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

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

Just Posted

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
110 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Provincial health officers announced 1,005 new cases throughout B.C.

It costs as little as $7 to charge an EV at home. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)
Electric Vehicles a rare sight (in the Kootenays), but change on the way

Electric pickups will increase the appeal of zero-emission vehicles in years to come according to Blair Qualey of the New Car Dealers Association

Linda Krawczyk and her dad Doug Finney enjoyed a ride around beautiful Fernie on Friday thanks to Melanie Wrigglesworth and the local chapter of Cycling Without Age. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)
Cycling Without Age goes for its first spin

Doug Finney (86) got to enjoy a ride around Fernie

The Cranbrook Community Forest is good to go for mountain biking. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)
Snow’s done, time to hit the trails

South Country trails are good to go

Interior Health nurses administer Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines to seniors and care aids in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16. (Phil McLachlan/Kelowna Capital News)
69 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

The total number of cases in the region is now at 9,840 since the pandemic began

Vancouver resident Beryl Pye was witness to a “concerning,” spontaneous dance party that spread throughout social groups at Kitsilano Beach on April 16. (Screen grab/Beryl Pye)
VIDEO: Dance party erupts at Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach to the dismay of onlookers

‘It was a complete disregard for current COVID-19 public health orders,’ says Vancouver resident Beryl Pye

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons Tuesday December 8, 2020 in Ottawa. The stage is set for arguably the most important federal budget in recent memory, as the Liberal government prepares to unveil its plan for Canada’s post-pandemic recovery even as a third wave of COVID-19 rages across the country. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Election reticence expected to temper political battle over federal budget

Opposition parties have laid out their own demands in the weeks leading up to the budget

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A syringe is loaded with COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to open up COVID vaccine registration to all B.C. residents 18+ in April

Registration does not equate to being able to book an appointment

(Black Press file photo).
UPDATED: Multiple stabbings at Vancouver Island bush party

Three youths hospitalized after an assault in Comox

Selina Robinson is shown in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday November 17, 2017. British Columbia’s finance minister says her professional training as a family therapist helped her develop the New Democrat government’s first budget during the COVID-19 pandemic, which she will table Tuesday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. finance minister to table historic pandemic-challenged deficit budget

Budget aims to take care of people during pandemic while preparing for post-COVID-19 recovery, Robinson said

Each spring, the Okanagan Fest-of-Ale is held in Penticton. This year, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival will not be held. However, beer is still available. How much do you know about this beverage? (pxfuel.com)
QUIZ: How much do you really know about beer?

Put your knowledge to the test with this short quiz

Lord Tweedsmuir’s Tremmel States-Jones jumps a player and the goal line to score a touchdown against the Kelowna Owls in 2019. The face of high school football, along with a majority of other high school sports, could significantly change if a new governance proposal is passed at the B.C. School Sports AGM May 1. (Malin Jordan)
Power struggle: New governance model proposed for B.C. high school sports

Most commissions are against the new model, but B.C. School Sports (BCSS) and its board is in favour

Most Read