By DONNA SPENCER
The Canadian Press
Monday, November 20, 2017
CALGARY -- The Calgary Stampeders will get their chance at Grey Cup redemption.
The Stampeders advanced to the CFL championship game for a second straight year on Sunday when they downed the visiting Edmonton Eskimos 32-28 in the West Division final.
Calgary, whose 13-4-1 regular-season record was the league's best, will face the Toronto Argonauts next Sunday in Ottawa.
The Argonauts beat the Saskatchewan Roughriders 25-21 in Sunday's East Division final.
After posting a 15-2-1 record in 2016, Calgary lost last year's Grey Cup in a massive upset. The Stampeders were beaten 39-33 in overtime by the Ottawa Redblacks (8-9-1).
Calgary was 2-0 against the Argonauts in the 2017 regular season with wins of 23-7 and 41-24 in August.
The Stampeders had lost three in a row heading into Sunday's game, but recovered their winning form.
The defence held the CFL's No. 1 offence to 18 points for three quarters.
Calgary's ground game clicked with running backs Jerome Messam and Roy Finch each scoring a touchdown and combining for 152 rushing yards.
Quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell threw touchdown passes to Marquay McDaniel and Marken Michel.
Quarterback Mike Reilly, C.J. Gable and Derel Walker scored touchdowns for the Eskimos, who finished third in the division at 12-6.
Kicker Sean Whyte missed fieldgoal tries from 42 and 30 yards, but was good from 34 and 20 yards.
Trailing by a converted touchdown, the Eskimos chose to kick a 20-yard field goal with 1 minute 43 seconds remaining instead of gambling on a third and four.
Calgary punted with 24 seconds remaining and Edmonton's Jamill Smith fumbled the ball on the return as the Stampeders recovered to close out the win.
His team down 31-18 midway through the fourth quarter, Reilly scored on a one-yard plunge.
Mitchell and Kamar Jorden combined on a 51-yard passing play down to Edmonton's 19 in the third quarter. Messam stretched over the goal line to finish a 14-yard carry for a 3015 lead.
The Eskimos scored on their first two possessions, but the Stampeders countered with three unanswered touchdowns in the second quarter for a 22-15 halftime lead.
What was a gentle breeze at kickoff accelerated to gusts more than 30 kilometres an hour in the second half at McMahon Stadium, where the announced attendance was 30,116.
The wind altered the trajectory of Whyte's 30-yard attempt in the third quarter as the ball struck the upright and landed dead. But the Esks kicker was good from 34 yards later in the quarter.
Finch dipsy-doodled 50 yards to the end zone and Messam's threeyard carry added a two-point convert with 22 seconds to go in the first half.
Michel capped a 41-yard drive taking the hand off from Mitchell and scampering 13 yards to score at 11:54.
Calgary scored on the first drive of second quarter when Mitchell threw a 10-yard pass to McDaniel.
Reilly connected with an uncovered Walker for a 69-yard touchdown at 8:44 of the first quarter. On a thirddown gamble, Gable punched the ball in from eight yards to score on Edmonton's first drive.
105TH GREY CUP
When: Sunday, Nov. 26, 6:30 p.m. ET.
Where: TD Place Stadium, Ottawa
History: This will be Toronto's 23rd appearance in the CFL championship game.
The Argonauts' previous visit was a victory in the 100th Grey Cup, 35-22 over the Calgary Stampeders.
This will be Calgary's 15th trip to the Grey Cup. The Stamps won it 2014 and lost 39-33 last year to the Ottawa Redblacks.
Argos head coach Marc Trestman, in his first year with Toronto, will be making his fourth Grey Cup appearance as a head coach. His first three (and two wins) came with Montreal from 2008-12 before becoming the head coach of the NFL's Chicago Bears.
This is the seventh time the Grey Cup has been in Ottawa. It is sold out.
Of note: Canadian country-music star Shania Twain will be performing in the halftime show.
The five-time Grammy winner was in the halftime show of the 2002 Grey Cup and the 2003 Super Bowl.
The Stampeders' Roy Finch avoids the Esks' Johnny Adams to score a TD during their matchup in Calgary on Sunday.
TODD KOROL/THE CANADIAN PRESS