HAMILTON – Montreal returns to the sports championship thanks to a sensational triumph of the Alouettes that will go down in history! The Birds continued their rampage to defeat the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, 28-24, with 13 seconds left.
The Alouettes toppled a CFL powerhouse and hoisted the Gray Cup for the first time since 2010 with a script worthy of a movie.
Trailing 24-21 in the final quarter, the Alouettes got one last chance with 1:55 left in the game. It was a huge challenge for the Montreal forward who was doubted by so many pundits this year.
But this unit instead accomplished an absolutely incredible feat. An offensive wave that will rank among the most spectacular finishes in Gray Cup history.
Cody Fajardo, who had to deal with so many detractors, first made the all-important 13-yard run on second down and 18. The next play, a third down and five yards, could have ruined the Alouettes.
Fajardo wasn’t intimidated and completed a 31-yard pass to Cole Spieker. The Alouettes quarterback then surprised Winnipeg with a 19-yard touchdown pass to Tyson Philpot to ignite the Tim Hortons Field crowd behind the Montreal club.
“I dreamed of these moments, what I wanted was to win,” answered Philpot, who after the game cried with happiness in the arms of his twin brother Jalen.
“I remember Jason telling me, ‘Do whatever you have to do.’ Then, Jason made an outstanding pick, Cole made a magnificent catch, and Tyson followed up with a touchdown. It was like a movie! Fajardo agreed.
“These are passes that will go down in history! Without these games, we don’t exist,” Marc-Antoine Dequoy confided in rapture.
“We just wanted to have a chance. I could see on the faces of the Bombardiers that they were surprised at what we were doing. We pushed the pedal all the way and Cody ended up being amazing. It was the ride of a champion! “, summed up Kristian Matte, who enjoyed the championship in 2010 and experienced a slump after that.
“This is another one of the unforgettable moments we witness in championship matches. Conclusions that people remember. When you can lift and win, any athlete would choose that scenario, because the feeling is wonderful. I think it was historic,” Maas said.
Remember Fajardo was 0-9 against Zach Collaros. Now he can celebrate his first championship as a starting quarterback and he absolutely did not steal it just like his game MVP title.
The Alouettes were gone in the final seconds and the confetti was able to get the festivities started, Montreal had just surprised the big favorites.
“It means a lot, the fans in Montreal deserve this championship after waiting this long. The trophy is heavier than I thought, I’m so happy! “, mentioned William Stanback, the author of the first touchdown, who promised to celebrate.
As it should have been, this game was a reflection of the Alouettes’ year as they overcame several pitfalls. They overcame a 17-7 halftime deficit to slow down the Bombers, who were aiming for a third crown in their fourth straight finals appearance.
Just before returning to the locker room – to make room for the Green Day show – the Alouettes failed to score a touchdown one yard from the end zone before halftime.
Their strength of character developed over the course of the season more than paid off. The team definitely did not want their season to end like “The Boulevard of Broken Dreams”.
We certainly wouldn’t want the sublime performances of cornerback Kabion Ent, who committed two key turnovers – including an interception in the end zone – along with knocking down a touchdown pass.
The same can be said for young defensive end Lwala Uguak who is experiencing shooting star-worthy progress (a little thought for Karl Tremblay).
This epic comeback helped Maas lead the Alouettes back to this trophy in his first year. They fulfilled this mission, very improbable at the beginning of the year, by beating the Toronto Argonauts last week.
Saying general manager Danny Maciocia wondered if the Alouettes would be broken up before the club was sold again. A scenario that required a new owner, a new coach and a host of new players.