph had the only touchdown for the Stampeders, who won the sixth Grey Cup in their history and the first since they beat Winnipeg in the same stadium in 2001.
Tailback Avon Cobourne scored Montreal's only touchdown and Damon Duval booted two field goals and a single as the Alouettes lost for the fifth time in six Grey Cup appearances since 2000. They failed in a bid to become the first team to win a Grey Cup on home turf since the B.C. Lions in 1994.

The Alouettes fate was sealed when quarterback Anthony Calvillo threw his second interception of the second half into the end zone midway through the fourth quarter, and Henry Burris responded by putting the Stampeders in position for a 50-yard placement by DeAngelis and an eight-point lead with 4:12 left to play. It was the longest field goal of the season for the Calgary kicker.

Calgary is now 6-6 in Grey Cup games while Montreal fell to 5-11. And it was the Stamps' first win in three tries against the Alouettes, after losses in 1948 and 1970. The crowd of 66,308 in the domed stadium were deafening as they rooted for the hometown Alouettes. It was the second largest crowd in Grey Cup history after the 68,318 that attended Montreal's win in the 1977 game, also at Olympic Stadium.

The Alouettes used some big plays and an interception to take a 13-10 halftime lead. Jamel Richardson, who had five receptions for 101 yards in the first half alone, made a catch over the middle, broke two tackles and romped 55 yards to set up Duval's 14-yard field goal 4:34 into the game. Burris led a 10-play drive to the Montreal 36 and DeAngelis tied the score with a 43-yard effort 1:12 into the second quarter.

But Burris, who completed his first 11 passes, mostly for short yardage, followed his first incomplete toss with a throw straight to Alouette middle linebacker Reggie Hunt for a turnover at the Montreal 51. Ben Cahoon made two catches as Montreal got to the 16, where Cobourne flew untouched up the middle for the game's first touchdown at 7:18.

A 42-yard punt return by Larry Taylor set up a 19-yard Duval field goal, but Calgary struck right back with an eight-play scoring drive, and Burris scrambled out of the pocket and found Ralph alone in the end zone from 20 yards with 44 seconds left in the half. Burris used his feet to move the ball early in the second half and took the ball to the Montreal five, but Demetris Summers dropped a sure TD pass and DeAngelis was forced to kick a 12-yard field goal to tie the game.

Duval then put his team up by a point with a punt single. Another Burris drive fell short as Nik Lewis missed a catchable ball in the end zone and DeAngelis hit a 21-yard field goal for a 16-14 Calgary lead on the final play of the third quarter.

Calvillo opened the fourth by throwing an interception to Calgary's Dwight Anderson, but despite a wild reception in which a Burris pass went off Ken-Yon Rambo's hand's into the arms of Lewis, they settled for another field goal, this one from 30 yards.

The Alouettes responded by marching down to the Calgary 20 before Shannon James intercepted Calvillo's pass in the end zone with seven minutes left. DeAngelis then put it away with his 50-yarder. Calvillo easily got the 14 career Grey Cup completions he needed to pass Doug Flutie's former record of 108. It was a best-on-best matchup.

The Stampeders led the West Divison at 13-5 while Montreal was tops in the East at 11-7. Both had losing 2007 seasons, with Calgary at 7-10-1 and Montreal 8-10, and both lost in division semifinals, but the two teams roared back this year under new first-year head coaches - John Hufnagel for the Stamps and Marc Trestman for the Als.

Calgary cornerback Brandon Browner, who injured an ankle last in the West Division final against British Columbia, was able to start. Rush end Mike Labinjo played despite suffering from a flu this week.

The Stamps sat out linebacker Matt Grootegoed, defensive back Keon Raymond, offensive lineman Antonio Hall and defensive lineman Pat MacDonald. Montreal scratched linebacker Dwayne Taylor, safety Keith Williams, tackle Dave Mudge and quarterback Brad Banks.