Calgary Stampeders’ quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell hoists the West Division Trophy after they defeated the Winnipeg Blue Bombers during the CFL West Final in Calgary, Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol

Calgary Stampeders back to Grey Cup with 22-14 win over Winnipeg Blue Bombers

Calgary was favoured to win the 2017 and 2016 Grey Cups, but lost to the Toronto Argonauts and Ottawa Redblacks respectively.

The Calgary Stampeders will find out if third time’s a charm in the Grey Cup.

The Stampeders advanced to the CFL’s championship game a franchise-record third straight year after downing the Winnipeg Blue Bombers 22-14 in Sunday’s West Division final.

Calgary was favoured to win the 2017 and 2016 Grey Cups, but lost to the Toronto Argonauts and Ottawa Redblacks respectively.

And the Stampeders face the Redblacks again for the title Sunday in Edmonton. Ottawa beat the Hamilton Tiger-Cats 46-27 earlier Sunday to take the East Division.

“As a coach, I think you’re stupid if you don’t look at maybe changing something up and doing something different,” Calgary head coach Dave Dickenson said. “You’ve got to solve this riddle.

“It’s time to climb to the top of the mountain.”

The Stampeders posted the CFL’s best record at 13-5 to earn the playoff bye. Calgary will make its fourth Grey Cup appearance in five years after claiming the championship in 2014.

Eric Rogers led Calgary with three touchdown catches Sunday, including a 10-yard leaping grab in the end zone late in the fourth quarter.

That score was the highlight of a second half largely devoid of offence as both defences dug in.

Winnipeg’s Justin Medlock kicked four field goals for the visitors, including a 57-yarder for a CFL playoff record, in front of an announced 29,268 at McMahon Stadium.

Bo Levi Mitchell completed 17 of 31 passes for 214 yards and three touchdown throws.

He joins a select group of CFL quarterbacks to lead their teams to a playoff win five straight years. Ron Lancaster, Russ Jackson, Doug Flutie and Tracy Ham are the others.

The last team to appear in three straight Grey Cups was the Montreal Alouettes from 2008 to 2010. The Als won back-to-back titles in 2009 and 2010.

Winnipeg’s Grey Cup drought extends to 28 years with the loss. The Blue Bombers finished third in the division with a 10-8 record.

After starting the season 5-7, the Bombers went 6-1 en route to Sunday’s division final including a 23-18 win over the Saskatchewan Roughriders in the division semifinal.

Bombers starting quarterback Matt Nichols was 15-for-32 in passing for 156 yards Sunday.

“It sucks man. It sucks,” Nichols lamented.

“We didn’t quite earn it as a team today. I feel like our defence deserved better today. They did a hell of a job. We had a lot of opportunities. Of course Calgary’s defence, they played great tonight and it’s difficult.

“You go into a game like this with no doubt that you’re going to win and when you don’t, it’s a pretty terrible feeling.”

Related: ‘Losing is something I’ve never gotten used to’: coaching great Wally Buono

Related: CFL will use extra on-field official to watch for illegal blows to quarterback

Mitchell’s 21-yard pass to Richie Sindani, followed by an 18-yard Don Jackson run and a 15-yard catch from Lemar Durant put the hosts in scoring range for Mitchell’s pivotal touchdown throw to Rogers with just under four minutes to play.

“Eric is a hard guy to cover,” Mitchell said. “I trust Eric, I understand his body language. I know where he’s going to be on certain things.

“A play like that at the end of the game, there’s not a lot of players who make plays like that. He’s a big-time guy. He never makes the moment bigger than it is.”

Trailing 6-0, Calgary’s first touchdown of the game in the second quarter was key. Mitchell marched the offence 92 yards in a drive that ate eight minutes four seconds off the clock, and capped it with a 12-yard touchdown toss to Rogers.

He threw an eight-yard touchdown pass to Rogers in the end zone later in the quarter to give the hosts a 14-6 halftime lead.

After travelling to Toronto and then Ottawa for the two previous Grey Cups, the Stampeders will play for the title much closer to home in their provincial rival’s stadium.

“We’re happy to be out west. We’re hoping people show up,” Dickenson said, joking that it was the first time he looked forward to going to Commonwealth Stadium.

“I know, Edmonton, but we’d love to get some support from you guys.”

Donna Spencer, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Williams Lake First Nation inks historic cannabis deal with B.C. government

The agreement paves the way for WLFN to sell cannabis to the government, and open stores across B.C.

Cariboo Regional District hopes to build low mobility trail at Esler Sports Complex

The regional district is applying for federal funding for trail construction and site upgrades

Low-mobility access at Mountain Spruce Community Park

Thanks to a grant from the Cariboo Regional District, the pathways around… Continue reading

Old bars, new jail at 108 Heritage site

There’s a new sheriff in town at the 108 Heritage site.

COVID-19: 4 more deaths, 366 new cases in B.C. since Friday

A total of 8,208 people in B.C. have tested positive for COVID-19 since January

16 COVID-19 cases reported in Interior Health region

One person is in hospital and 34 people are isolating

Group wants Parliament, courts to hold social media to same standard as publishers

Daniel Bernhard made the comments shortly after Friends of Canadian Broadcasting released a research paper

B.C.’s Chase Claypool catches first NFL touchdown pass

Abbotsford grad establishes new record for longest scrimmage TD by a Canadian

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

B.C. has highest number of active COVID-19 cases per capita, federal data shows

B.C. currently has 1,803 active cases after weeks of COVID-19 spikes in the province

181 days gone: Family continues to look for man last seen in RCMP custody 6 months ago

Brandon Sakebow’s last known location was leaving Mission RCMP cell, police say; family has doubts

Most Read