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.

Just Posted

B.C. BUDGET: Surplus $374 million after bailouts of BC Hydro, ICBC

Growth projected stronger in 2020, Finance Minister Carole James says

Vanderhoof eligible for up to $6M in provincial infrastructure funding

The Northern Capital and Planning Grant will go to four regional districts and 22 municipalities

Province announces $100-million grant funding for Northwest communities

The Northern Capital and Planning Grant will go to four regional districts and 22 municipalities

Prince Rupert Gas Transmission project searches for partners

TransCanada is renewing permits for its natural gas pipeline project to North Coast.

Over 2,000 people used the pool in the first 2-weeks

Lifeguard training course needs a minimum of six people to register before Feb. 21

Wife remembers B.C. man killed in possible case of mistaken identity

Rex Gill was in Kamloops working to support his family after oilfield job dried up

New report calls for regulated heroin sales to curb B.C.’s overdose problem

B.C. Centre on Substance Use points to organized crime and money-laundering as contributing factors

Millennial men least likely to have a family doctor: Statistics Canada

Report found more women have primary care physicians, compared with men

70% of Canadians agree with mandatory vaccines for children: poll

The debate for pro and anti vaccinations has heated up after a measles outbreak in Vancouver

VIDEO: Woman, off-duty cop in serious condition after stabbing outside B.C. elementary school

The officer was interceding in an alleged assault when he and the woman were stabbed

‘A little baloney’ in PM’s claim about solicitor-client privilege on SNC-Lavalin

The Conservatives and NDP want Trudeau to waive that privilege so Wilson-Raybould can offer her side of the story

Proposed edible pot rules are wasteful, would leave products tasteless: critics

When Canada legalized weed last fall, it only allowed fresh or dried bud, oil, plants and seeds

Most Read