Ex-UNH star Kackert named MVP as Toronto wins Canadian Football League's Grey Cup
Toronto Argonauts Chad Kackert sprays beer in the dressing room after the Argos defeated the Calgary Stampeders in the 100th CFL Grey Cup championship football game in Toronto, Sunday. (REUTERS/Mathieu Belanger)
TORONTO - The Toronto Argonauts tamed the Calgary Stampeders 35-22 to claim the 100th Grey Cup on Sunday, allowing Canada's biggest city to shed its Loserville reputation and celebrate a Canadian Football League championship.
The week-long Grey Cup party reached a climax inside Toronto's domed stadium as 53,208 CFL fans, most of them wearing the Argos double-blue colors, basked in victory 100 years after the University of Toronto Rugby Football became the first to hoist the trophy.
Argonauts running back Chad Kackert, a University of New Hampshire product, was named the game's most outstanding player, rushing for 133 yards on 20 carries and adding 62 yards on eight receptions.
The Grey Cup may be Canada's second most treasured piece of silverware after the National Hockey League's Stanley Cup, but on Sunday the old battered mug was the toast of a hockey-mad city for the first time since 2004.
Ranked as North America's worst sports city by ESPN magazine, Toronto sports fans have had precious little to cheer for watching their teams stumble through season after season.
The Maple Leafs have not paraded the Stanley Cup through the city since 1967 and Major League Baseball's Blue Jays have not been in the postseason since winning the 1993 World Series.
A National Basketball Association title remains a far off dream for the Raptors while the city's Major League Soccer team has yet to reach the postseason.
"I'm a Toronto boy raised in Canada, we dream about the Grey Cup, not the Super Bowl, and we're living our dreams today," Argonauts defensive end Ricky Foley, who was named the Grey Cup's outstanding Canadian, told reporters. "It wasn't that long ago that Toronto was the city of champions.
Argonauts quarterback Ricky Ray, brought to Toronto during the offseason in a trade that shook the league, opened the game with an interception but ended with 231 passing yards, including touchdowns passes to Andre Durie and Chad Owens, who was name the CFL's most outstanding player earlier in the week.
Backup quarterback Jarious Jackson completed a one-yard pass to Dontrelle Inman for another Toronto touchdown while Pacino Horne picked off Calgary quarterback Kevin Glenn and returned it 25 yards for another score.
The Toronto defense limited the Stampeders to just four Rene Paredes field goals and a safety until allowing Calgary a consolation touchdown in the final seconds.