95th Grey Cup

95th Grey Cup

The 95th Grey Cup was held in Toronto at the Rogers Centre on November 25 2007. The Grey Cup, first awarded in 1909, is the championship game of the Canadian Football League. It was played between the Saskatchewan Roughriders and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, with the Roughriders winning 23-19. It was the first Grey Cup meeting between the two teams, and was also the first time any Labour Day Classic matchup has been played in the Grey Cup.

The 95th Grey Cup was the 46th Grey Cup hosted by Toronto since the championship's inception in 1909 and the first it has hosted since 1992. SkyDome/Rogers Centre previously hosted the 77th Grey Cup in 1989 and the 80th Grey Cup in 1992.

The game was viewed by approximately 3.337 million viewers on CBC television, up from 3.202 million the previous year. [http://www.cbc.ca/sports/football/story/2007/11/26/cfl-greycup-ratings.html]

Grey Cup Festivities

The Grey Cup festivities began with a four-day festival that had over 50 events at several venues in downtown Toronto including the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, and the CN Tower. The festival area was bounded by Spadina Avenue east to Bay Street and from Nathan Phillips Square south to Lake Ontario.

On the weekend of the Grey Cup, there was a "Celebration of Football" with games hosted at the Rogers Centre at amateur, high school, and university level, including the 43rd Vanier Cup, the CIS football championship. The Vanier Cup game was held on November 23, 2007 at Rogers Centre with the Manitoba Bisons versus the Saint Mary's Huskies. This marks the first time the Vanier Cup has been held in conjunction with the Grey Cup.

Confirmed festival events [http://www.cflgreycup.ca/toronto/news_052807.php] include:
*Annual team parties (eg. Riderville, MontreALS Huddle, Double Blue Bash, Tigertown, Lions' Den, including the nonexistent Atlantic Schooners [http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20071123/greycup_atlantic_071124/20071124?hub=Canada] )
*Grey Cup Chopper raffle
*Street festivals on Front Street and Bremner Street
*BMX Bike Park presented by the Argonauts' Stop The Violence foundation
*Grey Cup House built by CFL players and fans for Habitat for Humanity
*CFL Player Awards at Roy Thomson Hall
**Includes a tribute to John Candy hosted by Dan Aykroyd
*Grey Cup Gala at Liberty Grand hosted by Brent Butt
*CN Tower party hosted by Trish Stratus
*Grey Cup Party Series hosted by Trailer Park Boys Ricky, Julian and Bubbles
*Musical acts
**Lenny Kravitz
**Great Big Sea
**Barenaked Ladies
**Spirit of the West
**The Lowest of the Low
**Kim Mitchell
**The Trews

Game summary

Saskatchewan Roughriders (23) - TDs, James Johnson, Andy Fantuz; FGs Luca Congi (3); cons., Congi (2).

Winnipeg Blue Bombers (19) - TDs, Derick Armstrong; FGs Troy Westwood (2); cons., Westwood; safety touch (3).

First Quarter

WPG -- FG Westwood 16-yard field goal 12:37

Second Quarter

WPG -- Safety Boreham concedes in end zone 3:18 WPG -- Safety Boreham concedes in end zone 7:07 SSK -- TD Johnson 30-yard interception return (Congi convert) 12:26 SSK -- FG Congi 45-yard field goal 15:00

Third Quarter

SSK -- FG Congi 17-yard field goal 1:51 WPG -- TD Armstrong 50-yard pass by Dinwiddie (Westwood convert) 4:03 SSK -- FG Congi 12-yard field goal 11:11

Fourth Quarter

SSK -- TD Fantuz 29-yard pass by Joseph (Congi convert) 3:30 WPG -- Safety Boreham concedes in end zone 6:29 WPG -- FG Westwood 42-yard field goal 11:13

Defensive back James Johnson set a Grey Cup record with three interceptions, returning one for a touchdown, as the Saskatchewan Roughriders won their first championship in 18 years on Sunday defeating the Winnipeg Blue Bombers 23-19 at the Rogers Centre in Toronto. The Roughriders last won a championship in 1989, when current coach Kent Austin was the starting quarterback.

In the first quarter, Winnipeg's Troy Westwood scored the game's first points with a 16-yard field goal. In the second quarter Saskatchewan would concede a pair of safeties for a 7-0 Winnipeg lead before Johnson's first interception of the game, which resulted in a Roughrider touchdown and a 7-7 tie. A last second quarter drive before Lenny Kravitz entertained the crowd at halftime was capped by a 45-yard Congi field goal to give the Riders a 10-7 lead into halftime.

The game turned in the early moments of the second half. The Roughriders had a chance to take the game by the throat when John Chick sacked Ryan Dinwiddie for a fumble recovery on the Riders' 10, but the defence held to force a 17-yard field goal for a 13-7 Rider lead.

On the next possession, Dinwiddie hit Derick Armstrong with a 50-yard touchdown pass. The excitable novice quarterback jumped in the air and then taunted by pointing at the Saskatchewan bench. But on Winnipeg's next possession, Johnson picked off a Dinwiddie pass for his second interception of the game and the Riders marched the ball to the Winnipeg 11.

Then came a key play.

Saskatchewan quarterback, Kerry Joseph looked to be stopped on a third-and-one plunge, but a review re-spotted the ball for a first down. When Bombers coach Doug Berry tried to challenge, he was slapped with a five-yard delay of game penalty. But the Bomber defence came up big again, holding the Riders to a 12-yard field goal and a 16-14 lead at 11:11 of the third quarter.

However, in the fourth quarter, Joseph found Andy Fantuz up the middle and the big slotback broke three tackles as he plowed into the end zone for a nine-point Riders lead, but a third safety of the game and a 42-yard Westwood field goal cut the lead to four points with 3:37 left to play.

But a final Winnipeg drive ended in Johnson's third pick of the game to seal the game and the franchises third Grey Cup championship


2007 CFL playoffs

Division Semi-finals

"November 11"

cotiabank East Semi-Finals

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers advanced to the Grey Cup for the first time in six years by stunning the Toronto Argonauts on Sunday but lost star quarterback, Kevin Glenn in the process.

Heading into the game, Toronto linebacker, Kevin Eiben guaranteed this week that Winnipeg wouldn't score more than 10 points. However, Winnipeg would manage a convincing 19-9 victory to head to the Grey Cup.

After the missed field goal by Toronto placekicker, Noel Prefontaine, Winnipeg's Kevin Glenn would complete his passes to four different receivers to give Winnipeg an early 7-1 lead. Glenn's touchdown throw caught a break as it deflected off Derick Armstrong in the end zone and into the waiting hands of Milt Stegall for the score.

Later on Troy Westwood would kick a 34-yard field goal after a 26-yard interference infraction by Toronto defensive back, Kenny Wheaton in the second quarter.

By the end of the first half, Winnipeg had a 12-1 lead, while their star running back, Charles Roberts would amass 67 total rushing yards.

In the third quarter, it was clear that the Blue Bombers were headed to an easy win after Keith Stokes electrifying 81 yard punt return, which turned out to be the CFL East Final's biggest play to give Winnipeg a 19-1 lead.

Later in the third quarter, Toronto quarterback, Michael Bishop hooked up with Obed Cetoute on a big 47-yard gain, but would overthrow Derrell Mitchell on what could have been a touchdown.The missed opportunity proved costly for Toronto as Noel Prefontaine's field goal attempt was blocked by Winnipeg's Jerome Haywood going 0-for-2 in his only field goal attempts in the game.

However, Eiben will undoubtedly still be hated in Winnipeg after he collided with Kevin Glenn during a botched handoff early in the fourth quarter. Glenn, the CFL's East Outstanding Player of the Year nominee would leave the game with a broken left arm, which eventually ended his season. Glen would complete 15 of 21 passes for 201 yards before leaving.

After the costly Winnipeg turnover, Michael Bishop would connect with Arland Bruce on a 90-yard pass play and then would eventually plunge into the endzone for a touchdown to cut the Winnipeg lead to 19-8. Toronto would eventually gain a single point on a Prefontaine punt to make it a 19-9 Winnipeg lead, but it would be the only offence that the Argos would muster as Bishop struggled all day long in his first career playoff start, misfiring on several throws and completing 21 of 45 passes for 376 yards.

While Winnipeg's backup quarterback Ryan Dinwiddie had some problems getting plays in on time, the former Boise State standout was strong in relief, completing all four of his passes for 80 yards and running precious time off the clock. In addition, Winnipeg running back, Charles Roberts would finish the game with 105 rushing yards on 25 carries.

With the victory, the Blue Bombers could win their first Grey Cup championship since the 1990 season and Milt Stegall could have an opportunity to eventually end his career with his first championship ring. However, it remains to be seen if Dinwiddie can perform in the Grey Cup game with the loss of Glenn, as he could find himself to be among the unlikeliest of Grey Cup starting quarterbacks in CFL history.

cotiabank West Finals

This was the third meeting in four years between the Saskatchewan Roughriders and the B.C. Lions in the Western Final. In their previous meetings the Lions were able to defeat the Riders and earn two trips to the Grey Cup, winning one championship last season in Winnipeg. However, the Riders showed that perseverance and that a stellar defence can overcome the defending Grey Cup champions as they headed to the Grey Cup for the first time since 1997.

The Riders were able to score 16 of their 26 points by converting on four turnovers, including two fumble recovers, and kicker Luca Congi made good on four field goals. The B.C. Lion offence struggled as quarterback Jarious Jackson went 3-15 in his pass attempts and was replaced late in the second quarter by veteran Dave Dickenson who passed for one touchdown.

The Roughriders opened a 10-0 lead in the first quarter after receiver, Andy Fantuz hauled in a 13-yard TD pass from Kerry Joseph and a Luca Congi 37-yard field goal. The 10 points from the Roughriders came from Lion turnovers by an Ian Smart fumble and an interception. However, B.C. running back Joe Smith would reduce the Riders' lead to 10-7 on a one-yard run with 1:17 remaining in the first.

In the second quarter the Lions managed a field goal by Paul McCallum to tie the game at 10-10. But a second interception thrown by Jarious Jackson would cause the Riders to score a field goal to take a 13-10 lead into the half as both teams were able to provide stingy defences to limit each offence to a field goal apiece. In addition, Jarious Jackson would eventually be benched and be replaced by Dave Dickenson at the end of the second quarter and for the remainder of the game.

While heading into the third quarter leading 13-10, the Riders extended their lead when quarterback Kerry Joseph found running back Neal Huges for a four-yard touchdown at 7:09 of the quarter. Congi's 33-yard field goal more than two minutes later put Saskatchewan ahead 23-10 off a Dickenson fumble.

The Lions would get themselves back in the game, when Ian Smart returned a 78-yard kickoff return, which started a one-play 11 yard Dickenson touchdown pass to receiver Geroy Simon to quickly cut the lead to 23-17.

Then Luca Congi would kick his fourth field goal of the game on the team's next drive to give the Riders a nine-point lead into the fourth quarter where the Saskatchewan defence took over and pitched a shutout in the final quarter to preserve the victory and a Grey Cup berth.

Quarterback Kerry Joseph would manage to throw for 209 yards and two touchdowns, while the defence registered for seven sacks. With the loss, the B.C. Lions failed in their attempt to become the first back-to-back champions since the 1997 Toronto Argonauts. The loss would also spoil an outstanding performance by defensive end Cameron Wake, the West's nominee as rookie of the year and top defensive player, who tied a CFL playoff record with four sacks.

External links

* [http://www.cflgreycup.ca/toronto/ Official website]
* [http://www.myspace.com/greycup2007 Official MySpace]
*youtube|OUEelMGYc6w|Video highlights of the 95th Grey Cup
*youtube|OjMaWPvypPg|2007 Grey Cup presentation

ee also

*2007 CFL season

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list=Grey Cup games
next=96th Grey Cup

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