Glenn leads Stamps to Grey Cup berth
By Ian Busby, QMI Agency
|The Calgary Stampeders celebrate their win against the Lions at B.C. Place in Vancouver, British Columbia, Sunday, November 18, 2012, (CARMINE MARINELLI/QMI AGENCY)
VANCOUVER -- Kevin Glenn finally has a shot at winning a Grey Cup in Toronto.
But the Calgary Stampeders are getting huge plays out of both of their healthy quarterbacks as they roll into the Big Smoke for the 100th Grey Cup.
Glenn threw three touchdown passes and Bo Levi Mitchell punched in a one-yard rushing TD after he threw a bomb on third-and-one as the Stamps beat the B.C. Lions 34-29 in Sunday's West final.
Now, the Stampeders head to Rogers Centre, where they'll face the hometown Toronto Argonauts in the championship game.
The last time the Stampeders went to the Grey Cup (2008), they were also facing a team in their home park, but that didn't stop them from beating the Montreal Alouettes.
This time, they should be installed as favourites thanks to knocking off the defending Grey Cup champs in front of 43,216 spectators at B.C. Place Stadium.
This is the second time Glenn has led a team into the Grey Cup, but it will be his first time playing in it.
In the 2007 East final, Glenn gave his team the win but he suffered a broken arm late and couldn't play in the big game as the Winnipeg Blue Bombers lost to the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
He kept the faith he would get a chance at redemption, even after getting traded this off-season to the Stamps from the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
"Confidence. Family support. Teammates' support," Glenn said, listing the things that helped him stay positive.
"In one year, maybe 2009 or '10, I was labeled the most underrated player in the league by peers. Stuff like that. When you get stuff like that from peers, you embrace it. I just kept the faith.
"I felt God would put me in position to come back. What better place than Toronto, where it happened last time?"
Glenn finished Sunday's game 15-of-24 for 303 yards with a pick-six by Korey Banks as the only blemish on his day.
On the possession after that defensive touchdown, Glenn engineered a 75-yard drive and capped it by hitting Maurice Price with a 29-yard TD strike.
"The actual pick is not what your character is about," Glenn said. "It's about how you bounce back from it. We bounced back from it, me and the rest of the team. Those guys believed we would come back and score. We went down and did that."
The Stamps took control late in the third quarter, thanks in large part to backup quarterback Mitchell.
On a short-yardage formation on third-and-one, Mitchell instead dropped back and tossed deep to Price, who was tackled at the one-yard line.
Mitchell punched the ball in for a touchdown, which put the Stamps up 31-16. From then on, they were cruising.
The third-down play-call was a gutsy move by offensive co-ordinator Dave Dickenson.
"We knew we had to make big plays to win," Stamps head coach John Hufnagel said. "The hard part is getting a chance to call it. It was in the gameplan. Dave asked me for the green light. He called it and made a great decision. Bo made a great play on it."
The Lions did manage to move the ball a little bit, but their drives stalled and they settled for field goals.
When Rene Paredes hit his second field goal right before the three-minute warning, the Stamps had basically iced it with a 12-point lead.
Travis Lulay threw a TD strike to Nick Moore with 59 seconds left, but Nik Lewis grabbed the onside kick attempt, Jon Cornish rumbled for a first down and the Stamps were home free.
The Stamps defence did an excellent job on Lulay and the Lions offence, holding them to five field goals by Paul McCallum. It was a similar situation in 2008, when McCallum kicked six field goals as the Stamps beat the Lions 22-18 in the West final.
"We knew they couldn't win the game with the field goals," Stamps defensive back Brandon Smith said. "As long as we turned those touchdowns into field goals, we knew we had a chance.
"We're not done yet. The train is stopping in Toronto next."
On Twitter @SUNIanBusby