Toronto Argos win the 2022 Grey Cup
The Toronto Argonauts left it late, but a pair of touchdowns from A. J. Ouellette helped them capture their first Grey Cup championship since 2017 with a 24-23 win over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
A fourth quarter touchdown from Oullette and a last-minute block from Robbie Smith led the Argos to the win, holding off a last-second charge from the Blue Bombers.
While Toronto started the game strong, the Blue Bombers seemed to take control of the game in the fourth quarter when Janarion Grant charged 102 yards for the first Grey Cup punt return touchdown since 2018 and the longest in history.
However, a late charge from the Argos and critical blocks led them to their Grey Cup glory.
While Winnipeg kept pace with Toronto for most of the night, spending time in the lead and looking destined for a third straight title, they couldn’t rebound after falling 24-23 behind Toronto with less than three minutes to play.
“I’m so proud of the team right here; we blocked out the media, we blocked out everyone saying that we couldn’t beat them; I’m just proud of the team,” Oullette said to TSN. “We rallied through the ups and downs of the season and through the game; I’m just so proud of this team.”
"Guess what?"— Toronto Argonauts (@TorontoArgos) November 21, 2022
WE CHAMPS, BABBBBBBBBYYYYYY!!!! pic.twitter.com/FbbyeHjrSM
Toronto quarter-back McLeod Bethel-Thompson finished the final with 203 passing yards and with 15/28 completed passes.
With Bethel-Thompson down due to injury late in the fourth quarter, though, it was Chad Kelly playing a critical role, going 4/6 for 46 yards and marching Toronto downfield for A.J. Ouelette to deposit his second touchdown of the game and giving the Argos a lead they would not relinquish.
Meanwhile, Blue Bombers quarter-back Zach Collaros started the game despite taking a knock in the semifinal against the BC Lions on the same right ankle that he previously had surgery on when at the University of Cincinnati.
Yet, because of the plate insertions from the prior operation, the knock didn’t harm the 34-year-old as much as it could have.
After Boris Bede missed an early second-quarter field goal attempt that ended in an Argos rouge, the Bombers stormed down the field, working the ball within a yard of the Toronto endzone.
On third-and-one, a QB sneak saw former Argo Dakota Proukop punch in the go-ahead touchdown giving Winnipeg their first lead of the night.
Late in the first half, the Argos turned to Bede once again, as he hit his second field goal of the day to level the game at 7-7, as the stingy affair crawled towards halftime.
With seconds remaining before the break, however, the Bombers edged their way into the lead on a 45-yard field goal from Marc Liegghio, holding a 10-7 advantage at halftime.
Jordan Davis, Georgia Florida Line’s Tyler Hubbard and Burlington, Ontario native Josh Ross rocked Mosaic Stadium through halftime, showcasing a Twisted-Tea Halftime show that wasn’t announced until just two weeks before the game, on Nov. 5.
While they braved the Prairie winds whistling through the brisk air, the halftime performance didn’t quite please everybody.
The Argos kept their stingy defence to start the second half, allowing quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson to gain first down and AJ. Oullette ran the ball into the end zone from four yards, putting the Argos in the lead.
With their fourth-quarter heroics, the Argos grabbed a late lead before the dying moments of the game brought the tension only a Grey Cup can create.
A blocked Borie Bede field goal attempt gave the Bombers possession with two minutes to play. A facemask penalty on Argos defensive back Robbie Smith helped move Winnipeg forward and gave Marc Liegghio a 47-yard field goal attempt to take the lead with less than a minute.
It was Smith, though, stepping up and blocking the field goal to secure the Argos win and their first Grey Cup title since 2017, ending Winnipeg’s bid for the threepeat, as the Blue Bombers failed to complete the trifecta, last achieved by the Edmonton Elks between 1978-1982.
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