Canadian Football League

Sunday, June 26, 2005

B.C. wins Canadian Football League Grey Cup re-match

Dave Dickenson and the B.C. Lions crashed the Toronto Argonauts' party Saturday night. Dickenson engineered an impressive 16-play, 89-yard drive that Antonio Warren capped with a one-yard TD run with 1:12 remaining as B.C. rallied for a wild 27-20 win over Toronto in a rematch of last year's Grey Cup.
Toronto Argonauts slot back Robert Baker (88) is wrapped up by B.C. Lions defensive back Tony Tiller (24) during first half CFL action in Toronto on Saturday. The Argos beat the Lions 27-19 in Ottawa last November and celebrated that victory Saturday night by raising their championship banner prior to the contest.
Noel Prefontaine's 45-yard field goal at 9:31 of the fourth put Toronto ahead 20-19. But Dickenson moved the Lions, who led 19-6 early in the third, down the field smartly and hit Geroy Simon for the two-point convert after Warren's TD.
"We outplayed them in the first half but had lost all the momentum and didn't get it back until that final drive," Dickenson said. "We hadn't kicked field goals as well as we could have so we worked to put it into the end zone for the lead."
B.C. kicker Duncan O'Mahony had earlier missed field-goal tries from 29 and 28 yards. So instead of leading 23-20 when Prefontaine connected in the third, the Lions trailed by a point.
Bashir Levingston brought the Rogers Centre gathering of 30,712 to its feet when he appeared to return the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown. But he was ruled out of bounds at the Toronto 50-yard line.
The Argos got to the B.C. 17-yard line before Otis Floyd recovered Damon Allen's fumble with six seconds remaining.
Before the opening kickoff, the Argos hoisted their Grey Cup banner to the rafters during an elaborate 20-minute ceremony. With the roof closed, fans were treated to fireworks, a laser light show, video sequences on the stadium's video scoreboard and ring presentations as part of the celebration.
All the while, B.C. remained in its dressing room, patiently waiting to take to the field. But Dickenson said he and his teammates weren't offended by the festivities.
"I didn't notice the presentation," he said. "I respect their team and they just wanted to celebrate with their fans, then start the year."
Dickenson had a gutsy performance for B.C. His passing numbers weren't spectacular (22-of-28 attempts for 260 yards and a TD) but Dickenson stood tall against the Argos' rugged defence. A traditional drop-back passer, he was sacked six times but also ran for 55 yards on seven carries.
"Dave is Dave," Lions coach Wally Buono said. "He's tough, gritty.
"He takes his shots and makes the plays, each one adds to the confidence of the team."
Tempers flared with nine minutes to play as a melee broke out, with Argos tackle Bernard Williams hurling both a Lions' helmet and a mouthguard downfield. Once the smoke had cleared, Williams and B.C.'s Jojuan Armour were ejected.
Toronto head coach Mike (Pinball) Clemons was disappointed his team didn't take advantage of its scoring chances.
"We had a lot of opportunities but we foiled a lot of them," he said. "Quite frankly, we kicked too many field goals.
"The first game of the season is essentially a third pre-season game but the challenge is that it counts. But we put ourselves in a position to win the football game."
Allen, who was named the 2004 Grey Cup MVP, finished 22-of-35 passing for 284 yards and had a 21-yard TD strike to R. Jay Soward. But he said turnovers were the key to the game.
"Early in the season I've found teams that lose the turnover battle have tough times winning games," he said. "We lost the turnover battle and that was pretty much the difference in the game.
"There wasn't anything they did as a defence to stop us, we stopped ourselves."
Simon also had a touchdown for the Lions. O'Mahony had two converts, a field goal and two singles.
Prefontaine finished with four field goals, a convert and single.
Notes - Allen was at quarterback for B.C. in 2000 the last time the club won a Grey Cup. ... It might've been the first regular-season game for both teams, but there were no penalties in the first quarter. ... The defence that Toronto fielded Saturday consisted of the same 12 starters who faced B.C. in the Grey Cup. ... Dave Ritchie, fired midway through last season as Winnipeg's head coach, was B.C.'s defensive co-ordinator.


  • I enjoyed the game and the pre-game ceremonies. The Argos put on a good show, but they also showed some early-season rust, or maybe lack of discipline!
    Penalties really killed them. On the last BC dirve a questionable "roughing the passer" call practically gave BC 7 points.
    TO was also called offside too many times, but the season is young! GO ARGOS!

    By Blogger Hugh, at 6:28 PM  

  • Great game! Penalties at the end killed the argos.
    The argos came close to tying the at the end there on the kick return.
    At least this game was close unlike the Riders game.

    By Blogger ryanz4, at 5:27 AM  

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