10 Years Ago – the 2010 Grey Cup Game
The CFL season that never was would have given way to the playoffs by now. And ultimately the Grey Cup this Sunday.
Instead we are left to wonder what might have been. Could the Saskatchewan Roughriders have emulated the 2013 game and won it all at home?
Would Hamilton have broken the longest championship drought in the league? Could Winnipeg defend their long-sought title? Or would we have seen a completely different scenario unfold? We will never know now of course. Plus we are all keeping our fingers crossed for the 2021 season.
This would have been the run up to the Grey Cup. And I thought it might still be interesting to do a series on the decade anniversaries of the big game.
We started with the 1970 game, then moved on to 1980, 1990 & 2000 games. Now it is time to move forward another decade and look at the 2010 Grey Cup.
The 2010 Grey Cup saw 63,317 fans on hand at Commonwelath Stadium in Edmonton. They would witness a close one as the Montreal Alouettes won their second in a row, defeating the Saskatchewan Roughriders 21-18.
The Run Up to The Game
The Montreal Alouettes had returned to the league in 1996. Since then they had been the dominant team in the East. They had one losing season, and won the East Division nine times in that span. On top of that they were the defending Grey Cup champions. Appearing in their third Grey Cup game in a row and eighth title game appearance in eleven years.
The title the fifteen win Als had taken in 2009 has gone down in Grey Cup folklore. The ‘thirteenth man‘ game was a heartbreaking loss for the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
The 2010 season saw Saskatchewan making their ninth successive playoff appearance. During that span they had appeared in 6 Western Finals. They lost 3 of them, but notably won in 2007 on their way to their third ever Grey Cup win.
Of course they had won in 2009 but lost that heartbreaker to Montreal. So now they were out for revenge.
2010 Grey Cup Playoffs
Montreal had once again won the East Division in 2010. This time on the back of a 12-6 record. Which meant they got to sit home on Semi-Final weekend whilst the 9-9 Argos and 9-9 Ti-Cats battled for the right to face them.
Toronto won that game 16-13 for the right to travel to Olympic Stadium. Where 58,021 fans watched the Als dismantle Toronto 48-17.
In the West meanwhile the Stampeders were Division Champions on the back of a 13-5 season. So the Stamps sat home whilst the 10-8 Roughriders faced the 8-10 BC Lions in the Western Semi-Final.
That was arguably the best game of the 2010 playoffs as the Roughriders won 41-38 in double overtime in a game they trailed 16-7 at halftime.
Which enabled a trip to Calgary’s McMahon Stadium for the Western Final. A game which went to form in the first period as Calgary took an 11-0 lead. However Saskatcchewan ran up 14 unanswered points in the second. In a defensively dominated second half the Roughriders won out 20-16.
The rematch was on. But who would come out of the 2010 Grey Cup game victorious this time?
The 2010 Grey Cup Game
While the Saskatchewan Roughriders were trying to avenge their last-second loss to Montreal in the previous year’s Grey Cup, the Als were looking to become the first team to repeat since the 1996/7 Toronto Argonauts.
Tickets sold out one week after they went on sale and over 6 million Canadians tuned in. People were ready for the rematch.
Early on in the game the Als controlled field position keeping Saskatchewan pinned way back. They took advantage as Montreal went up 7–0 5:39 into the first quarter on a three-yard run by Avon Cobourne. Montreal added a single to lead 8-0.
That missed Field Goal seemed to inspire Saskatchewan. They worked back downfield and thanks to a PI call found themselves at the 1 yard line. From there Wes Cates ran in for a TD, and with the convert the first quarter ended 8-7 to Montreal.
The second quarter belonged to Saskatchewan as they kicked a 27-yard Field Goal and added to that score with a punt single with a minute to go. The first half ended with an 11–8 Roughriders lead.
A key play, and momentum shifter came in the third quarter. The Als gambled on a 3rd-and-2 with a fake punt on the Montreal 41-yard line. The direct snap went to receiver Eric Deslauriers, who ran ten yards for the first down. That led to a Field Goal and the game tied at 11-11.
Montreal took over the game from there with another Field Goal and a second Avon Coubourne touchdown run to put the Alouettes up 21–11 with 7:46 left in the 4th quarter.
The Roughriders replied by driving down the field. And Darian Durant tossed a 1-yard touchdown pass to lineman Marc Parenteau with 3:28 left in the 4th quarter to make the score 21–18.
The game was effectively put away with 56 seconds to go as Durant was intercepted by Alouettes’ defensive back Billy Parker at the Roughriders’ 38-yard line.
Receiver Jamel Richardson had 8 catches for 109 yards and took home the MVP award.
What Came Next
Although Montreal made the playoffs the next few season (2011-2014), they didn’t make it back to the Grey Cup.
The Als went into a slump after that going 21-51 over the next four years. However in 2019 they qualified for the playoffs for the first time since 2014.
After their second successive Grey Cup loss to Montreal the Riders went into a two year slump. They more than made up for that however when they won the franchise’s fourth Cup in 2013 with an emphatic 45-23 win over Hamilton.
Since then they have had an up and down few seasons but are currently on a three year run of playoff appearances. They appear to be on a good trajectory having their first 13 win season since 1970, and are looking to make their way back to ‘the big one’.
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