|Date||November 27, 2005|
|Stadium||BC Place Stadium|
|Most Valuable Player||Ricky Ray, Edmonton|
|Most Valuable Canadian||Mike Maurer, Edmonton|
|Parade Marshall||Pamela Anderson|
|National Anthem||Jully Black|
|Coin toss||Rt. Hon. Paul Martin|
|Halftime show||Black Eyed Peas|
|TV in Canada|
|Network||CBC, RDS, CBCHD|
|Announcers||(CBC) Steve Armitage, Darren Flutie, Greg Frers, Mark Lee, Chris Walby, Brian Williams|
EDM -- FG Fleming 18 yard field goal 8:03
MTL -- Single Duval 56 yard kick went through end zone :18
EDM -- TD Hervey 9 yard pass from Ray (Fleming convert) 11:11
MTL -- TD Lapointe 1 yard run (Duval convert) 11:14
EDM -- FG Fleming 35 yard field goal 4:04
MTL -- TD Lapointe 1 yard run (Duval convert) 3:03
MTL -- FG Duval 13 yard field goal 1:16
EDM -- TD Tompkins 96 yard kickoff return (Fleming convert) 1:03
MTL -- TD Calvillo 1 yard run (Duval convert) 9:34
EDM -- TD Ray 1 yard run (Ray to Tucker - two point convert) 1:03
MTL -- FG Duval 28 yard field goal 0:00
MTL -- TD Stala 30 yard pass from Calvillo (Duval convert)
EDM -- TD Tucker 11 yard pass from Ray (Fleming convert)
EDM -- FG Fleming 36 yard field goal
The game opened with, as is traditional, a ceremonial coin toss by Prime Minister Paul Martin to determine who would start the game with possession of the football. Amusingly, as Martin came out to toss the coin, he was greeted with a rousing chorus of boos from the BC Place crowd (Martin was at the time embroiled in the sponsorship scandal), to which the prime minister responded with a shaky but good-natured smile and a wave to the hostile crowd.
The game got off to a slow start, but Edmonton held a 10-1 lead going into half-time, thanks to a Sean Fleming field goal for the game's first points and a Ricky Ray touchdown pass to Ed Hervey (Ray's first touchdown pass in seven games). A rouge by Montreal kicker Damon Duval accounted for the Alouettes' sole point.
The second half was a back-and-forth affair that saw Montreal having another late surge reminiscent of the Eastern Final. The Alouettes came on strong in the third quarter, scoring on a pair of goal-line plunges by backup running back Eric Lapointe, with the Eskimos notching only a single Fleming field goal in reply. As the quarter ticked down, Davis for Edmonton was stripped of the ball, resulting in a turnover. The Alouettes took possession and ended up with a Duval field goal, giving them seventeen points in the quarter and an 18-13 lead. However, on the ensuing kickoff, diminutive Edmonton return man Tony Tompkins scampered through Montreal's special teams unit nearly untouched for a 96-yard touchdown, the longest such return in Grey Cup history. The third quarter ended with the Eskimos holding a 20-18 lead.
Having come so far, the Alouettes had no intention of rolling over. Montreal quarterback Anthony Calvillo notched his first rushing touchdown of the year, on an impressive one-yard bootleg that caught Eskimos linebacker Marcus Winn out of position. With the Alouettes leading 25-20, the Eskimos attempted one last drive to take the lead. Facing third-and-four in Montreal territory, Ray hit Derrell Mitchell on a deep out pattern to get the big first down, and a trio of penalties left the Eskimos first-and-goal at the Alouettes' one yard line. Ricky Ray punched it in for his second touchdown of the night, and hooked up with Jason Tucker on the two-point conversation for a 28-25 Edmonton lead with only a minute left.
But the Alouettes struck back, turning an impressive return and some solid execution into a Duval field goal as time expired, resulting in a 28-28 tie at the end of regulation.
The first overtime was fairly routine. Montreal went first in the shootout format, and Calvillo nailed Dave Stala in the right corner of the endzone to give Montreal a 35-28 lead. But Edmonton had the right to match, and did so, Ray hooking up again with Jason Tucker on an 11-yard score that was almost a carbon copy of Calvillo and Stala's connection.
In the second overtime, the Eskimos were unable to convert on second and four and Eskimos kicker Fleming made a relatively simple 3-pointer to bring the score to 38-35, with Montreal's attempt in hand.
The second overtime featured an interesting if illegal play. On first down, Calvillo faced a heavy Edmonton rush and tried to throw the ball away. Edmonton defensive end Joe Montford knocked the ball down at the line, but Calvillo was able to catch it. Calvillo then illegally threw the ball again into the endzone to wide open wide receiver Kerry Watkins who, without an Eskimo within five yards, dropped the seemingly potential game winning (albeit illegal) pass. The play resulted in a 10 yard penalty against the Alouettes for an illegal forward pass, bringing them 45 yards from the goal line. On 1st and 20, Calvillo was sacked by Charles Alston for a 13 yard loss, which pushed the Alouettes behind the centre line and out of even Duval's considerable field goal range. An incomplete pass on second down and a long injury break set the stage for third and 33. The Eskimos brought in a massive blitz and forced Calvillo to scramble, sending him ten yards down the left sideline. Anticipating a tackle, Calvillo kicked the ball forward in order to keep Montreal's Grey Cup hopes alive, but the ball was snapped up by Eskimo linebacker A.J. Gass. That important play is considered to epitomize the entire game; a fantastic play in an otherwise classic Grey Cup.
In the presentation ceremony after the game, the Grey Cup Most Valuable Player award was given to Edmonton quarterback Ricky Ray, who overcame doubts during previous playoff rounds to complete 35 of 45 passes for 359 yards and two touchdowns. The Most Valuable Canadian was Edmonton backup fullback Mike Maurer (substituting for the injured Mathieu Bertrand), who despite a dropped pass earlier, picked up 41 receiving yards on four catches.
Edmonton and Montreal have met in 11 Grey Cup clashes. The Eskimos have won in 1954, 1955, 1956, 1975, 1978, 1979, 2003 and 2005's overtime thriller. The Larks prevailed in 1974, the Ice Bowl of 1977, and 2002.
A remarkably low crowd of 31,199 turned out to watch their Alouettes stomp on the Roughriders in the first half, leaping out to a 24-0 lead on three Anthony Calvillo touchdown passes to Terry Vaughn, Ben Cahoon, and Thyron Anderson and a Damon Duval field goal. By contrast, Saskatchewan quarterback Marcus Crandell struggled badly in the first half, after getting the start over Nealon Greene, and the Roughriders offense produced three turnovers to help the Alouettes.
After the embarrassing first half, Saskatchewan head coach Danny Barrett opted to leave Crandell in to start the third quarter, Crandell finally began to get over his struggles as the Alouettes sat back on their big lead, and threw a touchdown pass to Jamel Richardson early in the third quarter to give Roughriders fans some marginal hope. But another touchdown pass to Jason French in the fourth quarter was the only other scoring the Roughriders could produce, and Duval hit two more field goals in the second half to salt the win and send Montreal to Toronto for the East Final.
Sure enough, in front of a rabid home crowd, Calgary began to beat on Edmonton early. Three field goals by Calgary's leadfooted kicker Sandro Deangelis put Calgary up 9-0 through the first quarter, while running back Joffrey Reynolds ate the Eskimos defense for lunch. The Eskimos allowed another fourteen points in the second quarter, thanks to a massive 63-yard run by little-used Tony Stallings, who had 93 yards on only four carries in the game. Reynolds scored the touchdown that Stallings set up, and quarterback Henry Burris added another on a goal-line plunge before the half.
The Eskimos would have been in deep trouble if not for kicker Sean Fleming, who nailed four field goals in the second quarter to give Edmonton a chance, but it was 23-12 Calgary at the break and things were not looking good. Edmonton quarterback Ray had continued to struggle getting into the end zone, but the deficit was not his doing: his defense had let him down, he had not turned the ball over, and he had been victimized by dropped passes, particularly a would-be touchdown pass dropped by Trevor Gaylor. However, Edmonton coach Danny Maciocia tried to change the momentum by putting backup quarterback, and former starter, Jason Maas in for the second half (in contrast to Saskatchewan coach Barrett's decision to leave his quarterback in during the previous game).
With Maas under centre, the Eskimos began to claw back into the game. Calgary was held off the scoresheet in the third quarter while Fleming pounded his fifth field goal and added a rouge on a punt into the endzone. In the fourth quarter, the Eskimos completed the comeback. The Eskimos started the fourth quarter with a devastating 93-yard clock-killing drive, finishing it up with a one-yard touchdown from fullback Mathieu Bertrand to tie the game at 23. The Stampeders began to roll on the next drive, but a fumble by Reynolds broke Calgary's back, and a touchdown pass from Maas to Jason Tucker gave the Eskimos their first lead. Deangelis and Fleming swapped field goals but Calgary could not come back, and the Eskimos advanced to the Western final.
Early on, it looked like they would not get it. Toronto had come to party, as a team which has suffered attendance problems in recent seasons drew a near-sellout crowd of 44,211 through the turnstiles. The unusual fan attention may have motivated the Argonauts early, as their grandfather of a quarterback Damon Allen started on a roll. First, Allen scored the first points on a game on a one-yard touchdown run. Then, he threw a strike to receiver R. Jay Soward, who went 43 yards to the endzone (and then went to the stands, grabbed a bag of popcorn, and shared it with teammate Robert Baker in a rather novel touchdown celebration).
That would be the high water mark of the game for the Argonauts. In the second quarter, Damon Duval hit two field goals to make the score 14-6 at the half. More importantly for the Alouettes, starting running back Robert Edwards went down in the second quarter with a rib injury. In came backup Éric Lapointe, who would become the key cog of Montréal's offense in the second half.
Montréal's defense began to catch on to Allen, especially in the second half, and the Toronto quarterback began taking hits and throwing ill-advised passes. He ended up with two interceptions and a fumble, while the Argonauts added three other fumbles to make a total of six turnovers. And Eric Lapointe just ran, scoring three second-half touchdowns for Montréal while quarterback Anthony Calvillo put in a solid but unremarkable 190 yards on a team renowned for aerial pyrotechnics. Allen's 273 yards left Calvillo in the dust, but Montréal did not commit a single turnover in the game. Only a single Noel Prefontaine field goal in the third quarter accounted for Toronto scoring after the first half, while Damon Duval hit four field goals to add to Lapointe's three touchdowns and giving Montréal a Grey Cup berth and a 33-17 victory.
|British Columbia Lions||3||7||11||2||23|
In contrast to their previous game against Calgary, Edmonton started out strong against British Columbia, racking up two Sean Fleming field goals, a rouge on a punt through the endzone, and a one-yard touchdown plunge by Ray to notch fourteen first-quarter points against a single Mark McLoughlin field goal for B.C. Another Ray touchdown run in the second quarter gave the Eskimos a 21-3 lead before Casey Printers, sent in on short yardage situations, scored a one-yard touchdown run of his own to send it to the half at 21-10.
Ray had looked good in the first half, but ran into trouble not always of his own making. He threw an interception to Barron Miles that bounced off Edmonton receiver Trevor Gaylor's shoulder pads and lost a fumble on a bad exchange, two turnovers that produced ten points for the Lions. Meanwhile, Dickenson briefly got in a groove, nailing Geroy Simon with a ninety-yard touchdown toss, the longest in Lions playoff history. After another McLoughlin field goal and a rouge by punter Duncan O'Mahony, all of a sudden the game was tied at 21 after the third quarter.
To start the fourth quarter, Maciocia decided to make a quarterback change for the third consecutive game, sending Jason Maas in to replace Ray, whose 17 of 28 for 207 yards, along with two rushing touchdowns, a fumble, and an interception, were acceptable but not fantastic.
Maas's arrival seemed to spur on the Edmonton defense, as they shut Dickenson down the rest of the way. Dickenson threw an interception directly into the hands of Edmonton linebacker Steven Marsh, only his sixth interception all season and setting up a Maas 15-yard pass to Trevor Gaylor to make it 28-21. The far-from-sellout but boisterous croud of 37,337 grew restless and British Columbia coach Wally Buono sent in his backup, Printers, to great applause.
However, aside from a dramatic 47-yard pass to Paris Jackson, Printers was ineffective. After the toss to Jackson, Printers promptly threw an interception to Keyou Craver at the goal line. The Eskimos went two-and-out and opted to have Derrell Mitchell concede a safety rather than have Sean Fleming punt out of his own endzone, thus pulling the Lions within five. The game ended on a controversial non-call, in which Casey Printers threw the ball up for Geroy Simon, however, he was bumped on his way to the ball, and the pass ended up being incomplete. Some argue that the Edmonton defender was merely exercising his fair right to the ball, others argue that he interfered with Simon, while others suggest that the ball was not catchable. Regardless, the referees decided to not throw a flag, and Edmonton would go on to win the Grey Cup.
The game was marred by considerable refereeing controversy, as blown-calls and non-calls drew the ire of fans of both sides. However, both teams' fans agreed Edmonton had earned the victory.