Edmonton Eskimos beat Ottawa RedBlacks in 103rd CFL Grey Cup

One of these days I might actually learn the rules of the Canadian Football League. Though that’s unlikely to happen until I intend to watch more than maybe one game per year.

The 103rd edition of the CFL Grey Cup was played Sunday in Winnipeg and I watched it live on television. Even while having the option to turn to the NFL or college and pro basketball.

Here’s all you need to know: the Edmonton Eskimos claimed its 14th title in a 26-20 come-from-behind win over the Ottawa RedBlacks.

Do you have nine or so minutes to spare? If so you’ll want to give these CFL Grey Cup highlights a look. You might be impressed, if not a little confused as a neighboring American.

And if you’re as curious as I was about that RedBlacks nickname (and whether it should be listed as “RedBlacks” or “REDBLACKS”), click here to read all about how that came to be.

The fun thing about championship games in random sports leagues such as this is getting the chance to follow up with players we watched years back while they were still at the college level. These players come from colleges far and wide for their final shot at making a career in football while learning some new interesting and unconventional rules.

Edmonton quarterback Mike Reilly was named most valuable player Sunday after going 21-of-35 passing for 269 yards and two touchdowns. The Central Washington product also rushed for 66 yards on 10 carries.

Reilly threw touchdown passes to Adarius Bowman (Oklahoma State) and Akeem Shavers (Purdue). After he connected on a long pass play down to the goal line, a short touchdown run by former Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch late in the fourth quarter put the Eskimos up for good.

Then the defense did its job on the game’s final drive.

Cornerback Patrick Watkins (Florida State) led Edmonton with six tackles and an interception of Ottawa’s Henry Burris (Temple), who went 22-of-29 for 220 yards and touchdowns to William Powell (Kansas State) and homegrown fullback Patrick Lavoie.

David Hinds (Florida Atlantic) led the RedBlacks defensively with eight tackles, but the underdogs eventually came up short.

Edmonton won its first title since last appearing in the Grey Cup in 2005 and winning 38-35 in double overtime over the Montreal Alouettes. The two teams had previously split championship games just a couple years earlier when Edmonton won in 2003 after losing to Montreal in 2002.

I’m sure somebody somewhere cares. Just as I pretended to care while watching it from the sofa. Looking forward to doing it again next year, CFL.


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