The Montreal Alouettes and Winnipeg Blue Bombers faced off Sunday in Hamilton in the 110th Gray Cup final.
The Montreal Alouettes won 28-24 with Tyson Philpot’s touchdown with 11 seconds left in the game.
This is the eighth Gray Cup in the history of the Montreal franchise, which has not lost since September 15, collecting eight straight victories along the way. On Sunday, Montreal’s 37 players won their first CFL championship, after the team had not reached the finals since 2010.
Alouettes quarterback Cody Fajardo, named MVP, played in his first Ultimate game, although he won a championship as a backup quarterback with the Argonauts in 2017. With 3 touchdown passes, 21 completions and 290 yards through the air, Fajardo was a major architect of the Alouettes’ success , with his accomplice, receiver Austin Mack, amassing 103 yards on 6 catches, including one good for a touchdown.
“It’s a lifelong dream to win the Gray Cup,” safety Marc-Antoine Dequoy said on the field after the win. The experts never believed in us.
You search everywhere, it’s written in English… But you know what? Keep your English! We will bring this cup back to Montreal, to Quebec, to our homeland, because we are the champions. Let’s go!
Manitoba’s threat came from the Blue Bombers’ runners. Always dangerous when tested, Blake Oliveira attempted 18 carries for 117 yards and a touchdown. His teammate Dakota Prukop was also good, with 33 yards and 2 touchdowns. Quarterback Zach Collaros completed 17 passes (207 yards).
Linebacker Frédéric Chagnon agreed with his teammate Dequoy.
Everyone doubted us, but today we are champions. I am speechless. We fought until the end, we scored the winning touchdown with 13 seconds left… I’m super proud of our team.
Kristian Matte, the only Montreal Alouettes player to win the Gray Cup in 2010, was also emotional.
We believed in ourselves, in fact we believed in ourselves the whole year. It’s amazing how cohesive this group is now in all three phases of the game, we are the champions! It is feeling it’s hard to describe, I’m really happy for everyone in the team.
The Alouettes fly away at the very end of the game
On the first offensive possession, Blue Bombers Runningback Brady Oliveira made 4 runs, including a 14-yarder to get closer to the end zone. The Alouettes’ defense, however, limited the damage, allowing just one field goal for Winnipeg’s offense, a kick by Sergio Castillo.
The Bombers’ dominance continued on their next possession. Receiver Kenny Lawler, catching a long 26-yard pass from Zach Collaros, led Winnipeg near the end zone.
On the first down of the quarter, thanks to defensive end Shawn Lemon, the Alouettes defense earned a roughing the ball, giving the Bombers a first down 5 yards from the end zone. On his first attempt, Oliveira went the distance easily and scored the first touchdown of the game to make it 10-0.
The Alouettes’ offense responded immediately – a scenario that would mark the evening
Quarterback Cody Fajardo connected with receiver Austin Mack on a 31-yard pass, then running back William Stanback followed with a 32-yard run for the go-ahead score to cut the deficit to 10-7.
The Alouettes’ defense stood out in the second quarter. After a long 42-yard pass from Castillo to Lawler, defensive back Ciante Evans recovered the ball and returned the ball to the Montreal offensive line at their 20.
The Bombers served the Alouettes the same medicine, but with much more severe consequences. James Letcher Jr.’s fumble was recovered by the Manitoba defense. on a Winnipeg punt, and five plays later, Dakota Prukop converted a touchdown to give his team a 10-point lead, allowing his team to return to the locker room with a 17-7 lead (report, other).
It was the California group Green Day that did the halftime show in Hamilton.
Energized by performances Basketball box AND Broken Dream Boulevards, the Alouettes got off to a great start in the third period. Receiver Austin Mack made a spectacular one-handed catch for a 33-yard gain, then Cody Fajardo connected with Cole Spieker 23 yards on the next play for his first passing touchdown.
Alouettes wide receiver Austin Mack (81) gave Montreal its first lead of the game in the 4th quarter during the 110th Gray Cup.
Photo: The Canadian Press / Frank Gunn
Montreal’s new momentum continued on defense, culminating in Kabion Ento’s interception in the end zone to deny Zach Collaros and the Bombers another touchdown. A welcome dose of confidence, which put some wind under the wings of the Alouettes.
The positive streak appeared to be over when fullback Fajardo threw his first interception of the game in the fourth quarter, returning the ball to the Bombers at their 21 with a long pass attempt to Mack while the receiver was well covered.
But the same tandem had more than one trick up its sleeve, and Fajardo threw his second touchdown pass of the night connecting with Mack on the next possession to give the Alouettes the lead for the first time since the kickoff.
Montreal’s defense was immediately put to the test and could not withstand the Bombers’ onslaught. Little by little, over the course of 9 plays, Winnipeg got closer to the end zone, then Dakota Prukop scored his second touchdown run to put the Manitobans back in front 24-21.
The most cynical at the time believed the game was over, but that was a poor understanding of Canadian soccer.
On their final possession of the game, with one minute left on the clock, the Bombers defense brought out a fullback, believing they would stop the threat in their tracks. On the next play, on second down and 18, Fajardo ran 13 yards to turn the tide. And on third down, the running back connected with Austin Mack for 31 yards before throwing his third touchdown pass to Tyson Philpot on the next play, giving the Alouettes a 28-24 victory.
With 3 touchdown passes, 21 completions and 290 yards through the air, Fajardo was a major architect of the Alouettes’ success.
Photo: The Canadian Press / Nathan Denette
This team has been through a lot of adversity, added Austin Mack. We are resilient. On the last possession, the defense gave us two minutes to play and we were looking to score. Cody (Fajardo) put in an amazing pass… It was fantastic!
Hamilton completely soccer
31,000 people attended Tim Hortons Stadium and the streets of Hamilton, Ontario already in the afternoon they were filled with colors and costumed people. It was celebrated by thousands of visitors, and the celebration began on Thursday, according to the organizers.
The Blue Bombers (14-4) won their two games this season against the Alouettes (11-7), en route to winning the West Division title. The Alouettes finished 2nd in the East and have never had 11 wins in the same season in 11 years.
The Montreal Alouettes and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers met for the first time in the Gray Cup. Montreal was in the CFL finals for the first time in 13 years. They then defeated the Saskatchewan Roughriders 21-18 at Commonwealth Stadium.
For their part, the Bombers participated in the Gray Cup game for the fourth year in a row. After beating the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in 2019 and 2021, the Bombers lost 24-23 to the Toronto Argonauts last year after Argos defensive lineman Robbie Smith blocked a field goal. Marc Liegghio 47-yard field goal with 54 seconds left on the clock.
Blue Bombers quarterback Zach Collaros played in the finals for the fifth time in his career, having also triumphed with the Argonauts in 2012. He is the first quarterback in the league to start four consecutive Gray Cup games.