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Montreal wins CFL title

©Associated Press
November 25, 2002

EDMONTON -- Anthony Calvillo threw two touchdowns, including a Grey Cup-record 99-yarder to Pat Woodcock, as Montreal held off Edmonton 25-16 on Sunday for its first CFL championship in 25 years.

The Eskimos nearly forced overtime on Ricky Ray's 17-yard touchdown to Ed Hervey on third down with less than a minute left to cut the deficit to 18-16. But Ray's pass to Terry Vaughn for the two-point conversion fell incomplete.

Edmonton attempted an onside kick, but Jermaine Copeland returned it 47 yards for a touchdown to clinch it for the Alouettes.

"It was a team effort," Calvillo said. "The defense played awesome. We struggled in the second half, but it was a team win."

Calvillo, a finalist for the league's outstanding player and the game's MVP, quieted a Commonwealth Stadium crowd of 62,531 with a 47-yard score to Copeland 3:07 into the fourth to give Montreal an 18-10 lead.

It was the fifth title for Montreal coach Don Matthew, who made his league-record seventh appearance in the championship game. He is tied with Lew Hayman, Frank Clair and Hugh Campbell for the most CFL titles.

Edmonton made its late comeback bid without John Avery, the league rushing leader who injured a hamstring two weekends ago. Avery, who played sparingly in the second half, left with four minutes remaining.

It was the seventh Grey Cup for Montreal but first since it beat Edmonton 41-6 in 1977, when Alouettes players put staples in their shoes to get better traction on an icy Olympic Stadium turf.

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