The Calgary Stampeders won their seventh Grey Cup championship on Sunday by surviving a furious second-half Hamilton Tiger-Cats rally for a nail-biting 20-16 victory.
The Stampeders talked all week about fulfilling their Canadian Football League destiny and they backed it up in front of a crowd of 52,056 at BC Place stadium in Vancouver by winning the 102nd Grey Cup.
“We had a very good week of preparation,” Calgary coach John Hufnagel said after the Stampeders claimed their first championship since 2008. “Hamilton had a lot of moxie [character] to get back into the game.”
Indeed, in a dramatic finish to Canada’s national gridiron championship, Hamilton appeared to have successfully capped one of the wildest fourth-quarter rallies in Grey Cup history.
However, Brandon Banks’ 80-yard punt return into the end zone with less than a minute to go in regulation ended up being called back because of a clipping penalty. Had the touchdown counted it would have given the Tiger-Cats a two-point lead with just 35 seconds to go.
It marked the second straight Grey Cup loss for the Ticats, who were beaten by the Saskatchewan Roughriders in last season’s final.
“We got a good young football team,” Hamilton coach Kent Austin said. “It is not always going to go our way. That’s how it is sometimes.”
Drew Tate had a pair of rushing touchdowns and quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell was named the game’s most outstanding player as he completed 25-of-34 passes for 334 yards for the Stampeders.
Eric Rogers had 108 yards receiving in the win, but the league’s rushing leader Joe Cornish managed just 25 yards on the ground.
The Tiger-Cats trailed 17-0 in the second quarter and by 13 heading into the fourth before quarterback Zach Collaros led a furious late rally.
Kicker Justin Medlock booted two field goals in the fourth to get Hamilton to within 20-13 with 5:35 left. Medlock added another field goal to cut the Stamps’ lead to just four.
The Tiger-Cats then forced a punt and Banks scooped up a rolling ball and took off down the sideline for a touchdown, but it was nullified because of the penalty.
“We had other opportunities to win,” Austin said. “Until I see the play, I am not going to comment further.”
‘GREAT EVENING‘: In the women’s singles in Rome, Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova advanced, while Rafael Nadal swept into the quarters in the men’s singles Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Friday had to dig deep to advance to the semi-finals of the women’s doubles at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. The top seeds, who did not drop a game in their opening match on the clay courts at the Foro Italico, battled to a 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 victory over sixth seeds Veronika Kudermetova and Katerina Siniakova in 1 hour, 39 minutes. The reigning Wimbledon champions saved nine of 11 break points and converted three of eight, winning 56 percent of points on their second serve and sending down two aces
KEY GOAL: Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei is now free to focus on taking her fourth doubles title of the year with Barbora Strycova; they are due to face Nao Hibino and Makoto Ninomiya Taiwanese No. 1 Hsieh Su-wei on Monday returned to the court for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the WTA Tour, falling to a 6-3, 6-1 defeat to US Open quarter-finalist Elise Mertens, who made a solid transition from the hard courts in New York to the clay at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. “I’m not sure how well I adapted, to be honest,” Mertens told the WTA Web site. “I just feel like I might still be struggling a little. It was also [Hsieh’s] first match of the week, so that was a bit of an
’SO CONSISTENT’: The victory gave the world No. 1 and world No. 2 a 21-1 win-loss record and their fourth title of the season after successes in Brisbane, Dubai and Doha Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Sunday cruised to their fourth women’s doubles title of the season at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome in their first tournament back since the suspension of the WTA Tour due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The top seeds took just 63 minutes to complete a comprehensive 6-2, 6-2 victory over unseeded German-Romanian duo Anna-Lena Friedsam and Raluca Olaru at the Foro Italico. It was the Taiwanese-Czech pairing’s first outing since they won the Qatar Open in February. “After five months, you don’t know what to expect,” Strycova told the WTA Web site.
‘FUN TIME’: Denver’s Nikola Jokic said that his team would not accept that anyone else is better than them and the opposition need to play much better than they do Just about everyone had LA versus LA written in for the NBA’s Western Conference finals, but the resilient Denver Nuggets have crashed the party. Behind Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic, the Nuggets advanced to the conference finals for the first time since 2009 to face LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers. Game 1 is scheduled to be played tomorrow. This was no ordinary road. The Nuggets fell behind 3-1 in their first-round series against the Utah Jazz before bouncing back with three straight victories. Then they went down 3-1 to the Los Angeles Clippers in the second round before winning in Game 7