- 95th Grey Cup
The 95th Grey Cup was held in
Torontoat the Rogers Centreon 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 Roughridersand 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 Classicmatchup has been played in the Grey Cup.
The 95th Grey Cup was the 46th
Grey Cuphosted 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 Cupin 1989 and the 80th Grey Cupin 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 Avenueeast to Bay Streetand from Nathan Phillips Squaresouth 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 Cupgame was held on November 23, 2007at Rogers Centre with the Manitoba Bisonsversus 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 Candyhosted by Dan Aykroyd
*Grey Cup Gala at
Liberty Grandhosted by Brent Butt
CN Towerparty hosted by Trish Stratus
*Grey Cup Party Series hosted by
Trailer Park BoysRicky, Julian and Bubbles
Great Big Sea
Spirit of the West
The Lowest of the Low
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).
WPG -- FG Westwood 16-yard field goal 12:37
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
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
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 backJames Johnson set a Grey Cuprecord with three interceptions, returning one for a touchdown, as the Saskatchewan Roughriderswon their first championship in 18 years on Sunday defeating the Winnipeg Blue Bombers23-19 at the Rogers Centrein Toronto. The Roughriders last won a championship in 1989, when current coach Kent Austinwas the starting quarterback.
In the first quarter, Winnipeg's
Troy Westwoodscored 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 Kravitzentertained 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 Chicksacked Ryan Dinwiddiefor 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 Armstrongwith 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.
Kerry Josephlooked to be stopped on a third-and-one plunge, but a review re-spotted the ball for a first down. When Bombers coach Doug Berrytried to challenge, he was slapped with a five-yard delay of gamepenalty. 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 Fantuzup 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
cotiabank East Semi-Finals
Winnipeg Blue Bombersadvanced to the Grey Cupfor the first time in six years by stunning the Toronto Argonautson Sunday but lost star quarterback, Kevin Glennin the process.
Heading into the game, Toronto
linebacker, Kevin Eibenguaranteed 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 Armstrongin the end zone and into the waiting hands of Milt Stegallfor the score.
Troy Westwoodwould kick a 34-yard field goal after a 26-yard interference infraction by Toronto defensive back, Kenny Wheatonin 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 Stokeselectrifying 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 Bishophooked up with Obed Cetouteon a big 47-yard gain, but would overthrow Derrell Mitchellon 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 Haywoodgoing 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 Bruceon 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 Dinwiddiehad 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 Roughridersand the B.C. Lionsin 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 Congimade good on four field goals. The B.C. Lion offence struggled as quarterback Jarious Jacksonwent 3-15 in his pass attempts and was replaced late in the second quarter by veteran Dave Dickensonwho passed for one touchdown.
The Roughriders opened a 10-0 lead in the first quarter after receiver,
Andy Fantuzhauled in a 13-yard TD pass from Kerry Josephand a Luca Congi37-yard field goal. The 10 points from the Roughriders came from Lion turnovers by an Ian Smartfumble and an interception. However, B.C. running backJoe 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 McCallumto 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 Josephfound running back Neal Hugesfor 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 Simonto 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.
* [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
2007 CFL season
94th Grey Cup
96th Grey Cup
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