Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ Andrew Harris celebrates his touchdown against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats during the first half of the 107th Grey Cup in Calgary, Alta., Sunday, November 24, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ Andrew Harris celebrates his touchdown against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats during the first half of the 107th Grey Cup in Calgary, Alta., Sunday, November 24, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Blue Bombers beat Tiger-Cats 33-12 to win 107th Grey Cup

Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg to first title since 1990

CALGARY — A historic first half by Andrew Harris ended the Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ dubious championship drought and continued the Hamilton Tiger-Cats’ Grey Cup misery.

The 32-year-old Winnipeg native scored rushing and receiving TDs as the Bombers stunned Hamilton 33-12 in the 107th Grey Cup before 35,439 spectators at McMahon Stadium.

Harris put an exclamation mark on his stellar performance Sunday by becoming the first player ever to be named the game’s top player and Canadian.

Harris (134 yards rushing, six catches for 35 yards) becomes the first Canadian to be named Grey Cup MVP since the legendary Russ Jackson of the Ottawa Rough Riders in 1969.

Harris and Co. earned $16,000 apiece while Hamilton players — who wore their home black uniforms and were 10-0 this season at Tim Hortons Field — received $8,000. More importantly, the Bombers secured their first Grey Cup title since 1990.

Hamilton’s last title came in ‘99 and suffered its 16th straight loss at McMahon Stadium, the previous 15 coming against the home-town Calgary Stampeders.

Sunday’s victory was especially sweet for Harris and Winnipeg starter Collaros.

Harris, who earned his first Grey Cup in 2011 with B.C., served a two-game suspension for a positive drug test. That led to his being snubbed in voting for the league’s individual honours despite leading the CFL in rushing for a third straight season (1,380 yards).

Collaros had spent time this season with Saskatchewan and Toronto — ultimately he was traded by both teams — before landing with Winnipeg in October. He’d missed significant time recovering from a season-opening concussion suffered against Hamilton, which earned Ticats linebacker Simoni Lawrence a two-game suspension.

Hamilton came in as the solid favourite after a dominant ‘19 season. The Ticats posted a CFL-best 15-3 regular-season mark, a single-season franchise record.

Hamilton’s high-power offence led the CFL in points per game (30.6), yards per game (395.8), passing yards (313.3 per game), first downs (398) and TDs (57). It featured receivers Brandon Banks (CFL’s top player after 112 catches, 1,550 yards and 13 TDs) and Bralon Addison (95 catches, 1,236 yards, seven TDs).

On Thursday night, Banks was named the CFL’s outstanding player. He was joined on the podium by teammates Chris Van Zeyl (lineman), Frankie Williams (special teams) and head coach Orlondo Steinauer (coach).

Winnipeg (11-7, third in West Division) became the first third-place finisher to win the Grey Cup since the ‘05 Edmonton Eskimos. And after going 3-6 during the season on the road, the Bombers ended their dubious streak with a third straight road victory and fourth overall under Collaros.

Winnipeg’s tenacious defence certainly did its part with seven turnovers — three coming on Ticats’ first four possessions — and six sacks. The Bombers had a plus-13 turnover ratio in the playoffs and didn’t commit one themselves.

Hamilton pulled to within 24-12 with Evans’ four-yard TD strike to Addison at 11:43 of the third but the two-point convert was unsuccessful. Banks suffered a lower-body injury in the drive and didn’t return. Justin Medlock booted a 41-yard field goal with three seconds left in the third and a 17 yarder with 6:33 left in the fourth to stretch Winnipeg’s lead to 30-12.

An 18-yard Medlock field goal with three minutes to play put Winnipeg ahead 33-12. His 38-yard boot at 3:48 of the third gave the Bombers a 24-6 advantage.

Medlock finished with two converts, six field goals and a single.

Hamilton’s Lirim Hajrullahu kicked two field goals.

READ MORE: Grey Cup halftime performer Keith Urban curious about CFL

The combination of Harris and an aggressive defence staked Winnipeg to an emphatic 21-6 half-time lead. Harris ran five times for 53 yards and a TD while registering four catches for 35 yards and a touchdown.

Collaros was an efficient 13-of-17 passing for 105 yards as Winnipeg’s offence held the ball for over 17 minutes.

But Hamilton’s offensive line had no answer for Winnipeg’s rugged defensive line, which continually pressured starter Dane Evans. The Bombers’ defence was especially staunch in the first with three turnovers on the Ticats’ opening four possessions.

Hamilton forced Winnipeg to settle for Medlock’s 16-yard field goal at 14:45 of the second. Bombers’ backup Chris Streveler put Winnipeg ahead 18-6 at 8:34 with a 17-yard TD strike to Harris, the four-play, 50-yard march was set up by Janarion Grant’s 32-yard punt return.

Medlock booted a 45-yard field goal at 4:55 to stake Winnipeg to an 11-6 lead. It came after Hajrullahu’s 47-yard boot 28 seconds into the quarter but the Bombers’ lead to 8-6.

Harris opened the scoring with a 15-yard TD run at 3:23 of the first. It was set up by Adam Bighill’s recovery of Evans’ fumble at the Hamilton 15-yard line.

Hajrullahu provided Hamilton’s first points with a 44-yard field goal at 6:18 before Medlock missed from 48 yards out for the single at 8:42.

THE CANADIAN PRESS

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

CFL

Just Posted

Capitals’ Kahlil Fontana blueliner evades Alberni Valley Bulldogs’ Ethan Hersant during second-period B.C. Hockey League Island Division action at the Alberni Valley Multiplex on Saturday, April 10, 2021. (Susan Quinn/Black Press Media)
Cowichan Capitals go out with a bang

Caps finish BCHL season strong with 6-1 thumping of Clippers

The MS Society flag flies at Duncan city hall to mark MS Awareness Month. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Duncan and CVRD help mark MS Awareness Month

MS Walk scales back, but fundraisers are still vital for MS Society

“Keeping fit for Mother’s Day: Participants of Cowichan Lake Recreation’s Mother’s Day hiking event make their way down the Trans Canada Trail, Sunday, May 8. The morning event later wrapped up with snacks and prizes.” (Tyler Clarke/Lake Cowichan Gazette May 11, 2011)
Flashback: Bears, elk, salmon, candidates, and lumber graders

This week around Cowichan Lake in years gone by

Sign up to fundraise to help those affected by dementia. (Submitted)
Not too late for Cowichan residents to join Alzheimer’s Walk

Set a walking or fitness goal for May and raise funds for the Alzheimer Society of B.C.

Robert’s column
Robert Barron Column: Poachers in forest reserve should be treated harshly

‘Poachers need to be rounded up and prosecuted as soon as possible’

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

A vial of AstraZeneca vaccine is seen at a mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, April 22, 2021. Dr. Ben Chan remembers hearing the preliminary reports back in March of blood clots appearing in a handful of European recipients of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Science on COVID, VITT constantly changing: A look at how doctors keep up

While VITT can represent challenges as a novel disorder, blood clots themselves are not new

Poached trees that were taken recently on Vancouver Island in the Mount Prevost area near Cowichan, B.C. are shown on Sunday, May 10, 2021. Big trees, small trees, dead trees, softwoods and hardwoods have all become valuable targets of tree poachers in British Columbia as timber prices hit record levels. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jen Osborne.
Tree poaching from public forests increasing in B.C. as lumber hits record prices

Prices for B.C. softwood lumber reached $1,600 for 1,000 board feet compared with about $300 a year ago

The warm weather means time for a camping trip, or at least an excursion into nature. How much do you know about camps and camping-related facts? (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: Are you ready to go camping?

How many camp and camping-related questions can you answer?

On Friday, May 14 at Meadow Gardens Golf Club in Pitt Meadows, Michael Caan joined a very elite club of golfers who have shot under 60 (Instagram)
Crowds at English Bay were blasted with a large beam of light from an RCMP Air-1 helicopter on Friday, May 14. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marc Grandmaison
Police enlist RCMP helicopter to disperse thousands crowded on Vancouver beach

On Friday night, police were witness to ‘several thousand people staying well into the evening’

Sinikka Gay Elliott was reported missing on Salt Spring Island on Wednesday, May 12. (Courtesty Salt Spring RCMP)
Body of UBC professor found on Salt Spring Island, no foul play suspected

Sinikka Elliott taught sociology at the university

The first Black judge named to the BC Supreme Court, Selwyn Romilly, was handcuffed at 9:15 a.m. May 14 while walking along the seawall. (YouTube/Screen grab)
Police apologize after wrongly arresting B.C.’s first Black Supreme Court Justice

At 81 years old, the retired judge was handcuffed in public while out for a walk Friday morning

Queen Elizabeth II and Clive Holland, deputy commonwealth president of the Royal Life Saving Society, top left, virtually present Dr. Steve Beerman, top right, with the King Edward VII Cup for his drowning-prevention work. Tanner Gorille and Sarah Downs were honoured with Russell Medals for their life-saving resuscitation. (Buckingham Palace photo)
Queen presents Vancouver Island doctor with award for global drowning prevention

Dr. Steve Beerman receives Royal Life Saving Society’s King Edward VII Cup at virtual ceremony

Most Read