Argos win 100th Grey Cup, beat Stampeders 35-22
Published Sunday, November 25, 2012 8:12AM EST
Last Updated Sunday, November 25, 2012 11:02PM EST
The Toronto Argonauts won the 100th Grey Cup Sunday evening, beating the Calgary Stampeders 35-22 in front of a boisterous crowd of more than 52,000 in downtown Toronto.
Argos running back Chad Kackert was named the game’s most outstanding player. Kackert had 20 carries for 133 yards, as well as eight catches for 62 yards.
Defensive end Ricky Foley was named top Canadian.
While the Stamps scored their only touchdown with minutes to go in the game, the Argos scored three TDs in the first half to jump out to an early lead. They never looked back.
Argo Chad Owens -- the CFL’s 2012 most outstanding player -- scored the first touchdown at 8:03 of the first quarter, running a pass from Ricky Ray into the endzone after a Calgary fumble gave the Argos the ball on the Stamps’ 45.
Ray finished the game 18 for 30, with 231 yards passing and two touchdowns.
The Argos’ lead was cut shortly after the opening TD when Stamps kicker Rene Paredes made good on a 30-yard field-goal attempt.
At the end of the first quarter, the Argos were up 7-3.
The Argos’ Pacino Horne opened the second quarter by returning an interception for a touchdown, driving up the score to 14-3. An Argos field goal put the score at 17-3 near the midway point of the second quarter.
Busy Stamps kicker Paredes made it 17-6 before the Argos widened their lead on their final drive of the half.
The Argos’ Dontrelle Inman scored another touchdown with 20 seconds left in the opening half and the hometown team held the Stamps on their final drive before the teams turned the field over to the halftime show.
Paredes added a 27-yard field goal on Calgary’s first possession of the second half, but Argo kicker Swayze Waters responded with a 20-yard kick of his own.
Calgary’s Larry Taylor seemed to have a TD with just over two minutes to go in the third quarter, but referees called it back on a holding penalty.
A Calgary safety as the third quarter came to a close and a field goal in the fourth quarter pulled the Stamps within 13 points. However, the Argos widened their lead to 35-14 with five minutes left in the second half.
The Stamps finally scored a touchdown late in the fourth quarter, followed by a two-point conversion. But the late drive was too little, too late.
"We didn't start well. We didn't take advantage of their turnover and they got two touchdowns on theirs," Stampeders coach John Hufnagel said after the game. "But the bottom line was that we didn't get the ball into the end zone until the game was out of reach."
The game got underway after rocker Burton Cummings sang the national anthem and Gov.-Gen. David Johnston took care of the ceremonial kick-off. The Argos won the coin toss and elected to receive the football.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi were all at the game.
Halftime with the Biebs
The halftime show was a mix of old and new, as music icon Gordon Lightfoot performed before making way for Marianas Trench, Carly Rae Jepsen and Justin Bieber.
In front of the packed stadium, Lightfoot performed a solo acoustic set while video of past Grey Cups flashed behind him on a series of monitors.
Vancouver band Marianas Trench rocked the crowd next, with lead singer Josh Ramsay singing and dancing boisterously across the stage.
Next up was pop star Carly Rae Jepsen. Accompanied by a band and in front of a set of flashing pink and black lights, Jepsen sang two songs including her hit single “Call Me Maybe.” Fans were spotted in the crowd singing along.
International pop superstar Justin Bieber closed the show. Flanked by several backup dancers, Bieber performed his song “Boyfriend” while dancing and rapping for the crowd.
“It’s an honour to be here at the Grey Cup,” said Bieber, before he launched into his next song.
The teen pop star was met with a smattering of both cheers and boos from the crowd.
Mayors make bets
Earlier in the week, Harper told reporters that though he originally hails from Toronto, he would be cheering for the Stamps. Harper’s riding is located in Calgary.
In a statement issued before the game, Harper said the 100th anniversary game is an important part of our shared culture.
"Our Government recognizes that the 100th Grey Cup game is an important milestone for football in this country and a rich part of our nation's history," he said. “I hope that the next century of Grey Cup history is as memorable as the first.”
Meanwhile, the two mayors made a public wager in support of their teams. The losing mayor will donate his weight in food to a food bank, as well as wear the rival team’s jersey to a city council meeting.
The mayors traded jerseys on Saturday during a pancake breakfast in Toronto’s Nathan Phillips Square.
During the breakfast, Ford predicted Toronto would beat Calgary 30-21 and told Nenshi that “Toronto’s going to give you guys a whooping like you’ve never had before.”
Nenshi accepted the jersey, saying he needed something to wipe his car down with when he returned home.
The Calgary mayor told CTV News Channel before Sunday’s game that he was thrilled to be a part of the historic event.
“I’m a huge Canadian patriot. I’m a huge football fan and I love Canadian history,” he said. “So the fact that I get to be mayor and my team is in the finals at the 100th Grey Cup is something that is incredibly special.”
Nenshi said he’s enjoyed many of the Grey Cup events leading up to the game and said the environment in the city was “electrifying.” He said he and Ford were extending their wager to all Canadians and asked that betting fans also donate to their local food banks.
Nenshi declined to talk about final scores, but did make his own prediction.
“I do not think it will be a blow out. These are two great teams, two great quarterbacks. It’s going to be a really, really good game,” he said. “And of course the Stampeders will prevail.”
Both teams had a lot riding on Sunday’s game. The Stamps have not won a Grey Cup since 2008 and the Argos had not won since 2004.
Calgary fans flooded into Toronto and made their presence known. At the start of the week, the Calgary Grey Cup committee vowed to “paint this town Calgary,” and bring the cup home.
On Thursday, Stamps fans recreated a moment from 64 years ago and rode their horse Marty into the Royal York Hotel.
Also on Thursday, the CFL compromised with the team and agreed to allow their mascot, horse Quick Six, to stand on the sidelines during the final. It would not, however, let it charge up and down the field as is typically done during regular season games in Calgary.
With files from The Canadian Press