For the second year in a row, the Montreal Alouettes handed the Saskatchewan Roughriders a heartbreaking loss in the Grey Cup.
Avon Cobourne scored two touchdowns and Riders' quarterback Darian Durant threw the game's only interception in the final minute as the Alouettes held on for a 21-18 victory at the 98th Grey Cup in Edmonton.
With the win, the Alouettes become the first team to repeat as Grey Cup champions since the Toronto Argonauts accomplished the feat in 1996-97. It also means a third Grey Cup ring for Calvillo, Ben Cahoon and Scott Flory and two titles for head coach Marc Trestman, who has been to the Grey Cup in each of his three CFL seasons.
Anthony Calvillo was outstanding for the Alouettes in the second half, making a half-time adjustment to complete more hitch passes and finishing the game with 336 yards and no interceptions.
Grey Cup MVP Jamel Richardson and S.J. Green led the way through the air with 109 and 102 yards, respectively while Damon Duval converted on field goals of 22 and 42 yards.
After scoring a touchdown on their second possession of the game, Calvillo engineered two long drives in the second half to take the wind out of the sails of the Riders. The defence also stepped up in the second half, holding the Roughriders to just five first downs and one touchdown.
"Our defence played so well today," Calvillo said after the game. "We worked so hard. We kept working and working and keep fighting and it paid off."
Darian Durant completed 18 of 31 passes for 215 yards with one touchdown and a costly interception in the final minute to eliminate any chances of a tying field goal.
Wes Cates scored the Riders only rushing touchdown while offensive guard Marc Parenteau provided the game's only touchdown through the air. Kicker Warren Kean connected on a 27-yard field goal and punter Eddie Johnson had a single to complete the Riders' scoring.
Riders' defensive lineman Keith Shologan was named the game's Most Valuable Canadian in a losing cause.
Cobourne stirred up Rider Nation on Twitter earlier in the day, tweeting 'Sorry rider fans you can't play for them boys to day so jus sit in the stands and watch us dominate.' And he didn't disappoint.
In the first quarter, Cobourne scored on a three-yard touchdown run to open the scoring but Duval pushed a 31-yard field goal attempt wide after a solid drive. This proved to be a spark for the Riders, despite losing defensive back Leron Mitchell to a broken left leg.
"We didn't play good Alouettes football," Cahoon said after the game. "We struggled at times and our kicking game struggled. It shouldn't have been close."
Saskatchewan got on the board with the help of a pass interference call in the end zone, allowing Cates to dive in from one yard out on the final play of the opening frame.
Early in the second quarter, Kean gave the Riders their first lead of the game and near the end of the first half, Johnson sent the ball into the end zone to give the Riders an 11-8 advantage at half-time.
In the third quarter, the Alouettes took almost seven minutes off the clock in a 14-play, 83-yard drive but had to settle for a 22-yard field goal from Duval. The game was tied 11-11 heading to the fourth quarter.
It was apparent the Alouettes made an adjustment in the locker-room and future Hall of Famer Calvillo put the plan into action, resulting in the impressive drive.
"There's a lot of things that are going on with me that you don't know about, but will come out soon," said Calvillo, who admitted he needs surgery in the offseason to have a lesion in his throat removed.
Early in the fourth, Duval connected from 42 yards out to give the Alouettes the lead and momentum was swinging Montreal's way.
On the next drive, Richardson made a spectacular catch to set up a two-yard run by Cobourne to put the pressure squarely on the arm of Durant. The catch put Richardson over the 100-yard mark for the third time in three Grey Cup games.
With less than five minutes remaining, Durant completed a big pass to Andy Fantuz to put the ball on the one-yard line and Marc Parenteau scored the game's only receiving touchdown on a tackle-eligible play.
When Duval missed a 39-yard field goal late, it had the makings of an exciting finish but, with less than a minute remaining and down by three, Durant threw the interception that sealed the Riders' fate.