CALGARY, Alberta, AP
Two fourth-quarter touchdowns helped the British Columbia Lions power to an exciting 28-26 victory over the Montreal Alouettes in Canada’s Grey Cup football championship. Montreal capped a wild fourth quarter Sunday when Anthony Calvillo’s 59-yard touchdown pass to Ben Cahoon made it 28-26 with 44 seconds left. But Calvillo’s pass to Thomas Haskins for the two-point convert missed. The B.C. Lions clinched the win when receiver Alfred Jackson corralled Montreal’s onside kick attempt. It was the final game of B.C. kicker Lui Passaglia’s illustrious 25-year Canadian Football League career. He kicked what proved to be the winning field goal. Robert Drummond, who scored one of the four-quarter touchdowns, was named MVP while fellow Lions running back Sean Millington was named top Canadian. Drummond opened the fourth quarter by taking a third-down gamble 44 yards for a touchdown. Drummond, playing in his fifth career Grey Cup, took the handoff deep in the B.C. backfield, exploded through the line and sprinted untouched to the end zone to put the Lions ahead 19-10. On the ensuing possession, Montreal drove to the Lions’ 44 before appearing to lose the ball on Calvillo’s fumble. But game officials instead penalized Calvillo for intentional grounding, allowing the Alouettes to pull to within 19-13 on Terry Baker’s 51-yard field goal. The Lions countered with a smart eight-play, 75-yard drive that culminated with Damon Allen’s one-yard run — his second TD of the game — at 808 for a 25-13 lead. The two-point convert was unsuccessful. However Montreal running back Mike Pringle, who had a CFL-record 19 rushing touchdowns this season, scored from five yards out at 1101 to pull the Alouettes to within 25-20. Passaglia, who had missed three of four first-half field goals, cemented the victory with a 29-yard boot at 1305 as the Lions became the first team in CFL history to win the Grey Cup with a losing record. The Lions finished third in the East Division with a 8-10-0-1 mark before advancing to the league championship with road playoff wins over Edmonton and Calgary. The Lions’ fourth-quarter fireworks took Passaglia off the hook. Sunday’s game was not a sellout, hardly surprising given the absence of the hometown Calgary Stampeders. Still, the McMahon Stadium gathering of roughly 43,822, some 2,000 short of capacity, was in a party mood, waving banners and bouncing beach balls throughout the game.