The Ottawa Redblacks win 2016 Grey Cup by a score of 39-33 in overtime over the Calgary Stampeders. This is the franchise’s first Grey Cup, but the 11th Grey Cup to visit the city of Ottawa. Quarterback Henry Burris was named the MVP.
Ottawa Redblacks Win 2016 Grey Cup
Redblacks Control Play in First Half
Just like the 2015 Grey Cup, the Redblacks controlled play in the first half. Burris punched in a one-yard run on the Redblacks first drive. A pass interference penalty on Jamar Wall the previous play gave Ottawa the opportunity to score the game’s first touchdown.
Calgary tied the game up at seven on the next drive when Bo Levi Mitchell found Jerome Messam for a seven-yard pass.
After a Ray Early field goal, the game shifted in Ottawa’s favour when the Redblacks forced and recovered a fumble on a Calgary punt return. Burris took five plays to find Patrick Lavoie for a six-yard TD pass to put the Redblacks up 17-7.
Forrest Hightower intercepted Mitchell on the next play, and the Redblacks seemed to be in complete control. But Calgary got the ball back when running back Travon Van fumbled four plays later.
On Calgary’s drive late in the half, Mitchell then threw another interception to Jeff Richards. The Redblacks scored another field goal off the turnover before half to go up 20-7. The Redblacks dominated the turnover game in the first half, and were able to listen to One Republic‘s halftime show with smiles.
Stampeders Mount Comeback in Second Half, But Fall Short
The Redblacks got the ball to start the second half, and tried to go for the kill shot on their first play. They ran a flea flicker and Burris just over threw a streaking Khalil Paden by a few yards. But five plays later, Burris found Brad Sinopoli for a 9-yard touchdown to put Ottawa up 27-7.
Just when it looked like Calgary was down and out, the Stampeders defence came up big with a fumble recovery. Calgary scored a field goal off the turnover.
After a Redblacks two-and-out, Mitchell sprung Lemar Durant for a 33-yard touchdown. It looked like Durant was down by contact, and Antoine Pruneau avoided a late hit on him, but Durant was never touched, and he got up and scored the touchdown. This put Calgary within ten points at 27-17.
After forcing another Redblacks two-and-out, the Stamps started gaining momentum. In a five-play, 66-yard drive, Mitchell led the Stamps down the field before Andrew Buckley punched in a one-yard run. The Stamps could have put themselves within three points, but Rene Paredes missed the extra point to keep the score at 27-23 Ottawa.
Seven minutes later, after the ball switched hands twice, Burris capped off a six-play, 70-yard drive with a one-yard touchdown – his second rushing TD off the game. Early also missed the extra point, and the Redblacks were in the lead by ten again.
The Redblacks nearly put a cap on the game when Hightower collected his second interception on the following drive. Mitchell tried to go deep, but Hightower read the play, and picked off the pass.
The 15-2-1 Stampeders weren’t done there just yet. With just under two minutes left, DaVaris Daniels turned a sweep on third-and-two into a 19-yard touchdown run. Pareders converted the extra point and put the Stamps within three points.
A miraculous onside-kick recovery by Glenn Love gave the Stampeders the opportunity to win. Instead of trying for a field goal, Mitchell brought his team to the two-yard line. The Redblacks stood the Stampeders up on first and goal, and on second down, instead of handing the ball off to Messam, Buckley called his own number, and the Redblacks once again stopped him short of a touchdown. Many will question for a long time why Messam didn’t get the ball. Pareders split the uprights to send the game to overtime.
In overtime, the Stampeders won the toss and elected to go second. Burris, like a veteran, scored on the first mini-game in OT. His pass caught the fingertips of Ernest Jackson, who bobbled the ball couple of times before sure-handing it while diving into the endzone. The Redblacks failed to convert the two-point convert.
On the Stampeders mini-game, Mitchell threw three incomplete passes, and the city of Ottawa rejoiced for the first Grey Cup in 40 years.