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Bombers go back-to-back, win 108th Grey Cup

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers are Grey Cup Champions once again.

The Bombers took on the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Sunday night in the 108th Grey Cup championship. The game took place at Tim Hortons Field in Hamilton where the underdog Ticats benefited from an electric sold-out home crowd. However, it was the visiting Bombers who were able to complete the comeback and ultimately win in overtime, securing their second-consecutive CFL championship.

Bombers Collaros, Demski named MVP, MOC

Bombers quarterback Zach Collaros was named Grey Cup MVP despite throwing 2 interceptions. He completed 21 of his 32 passes for 240 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Collaros got emotional after the game, speaking on how much his teammates mean to him.

“It’s about the team. Look at these guys. It’s been an incredible year,” Collaros said, moments before hoisting the Grey Cup. “I can’t say enough how much everyone means to me. I’ve never been on a team like this.”

Winnipeg-native Nic Demski was named Most Valuable Canadian, finishing with 4 catches, 27 yards and a huge fourth quarter touchdown.

Ticats fall in heartbreaking fashion at home

Ticats head coach Orlondo Steinauer looked defeated after the heartbreaking loss that saw his team cough up a 12-point fourth-quarter lead in front of their home crowd.

“There’s no words you can give them except I’m extremely proud of them,” Steinauer said. “I told them all each individually that I loved them that was from the heart. Everyone was hugging everybody, just extremely disappointed. Everyone can label or do what they want, but I’m extremely proud of their grit and the people they became.”

Bombers start strong but Ticats respond

The Bombers scored the game’s first seven points on a pair of field goals and a single.

Ticats starting quarterback Dane Evans was forced to leave the game in the second quarter after suffering an injury. Replacement Jeremiah Masoli came in for Evans and set up a Ticats field goal late in the second before delivering a 12-yard touchdown pass to Steven Dunbar as momentum suddenly shifted in Hamilton’s favor. They took a 10-7 lead into the half.

That momentum would carry over into the third quarter as Masoli would find Brandon Banks for an 11-yard touchdown to give the home team a 17-10 lead. The Bombers would then surrender a safety, and face a 19-10 deficit heading into the fourth quarter.

Bombers get the wind in the fourth

The two teams would switch ends, flipping the wind advantage, the momentum and ultimately the scoreboard. A Ticats field goal stretched the Hamilton lead to 12 but the Bombers would answer with three points of their own to get the deficit back to nine. Collaros then led his team the length of the field for a 29-yard Demski touchdown to make it 22-20 in favor Hamilton.

With the help of the wind, the Bombers would score an additional 5 points on a field goal and two kickoff singles to go up 25-22 with 1:52 remaining.

One last chance for Hamilton

Faced with the daunting task of moving the ball up the field and into field goal range against a strong wind, Masoli and the Ticats did just that. They would convert on a crucial third and long near mid field and continue to push all the way to the five-yard line with 20 seconds remaining. Masoli threw a pass to the right front corner of the end zone for receiver Jaelon Acklin but Bombers corner Deatrick Nichols would get a finger on it to deflect the pass out of bounds and keep the Bombers alive. Hamilton would be forced to settle for a game-tying field goal which Michael Domagala would convert on. At the end of 60 minutes, this one was all tied up at 25.

Bombers rise above in OT

The Bombers would have no trouble finding the end zone in overtime as Collaros connected with Darvin Adams for the go-ahead score. Rasheed Bailey would score the two-point convert to give Winnipeg a 33-25 edge.

Hamilton’s chance to tie and extend the overtime mini game would be unsuccessful as a Masoli pass would be bobbled by a few different players before ending up in the hands of Bombers linebacker Kyrie Wilson. The interception would mark the end of the the 108th Grey Cup, in the most bizarre fashion.

The Bombers secured their first back-to-back Grey Cup championships since 1961 and 1962 while Hamilton’s 22-year Grey Cup drought lives on.