The 96th Grey Cup was held in Montreal, Quebec at Olympic Stadium on November 23, 2008. The Eastern Division Champion Montreal Alouettes hosted the Western Division Champion Calgary Stampeders. The Stampeders won the game 22-14, with quarterback Henry Burris winning the MVP award. It was the first time Montreal had hosted the Grey Cup since 2001, the first time since the 2002 Grey Cup that the host city played for the Grey Cup, and the first time since the 58th Grey Cup in 1970 that the Alouettes and Stampeders had met for the national championship. Hoping to break the record for highest attendance for a Grey Cup game, the organizers expanded Olympic Stadium to almost 70,000 seats. A crowd of 66,308 attended the game, failing to break the record of 68,318 set in 1977, but good enough to be the second-highest attended Grey Cup game of all time. Montreal has now played host to the four largest Grey Cup games in history.
Calgary quarterback, Henry Burris threw for 328 yards and one touchdown, leading all rushers with 79 yards, while kicker Sandro DeAngelis kicked five field goals as the Calgary Stampeders rallied for a 22-14 victory over the Montreal Alouettes to win the Grey Cup, in front of the 66,305 Montreal faithful at Olympic Stadium.
For his efforts, Henry Burris was named the game’s Grey Cup’s Most Valuable Player, while kicker Sandro DeAngelis kicked five field goals, connecting from 44, 12, 21, 30 and 50 yards out and took home the Grey Cup’s Most Valuable Canadian honours.
The game got off to a slow start with a Damon Duval 14 yard chip shot field goal for Montreal representing all the scoring in the first quarter. The drive was highlighted by a 55-yard completion from Alouettes’ quarterback Anthony Calvillo to Jamel Richardson. Sandro DeAngelis answered back in the second quarter with a 44-yard field goal to put the Calgary Stampeders back on even terms at 3-3.
However, the Montreal Alouettes responded when Montreal linebacker, Reggie Hunt intercepted a Henry Burris pass, giving the Alouettes the ball near midfield. The Alouettes offence drove the ball deep into Calgary territory before running back, Avon Cobourne scored the game’s first touchdown in the second quarter on a 16-yard run. Then, special teams standout Larry Taylor gave the Alouettes great field position again with a 42-yard punt return. Duval again stepped in and made good on his 19-yard attempt to extend the Montreal lead to 13-3.
With momentum on the home team’s side, the Calgary Stampeders responded late in the first half when Henry Burris threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Brett Ralph, cutting the Montreal lead to 13-10 heading into halftime and taking momentum away from Montreal.
In the second half of the game, it was all Calgary Stampeders. In the third quarter, Sandro DeAngelis kicked his second field goal of the game to tie the game 13-13. Montreal took a 14-13 lead after Damon Duval added a punt single, but that was all the offence that Montreal was able to muster in the second half of the game.
On Calgary’s next possession, Henry Burris put together a 75-yard drive, including runs of 14 and 29 yards for first downs, which led to a short field goal kick from DeAngelis to give Calgary a 16-14 lead.
Montreal’s offence started to threaten, but the Calgary defence responded. On the first play of the fourth quarter, Anthony Calvillo was intercepted by Calgary’s Dwight Anderson that led to another field goal by DeAngelis to give the Stampeders a 19-14 advantage. Then midway through the game, the Alouettes threatened to regain the lead before an errant Calvillo pass was intercepted by Shannon James, which quieted the Olympic Stadium crowd. Sandro DeAngelis then kicked a 50-yard field goal to extend the Calgary lead to eight points and seal their victory, becoming Grey Cup champions for the first time since 2001.
Stampeders wide receiver, Nikolas Lewis chipped in with 11 catches for 122 yards for the Calgary offence, while Montreal’s Jamel Richardson led all receivers with 123 yards and Ben Cahoon was able to catch for 95 yards through the air. However, Anthony Calvillo, who edged out Henry Burris to become the regular season’s Most Outstanding Player threw for no touchdowns, got intercepted twice and dropped to a 1-5 record in his Grey Cup appearances.
2008 Grey Cup Video Highlights
MTL – FG Duval 14-yard field goal (4:34)
CGY – FG DeAngelis 44-yard field goal (1:12)
MTL – TD Cobourne 16-yard run (7:18) (Duval convert)
MTL – FG Duval 19-yard field goal (12:08)
CGY – TD Ralph 20-yard pass from Burris (14:16) (DeAngelis convert)
CGY – FG DeAngelis 12-yard field goal (8:22)
MTL – Single Duval 63-yard kick went out-of-bounds 9 yards deep in end zone (11:13)
CGY – FG DeAngelis 21-yard field goal (15:00)
CGY – FG DeAngelis 30-yard field goal (2:46)
CGY – FG DeAngelis 50-yard field goal (10:48)