From drought to dominance, Winnipeg Blue Bombers win back-to-back Grey Cup titles

FOR ALMOST 3 decades, beginning in 1990, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and their unswerving fanatics puzzled if they’d ever hoist the gray Cup again.

Their 29-yr championship drought was a dismal cloud striking over the staff — and one thing the franchise was tired of speaking approximately.

What a distinction a couple of years make.

On a blustery night time in Hamilton, Ont., with a offered out crowd of more than 26,000 enthusiasts packed into Tim Hortons Field most commonly cheering for the Tiger-Cats, the Bombers received a thrilling additional time determination 33-25.

Blue Bombers defeat Tiger-Cats 33-25 in OT to copy as Grey Cup championsBOXSCORE: Blue Bombers 33, Tiger-Cats 25 (OT)

THEY ARE now again-to-back Grey Cup champions, the 3rd time in staff historical past, after consecutive wins over the Hamilton Tigers-Cats within the name game.

in truth, within the previous occasions where the Bombers won back-to-back Gray Cups, the victories have been additionally in opposition to the Ticats, in 1958-59 and 1961-62.

“Resilience. Perseverance. We did all of it yr. Just an incredible crew,” said Winnipeg quarterback Zach Collaros.

Sunday night’s 108th Grey Cup sport used to be an wireless vintage, with the Bombers storming again from being down 12 issues in the fourth quarter. Hamilton forced time beyond regulation in the waning seconds of the game.

But like such a lot of times within the season, Winnipeg discovered a way to win while it mattered such a lot.

WATCH l Winnipeg beats Hamilton in OT for 2d straight Gray Cup title:

From drought to dominance, Winnipeg Blue Bombers win back-to-back Grey Cup titles

Bombers beat Ticats in OT to win Grey Cup thriller

3 hours ago

Duration 1:18

Winnipeg ended Hamilton’s hopes for a place of birth Gray Cup win with an interception in time beyond regulation, profitable 33-25. 1:18

In time beyond regulation, Collaros discovered Darvin Adams within the finish zone to attain a touchdown and positioned the entire pressure on the Ticats to match the Bombers.

the most efficient defence all year lengthy flexed their muscles in a championship-defining moment, with linebacker Kyrie Wilson intercepting Jeremiah Masoli to seal the victory.

“within the fourth quarter we take care of business. It got here right down to extra time. we’ve so much confidence in our offence and then we are going to go available in the market and shut the lighting off,” mentioned Bombers defensive end Willie Jefferson.

Movies you’ll taste. ???#GreyCup | @Wpg_BlueBombers pic.twitter.com/ZklHB13hcR

—@CFL

This was the latest within the season the grey Cup sport has been contested. In Spite Of the Dec. 12 kickoff, it was unseasonably warm in Hamilton with the sport time temperature at 4 C.

This was the first time the Ticats had been playing on house turf in the big recreation in view that 1972 — that game was additionally the final time the gray Cup was performed in December. Hamilton defeated the Saskatchewan Roughriders THIRTEEN-10 on that day.

The locals were hoping for a repeat outcome in this Sunday, however the Bombers proved to be too sturdy within the end.

O’Shea best possible in 6 Gray Cup appearances

Bombers show Mike O’Shea is undefeated as a player and train in Gray Cups — he’s now a great 6-0 within the massive sport.

O’Shea received as a player in 1996, 1997 and 2004 – all with Toronto. He also won in 2012 as Toronto’s special teams instruct sooner than these past two as Winnipeg’s head teach.

“i don’t even take a look at it like that,” O’Shea mentioned when requested approximately his unbeaten report in Grey Cups.

“the one thing to say is this is a group. you’ll be able to simplest do this by changing into a crew inside the yr.”

Photos

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O’Shea said his team never lost trust, even if trailing by double-digits within the ultimate frame.

“i assume it is magic. They at all times manage to work out,” he mentioned. The Bombers were dominant this season, racking up an 11-THREE common season document. They scored essentially the most issues while additionally permitting the fewest points.

From drought to dominance, Winnipeg Blue Bombers win back-to-back Grey Cup titles

Winnipeg offensive lineman Stanley Bryant hoists the trophy in birthday celebration with protective finish Jackson Jeffcoat (NINETY FOUR). (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press)

The championship game began gradual, in truth, there wasn’t a unmarried first down within the first 4 possessions of the game — it’s the primary time that’s took place in the grey Cup due to the fact 1993.

The Bombers opened up the scoring approximately six mins into the protective combat after kicker Sergio Castillo made just right on a 38-yard box function. The issues had been set up via an Alden Darby interception, putting in Winnipeg in high territory.

With a stiff breeze sweeping in the course of the stadium, neither staff could find any traction on offence. The Bombers would upload a punt unmarried to their score after Marc Liegghio bombed a 70-yard punt into the Hamilton end zone overdue in the first quarter. That ended the first body with Winnipeg leading 4-ZERO.

The 4 issues within the first quarter was once the bottom amount because the 2008 Gray Cup.

Blue Bombers dominate CFL’s annual awards banquetTwo glimpses of Hamilton vs. Winnipeg in the grey Cup recreation

Dane Evans began the game at quarterback for the Ticats — the backup for most of the season rallied Hamilton from a 12-0 halftime deficit in opposition to Toronto in the Eastern Final, defeating the Argos 27-19.

He went 16/SIXTEEN, throwing for 249 yards and a landing within the sport. Then Again, against a stingy Bombers defence, Evans could not get anything going. It took a quarter and a part for the Ticats to in any case go into Winnipeg territory

Masoli takes over

Down 7-ZERO after every other Castillo box objective, Hamilton’s offence used to be riding down the field when Jefferson hit Evans within the head.

The play led to a roughing-the-passer penalty. Evans layed at the turf for a long time sooner than walking back to the sidelines. He suffered a neck damage and may no longer go back to the sport.

That supposed that Jeremiah Masoli, who started most of the season for the Ticats, took over at quarterback. Masoli might power the Ticats all of the way right down to the Bombers 5-yard line prior to getting stopped. That supposed they’d must settle for a field objective.

WATCH l Meet the Keeper of the grey Cup:

From drought to dominance, Winnipeg Blue Bombers win back-to-back Grey Cup titles

Meet the Keeper of the gray Cup Jeff McWhinney

2 days ago

Duration 2:27

Jeff McWhinney, the Keeper of the grey Cup, discusses the historical past and significance of the prized hardware ahead of the 2021 championship sport between the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Hamilton Tiger-Cats in Hamilton. 2:27

However Hamilton had extra to return sooner than halftime.

Masoli prepare a 48-backyard, two-play drive that most effective took 15 seconds to lead the Ticats into the top zone. Receiver Steven Dunbar caught a 12-backyard touchdown move from Masoli, sending the gang right into a frenzy.

The lovers roared as the halftime gun sounded with Hamilton up 10-7.

The defensive struggle endured into the second one part, with each groups trying to to find traction offensively.

Veteran presence helped Blue Bombers make second instantly Gray Cup appearanceMore CFL protection

It was once the Bombers who discovered some way to wreck through Hamilton’s defence to tie the sport about 5 minutes into the 3rd quarter after Castillo connected on his 3rd box goal of the sport.

However that’s whilst the Tiger-Cats’ defence took their play to a unique stage. Zach Collaros, the Winnipeg quarterback who just nights in advance was once named the league’s Most Eminent Participant, was intercepted two times through Hamilton’s Kameron Kelly.

Kelly took his first interception back 47 yards all of the way down to the Winnipeg 27-backyard line. Not long after that, Brandon Banks caught a landing cross from Masoli to provide Hamilton a 17-10 lead.

The Ticats took a 19-10 lead into the fourth quarter. They Would build up their lead to 22-10 after a field function and that’s when the Bombers flicked a transfer and scored 15 unanswered points ahead of Hamilton pressured time beyond regulation.

‘We just imagine in one another’

The Ticats nearly received in law, marching all of the technique to the Bombers five backyard line with time ticking down. But Winnipeg’s defence held.

“We just have a locker room of men who imagine in one another,” stated Winnipeg linebacker Adam Bighill, who was named Most Outstanding Defensive Participant this season.

“That Would be probably the most adversity we’ve faced all yr long. We simply believe in one another. I Am so satisfied. this is crazy.”

Heaps of Bomber lovers stayed overdue, lining the bottom stage of the Tim Hortons bleachers cheering wildly as the avid gamers hoisted the Cup.

They went loopy for Winnipeg-born operating back Andrew Harris.

“I Am pleased with my teammates. I Am proud of my city. i will not wait to convey this back to the province,” Harris said. “Our defence was once superb all yr and we end it on a pick out.”

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