Calgary Stampeders’ quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell hoists the West Division Trophy after they defeated the Winnipeg Blue Bombers during the CFL West Final in Calgary, Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol

Calgary Stampeders’ quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell hoists the West Division Trophy after they defeated the Winnipeg Blue Bombers during the CFL West Final in Calgary, Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol

Calgary Stampeders back to Grey Cup with 22-14 win over Winnipeg Blue Bombers

Calgary was favoured to win the 2017 and 2016 Grey Cups, but lost to the Toronto Argonauts and Ottawa Redblacks respectively.

The Calgary Stampeders will find out if third time’s a charm in the Grey Cup.

The Stampeders advanced to the CFL’s championship game a franchise-record third straight year after downing the Winnipeg Blue Bombers 22-14 in Sunday’s West Division final.

Calgary was favoured to win the 2017 and 2016 Grey Cups, but lost to the Toronto Argonauts and Ottawa Redblacks respectively.

And the Stampeders face the Redblacks again for the title Sunday in Edmonton. Ottawa beat the Hamilton Tiger-Cats 46-27 earlier Sunday to take the East Division.

“As a coach, I think you’re stupid if you don’t look at maybe changing something up and doing something different,” Calgary head coach Dave Dickenson said. “You’ve got to solve this riddle.

“It’s time to climb to the top of the mountain.”

The Stampeders posted the CFL’s best record at 13-5 to earn the playoff bye. Calgary will make its fourth Grey Cup appearance in five years after claiming the championship in 2014.

Eric Rogers led Calgary with three touchdown catches Sunday, including a 10-yard leaping grab in the end zone late in the fourth quarter.

That score was the highlight of a second half largely devoid of offence as both defences dug in.

Winnipeg’s Justin Medlock kicked four field goals for the visitors, including a 57-yarder for a CFL playoff record, in front of an announced 29,268 at McMahon Stadium.

Bo Levi Mitchell completed 17 of 31 passes for 214 yards and three touchdown throws.

He joins a select group of CFL quarterbacks to lead their teams to a playoff win five straight years. Ron Lancaster, Russ Jackson, Doug Flutie and Tracy Ham are the others.

The last team to appear in three straight Grey Cups was the Montreal Alouettes from 2008 to 2010. The Als won back-to-back titles in 2009 and 2010.

Winnipeg’s Grey Cup drought extends to 28 years with the loss. The Blue Bombers finished third in the division with a 10-8 record.

After starting the season 5-7, the Bombers went 6-1 en route to Sunday’s division final including a 23-18 win over the Saskatchewan Roughriders in the division semifinal.

Bombers starting quarterback Matt Nichols was 15-for-32 in passing for 156 yards Sunday.

“It sucks man. It sucks,” Nichols lamented.

“We didn’t quite earn it as a team today. I feel like our defence deserved better today. They did a hell of a job. We had a lot of opportunities. Of course Calgary’s defence, they played great tonight and it’s difficult.

“You go into a game like this with no doubt that you’re going to win and when you don’t, it’s a pretty terrible feeling.”

Related: ‘Losing is something I’ve never gotten used to’: coaching great Wally Buono

Related: CFL will use extra on-field official to watch for illegal blows to quarterback

Mitchell’s 21-yard pass to Richie Sindani, followed by an 18-yard Don Jackson run and a 15-yard catch from Lemar Durant put the hosts in scoring range for Mitchell’s pivotal touchdown throw to Rogers with just under four minutes to play.

“Eric is a hard guy to cover,” Mitchell said. “I trust Eric, I understand his body language. I know where he’s going to be on certain things.

“A play like that at the end of the game, there’s not a lot of players who make plays like that. He’s a big-time guy. He never makes the moment bigger than it is.”

Trailing 6-0, Calgary’s first touchdown of the game in the second quarter was key. Mitchell marched the offence 92 yards in a drive that ate eight minutes four seconds off the clock, and capped it with a 12-yard touchdown toss to Rogers.

He threw an eight-yard touchdown pass to Rogers in the end zone later in the quarter to give the hosts a 14-6 halftime lead.

After travelling to Toronto and then Ottawa for the two previous Grey Cups, the Stampeders will play for the title much closer to home in their provincial rival’s stadium.

“We’re happy to be out west. We’re hoping people show up,” Dickenson said, joking that it was the first time he looked forward to going to Commonwealth Stadium.

“I know, Edmonton, but we’d love to get some support from you guys.”

Donna Spencer, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Rose Sawka, 91, reaches out to her son Terry Sawka, on a daily visit through the window, from inside Acropolis Manor where a COVID-19 outbreak took hold on Jan 19. Rose was vaccinated for the virus on Jan. 20 and as of Feb. 25 has remained virus free. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
No increases of COVID-19 at Acropolis -16 residents now recovered

Vaccinations have helped to stabilize Prince Rupert long-term care facility virus numbers

A health care worker prepares to test a Coastal GasLink field worker for COVID-19. (Coastal GasLink photo)
Coastal GasLink begins COVID screening of pipeline workers

Construction is once again ramping up following Northern Health approval of COVID management plan

BC Bus North was implemented under the NDP provincial government in 2018 when Greyhound cancelled services across northern BC. The transportation funding expires at the end of March 2021. (Photo: B.C. Transit)
BC Liberals call for immediate govt. renewal of BC Bus North funding

BC Liberals spent years ignoring need for better transportation in the North - Jennifer Rice, MLA

Prince Rupert Tourism is benefitting from funding for new welcome and wayfinding signage from the COVID-19 Community Economic Recovery Infrastructure Program. McClymont Park on the gateway into Prince Rupert is one of the first things tourists see entering the city by road. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
$695,000 Community Economic Recovery funds to benefit local organizations

Prince Rupert Tourism and Gitga’at Development Corporation to receive COVID-19 recovery funds

Wainwright Marine Services Ltd.’s “Ingenika” tugboat went missing in the Garner Canal area south and east of Kitimat on Feb. 11, resulting in two deaths and the rescue of a third man. (Wainwright Marine Photo)
Tug union demands Transport Canada protect workers along B.C. coast and rivers

ILWU makes safety demands following the deaths of two men and the rescue of a third

Abbotsford’s Kris Collins turned to TikTok out of boredom when the provincial COVID-19 lockdown began in March 2020. She now has over 23 million followers on the video app. Photo: Submitted
Internet famous: Abbotsford’s Kris Collins is a TikTok comedy queen

Collins has found surprise stardom alone with a phone

Jasmine and Gwen Donaldson are part of the CAT team working to reduce stigma for marginalized groups in Campbell River. Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror
Jasmine’s story: Stigma can be the hardest hurdle for those overcoming addiction

Recovering B.C. addict says welcome, connection and community key for rebuilding after drug habit

A Vancouver restaurant owner was found guilty of violating B.C.’s Human Rights Code by discriminating against customers on the basis of their race. (Pixabay)
Vancouver restaurant owner ordered to pay $4,000 to customers after racist remark

Referring to patrons as ‘you Arabs’ constitutes discrimination under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, ruling deems

Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford’s latest book is ‘Science Girl.’ (Photo courtesy Lindsay Ford)
B.C. children’s writer encourages girls to pursue the sciences in new book

Lindsay Ford is holding a virtual launch for latest book, ‘Science Girl’

Pig races at the 145th annual Chilliwack Fair on Aug. 12, 2017. Monday, March 1, 2021 is Pig Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Feb. 28 to March 6

Pig Day, Canadian Bacon Day and Grammar Day are all coming up this week

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

Doctors and counsellors warn of an increase in panic attacks, anxiety, depression and suicide ideas between ages 10 to 14, in Campbell River. ( Black Press file photo)
Extended pandemic feeding the anxieties of B.C.’s youth

Parents not sure what to do, urged to reach out for help

Kara Sorensen, diagnosed with lung cancer in July, says it’s important for people to view her as healthy and vibrant, rather than sick. (Photo courtesy of Karen Sorensen)
B.C. woman must seek treatment overseas for inoperable lung cancer

Fundraising page launched on Karen Sorensen’s behalf, with a goal of $250,000

Gina Adams as she works on her latest piece titled ‘Undying Love’. (Submitted photo)
‘Toothless’ the kitty inspires B.C. wood carver to break out the chainsaw

Inspired by plight of a toothless cat, Gina Adams offers proceeds from her artwork to help animals

Most Read