Two Shots, Two Misses

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The Calgary Stampeders are feeling an all too familiar feeling a day after the Grey Cup as they took their second straight loss in the biggest game of the year.

For many, that is bad enough but the Stampeders are feeling it worse because in both of those Grey Cups they were the heavy favourites.

Last year they headed to Toronto to take on the Ottawa REDBLACKS as one of the best teams in the history of the league.

They had put together one of the best records in CFL history and were taking on a team that was just over the .500 mark in the REDBLACKS.

It was supposed to be an easy one for the Stampeders but from the start, they had a battle on their hands that they might not have expected.

As much as the Stamps fought they couldn’t get the win losing to Ottawa in overtime and dropping what was supposed to be a sure thing.

This year they were once again the best team in the league and had a severe case of Déjà vu heading to Ottawa for the Grey Cup.

Once again they were set to take on an eastern division champion that had finished with a bad record as Toronto was 9-9 at the end of the season.

The Stamps were headed into the game as heavy favourites for a second year and most thought that they had too much for Toronto to handle.

Even if people said that Toronto could always pull the upset like last year the Stampeders must have learned from their mistakes in the 104th Grey Cup.

They were not going to come into the game believing their own hype and taking a 9-9 team for granted.

It was going to be different this time and the Stamps were going to make things right from a year ago.

From the outset, the game looked like it was going to be a show of what the Stampeders could do on offence and on defence.

Although the snowstorm surely limited them they took an early lead and were able to move the ball decently well.

The Argos came back to tie things up but the Stamps began to find some separation in the second quarter.

It was clear that Calgary had complete control of the game and if you didn’t look at the scoreboard it seemed like they were going to be able to cruise to a win.

The problem was, they may have controlled the game but they were not putting up the points they needed.

Instead, the Argos were hanging around and despite not having the ball for much of the game they were sitting and waiting for their chance.

In the fourth quarter, it truly seemed that the Stamps were only a quarter away from erasing the memories of a year ago.

Yet looking at the scoreboard the Argos were only a touchdown away from tying the game and giving the Stamps some terrible flashbacks.

Late in the quarter, Calgary was looking to put things away and make the deficit two touchdowns that would surely secure their win.

As they continued to march they were in the shadow of the goalpost when a Bo Levi Mitchell pass to Kamar Jorden seemed to get them within a few yards.

Then the ball came out and the 105th Grey Cup was changed from a comfortable win for the Stampeders to a wild finish for the second straight year.

That fumbled ball ended up in the hands of Cassius Vaughn who returned the fumble 109 yards for a touchdown to tie things up.

All of a sudden a game that always seemed to be in control was spinning wildly out of control for the Stampeders.football-sidebar

The next offensive possession for the Argos took off plenty of time from the clock and ended with a rare field goal on the night as Lirim Hajrullahu put the Argos ahead.

Calgary got the ball back with under a minute left in the game and had one last drive to change the fate of their team.

It was all going well as Mitchell was marching them down the field and once again putting them well within range.

On the Toronto 24, Mitchell took one last attempt at taking the win before they were likely going to kick the ball and tie the game.

That pass ended up in the hands of Matt Black though and the Argos had completed the upset in one of the best turnarounds in Grey Cup history.

Throughout the game, the Stamps were clearly the team that was controlling everything but a few key plays took that control away.

For the second year in a row, the Stamps were on the losing end of what was supposed to be a big win for the team.

As Toronto celebrated another Grey Cup and Ricky Ray hoisted his 4th trophy as the winningest starting Grey Cup quarterback the Stampeders were asking the same questions as a year ago.

These losses are quickly building a bad reputation for Calgary as they are becoming the best team that just can’t finish off a season.

They are still full of talent and could be back next year for another shot at it, just down the road in Edmonton.

For now, though they look back at another blown chance where a single mistake changed everything and put them on the losing side for another year.

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