Don Cherry’s Love Child reviews the 101st CFL Grey Cup.
The Saskatchewan Roughriders have done it, defeating the Hamilton Tiger-Cats 45-23 on the CFL’s biggest stage. The Riders also cemented themselves in the CFL record books, becoming the third team in a row to win a Grey Cup at home. Congratulations, Rough Riders.
Saskatchewan won the 101st Grey Cup with no problems at all, handily defeating the Tiger-Cats by a wide margin. From the get go, the Riders seemed to feed off the energy of the home crowd. It was clearly affecting the Ti-Cats offense, and Henry Burris and company sputtered. Burris was ineffective with his passes, and the ground game was non existent in the first quarter. By the time the second quarter hit, Hamilton was down by so much that they had to exclusively rely on the passing game. That’s never good.
Hamilton also had some bad breaks go against them. At one point, early in the game, it appeared as if Hamilton was going to capitalize on an ill timed Saskatchewan turnover. QB Darian Durant, trying to scramble up-field, was hammered by multiple defenders. The ball popped loose, and into the open arms of Running Back Kory Sheets, who was in the game to block on the play. Ironically, he didn’t block well, but recovered Durant’s fumble and skirted 25 yards down the field to the Hamilton 32 for a first down down. That lucky break allowed Saskatchewan to continue the drive, a drive they would eventually score on. With 7 minutes remaining in the first quarter Durant found an open Geroy Simon in the back of the end zone for the Riders first score.
Simon, who is the CFL’s all time leader in receiving yards and receptions, was brought in to Saskatchewan to be a playmaking superstar. However, with the abundance of talent at the position (Weston Dressler, Chris Getzlaf, Rob Bagg, Taj Smith), Simon has just become a complementary piece in the Rider offense and an often forgotten man. In the biggest moments, however, the biggest stars seem to shine, Simon, a two-time Grey Cup champion, did just that, by catching Saskatchewan’s first TD. The Riders put up another 3 points in the first.
The onslaught continued in the second quarter. A long Kory Sheets run set up a short Jock Sanders rushing TD, and Kicker Chris Milo’s extra point made it 17-3 with 9:01 left in the half. Saskatchewan kept its foot on the pedal, and scored another TD late in the half. Chris Getzlaf’s 35 yard reception paved the way for Kory Sheets to roll into the end-zone, and it was 24-3. Hamilton would put up a Luca Congi Field Goal, but the Riders struck back immediately, as Durant, once again, found Simon with a 42-yard bomb to make it 31-6. This unceremoniously ended the competitive phase of the 101st Grey Cup.
Simon would end the night with 67 receiving yards and 2 TDs, Weston Dressler led all WRs with 81 yards on 5 catches, and he also scored a TD. Darian Durant, seeking his first Grey Cup as a starting QB, was picture perfect, going 17-24, for 245 yards and 3 TD passes. On the defensive side of the ball, Riders Defensive End John Chick was the catalyst, recording 3 tackles, 2 sacks and a Forced Fumble. The ex Jacksonville Jaguar (2011-2012) captured his second Grey Cup (the other was in 2007). The real show, however, was Kory Sheets. Sheets, Saskatchewan’s biggest star, shined brighter then ever in the 101st Grey Cup. The ex Miami Dolphin spurned the Hamilton defense for 197 yards on the ground, breaking a CFL Record in the process. Two of those runs went for touchdowns.
For all the success Saskatchewan had, Hamilton’s night trudged on like a bad nightmare. Many didn’t believe the Ti-Cats had the talent or reservation to be in the Grey Cup, and it turns out they didn’t. Turnovers, penalties, inaccuracy and being on the road doomed Hamilton, as they were outmatched and outclassed. QB Henry Burris, looking to capture his second Grey Cup, was pretty awful (20-43 passing, 0 Td’s, 1 Int and 2 fumbles). As previously mentioned, Hamilton couldn’t move the ball on the ground, netting just 57 yards on the night. At least three Hamilton defenders had big games, Neil King, Rico Murray and Brandon Boudreaux each registered 6 tackles. Boudreaux also added a sack and forced fumble. CJ Gable and Henry Burris scored Hamilton’s touchdowns, both rushing scores.
Saskatchewan wins the fourth Grey Cup in franchise history. The other wins came in 1966, 1989 and 2007. The 102nd Grey Cup will be held in Vanouver, BC, so the Lions will have to win it all if they hope to keep the home team streak alive.
The following individuals were rewarded by the CFL for their on and off the field accomplishments in 2013.
Most Outstanding Player and Most Outstanding Canadian: Jon Cornish – Running Back, Calgary Stampeders
Outstanding Defensive Player: Chip Cox – Linebacker, Montreal Alouettes
Outstanding Lineman: Brendan Labatte, Saskatchewan Roughriders
Outstanding Rookie: Brett Jones – Center, Calgary Stampeders
Outstanding Special Teams Player: Rene Paredes – Placekicker, Calgary Stampeders
Tom Pate Award Winner (off field charitable contributions): Kyries Hebert, Montreal Alouettes
Other League News:
Eskimo’s Choose Head Coach:
The Edmonton Eskimos have found their man, and it is Chris Jones. Jones comes to the Eskimos after having spent time with the Toronto Argonauts. Over the last two years, Jones had a lot on his plate in Toronto, acting as the team’s Defensive Coordinator, Assistant Head Coach and Assistant General Manager. In addition to the 12 years of coaching experience in the CFL, Jones also has 7 years coaching at the NCAA level. However, this is his first Head Coaching gig at any level. He becomes the 20th Head Coach in Eskimo franchise history.
Other Coaching/Front Office News:
The BC Lions and Offensive Coordinator Jacques Chapdelaine have mutually parted ways.
In Winnipeg, Danny McManus and Ted Goveia have been named Assistant General Managers. McManus is a 17-year league veteran QB who threw for 50,000 passing yards in his career. Most recently, he has been an Assistant Coach with Hamilton since 2008. Goveia was the Argonauts Director of Player Personnel.
The Montreal Alouettes have named Mark Weightman their new Team President and CEO. Team Owner Bob Wetenhall made the announcement. Weightman has been with the organization in some front office capacity since 1995, when the team was then known as the Baltimore Stallions. While announcing the hire, Wetenhall said the following:
“This selection from inside pleases me to recognize someone who has contributed so much to the success of our franchise, rising from and intern to the CEO. In recent years, he has worked closely with me to achieve the consistent goals of my family with the Alouettes, institutionalizing the team in Montreal, truly being a real service in the community and winning on the field. We are delighted to have found an individual to run the franchise with his knowledge, quality and dedication to the community.”
Ottawa Redblacks News
GM Marcel Desjardins announced the first free agent signings in franchise History. They are:
- DiMetrio Tyson, DE: Tyson has the honor of being the first free agent ever to sign with the Franchise. He has played for the San Jose Sabercats of the Arena Football League, and played his college ball at Jacksonville State University.
- Nick Turnbull, DB: Turnbull has played for the Chicago Bears (2006), Atlanta Falcons (2006-2008), Las Vegas Locomotives (UFL, 2009-2011), and played his college ball at Florida International.
- Fred Rouse, WR: Rouse is formerly of the Calgary Stampeders (2011-2012), and played his college ball at Concordia-Selma in Alabama
- Jerrell Gavins, DB: Gavins has played for the Tampa Bay Storm of the Arena League and the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and played his college ball at Boise State)
- Jordan Roberts, RB: Roberts broke 2 NCAA Division II Rushing Records at the University of Charleston West Virginia and was a Kansas City Chiefs Practice Squad Member in 2013
These players will be joined by the franchise’s first ever draft picks, whom were all taken in the 2013 CFL College Draft. They are: Nolan MacMillan (Iowa), Conner Williams (Utah State), Kalonji Kashama (Eastern Michigan) and Tyler Digby (Robert Morris).
The Redblacks Expansion Draft will take place on December 16th. Come back to Jobu’s Rum for full coverage.
Featured image courtesy of: The White Court Star