The Montreal Alouettes pulled off another upset, beating the Winnipeg Blue Bombers 28-24 to win the 110e Gray Cup, their first since 2010.
It was a touchdown from Tyson Philpot on a 19-yard pass with 15 seconds left in the game that made the difference. On the previous play, facing a third down and five to go from the Bombers’ 50 line, Fajardo, who played a great game, connected with Cole Spieker on a 31-yard play.
The Alouettes quarterback, who was playing his first final as a starter, had made a 13-yard run just before, on a second and 18.
It has been said all week that the Alouettes’ offense was going to have to contribute. She answered the call, scoring four touchdowns. William Stanback, Spieker and Austin Mack scored the others.
This is the eighth Gray Cup for the Montreal team, in 19 appearances.
The Bombers were participating in the classic for the fourth consecutive time and were trying to win a third title in four years.
And this final gave rise to quite a spectacle for the 28,808 spectators present at Tim Hortons Field, the two teams following each other throughout this duel.
On the Bombers’ second possession, the Alouettes’ defense seemed to have limited their attack to a second field goal, but a costly penalty for roughing against Mustafa Johnson instead led to a five-yard run by Oliveira for the first touchdown of the game.
The Alouettes took it back on the next possession. After a superb 31-yard pass to Austin Mack, Stanback took advantage of superb blocks from Tyler Snead and James Tuck to cross 32 yards and the goal line, bringing his team to just three points behind the Bombers after 15 minutes of play.
A blunder by James Letcher Jr. at the end of the second quarter cost the Alouettes dearly. After receiving the Bombers’ punt, Letcher lost the ball when tackled by Brandon Alexander. Mike Benson recovered the ball at the Alouettes’ 29. Jason Maas challenged immunity on the play, but nothing worked, even though there was clearly less than five yards between Fletcher and the Bombers pursuers on the restart.
Five plays later, Prukop crossed a small yard to give the Bombers a 10-point lead.
The Alouettes brought the ball back to the Bombers’ 1-line, but Caleb Evans was unable to get past their defensive line in two attempts. Quebecer Shayne Gauthier made the tackle on Evans’ second attempt and the Manitobans returned to the locker room ahead by 10. However, they were lucky: on Evans’ first attempt, one of the Bombers’ linemen was clearly off-side.
But the Alouettes bounced back to win the second half 21-7.