By Richard Obrand,
Edmonton – It never gets old for Marc Trestman and your Montreal Alouettes.
With a 21-18 win over the Saskatchewan Roughriders, the Alouettes captured their second-straight Grey Cup championship and seventh in franchise history.
In a game that practically exemplified their entire season, the Anthony Calvillo-lead Alouettes put forth a superb effort in a frigid Commonwealth Stadium environment and are coming back to Montreal as champions.
With the Canadian Air Force Snowbirds flying overhead, the Als stormed out of the gates with all cylinders firing smoothly. After both the Als and Riders failed to score on their opening drives, Calvillo led the Als on a four play 38-yard scoring drive that was capped off by a 4-yard Avon Cobourne touchdown to give the Als a 7-0 lead in the first quarter.
Cobourne – last year’s Grey Cup MVP – continued his strong post-season with a 67-yard, two touchdown rushing performance in tonight’s championship game. His second touchdown in the fourth quarter proved to be the difference maker for the Als, but certainly was not the turning point.
The Turning point
Trailing by three with under a minute remaining in the fourth quarter, Darian Durant began marching the Roughrider offence downfield into Alouettes territory. With momentum on his side, Durant took the snap on the fourth play of the drive, only to receive immense pressure from the Montreal defensive line.
After evading a sack, Durant rolled out and lobbed a pass towards the sidelines, in hopes that it would land out of bounds on the Montreal bench, Billy Parker, however, had a change of plans. The second-year Alouette leapt up and intercepted the errant Durant pass for the first turnover of the game by either team, a fitting dagger to end Saskatchewan’s hopes at redemption.
The rest, as the old adage goes, is history.
Tonight’s Grey Cup win will go a long way for the legacy for many of the veteran players on the team, as well as the maturity level of the younger players, the future of the Alouettes.
M-V-P! M-V-P! M-V-P!
One of those younger players of the future, is Jamel Richardson. The third-year Alouette was named the 98th Grey Cup’s Most Valuable Player after hauling in eight receptions for 109 yards, the third time in his career that he eclipsed the century mark in a Grey Cup.
Richardson’s teammate SJ Green also put forth a star-studded effort. Green, already a two-time Grey Cup champion had nine receptions for 102 yards in the win.
As for the veterans, Calvillo was of course at his finest. The three-time champion threw for 336 yards and brought a level of poise that can only be presented by a player of his stature, the type of poise given by champions.
….champions, it truly never does get old.