TORONTO — It’s only fitting that a home-town boy gets honoured with the home-town trophy.
Toronto Argonauts defensive end Ricky Foley was named the Most Valuable Canadian following the Argos’ 35-22 victory over the Calgary Stampeders in the 100th Grey Cup.
“As a testament to this team and what we became, it’s a bunch of guys just making plays out there,” said Foley shortly after the game.
“There was so much hope and so much expectations going into training camp, man we just believed.”
The Courtice, Ont., native had four tackles, one sack for five yards and a key fumble recovery in the opening quarter.
“Now, I’m emotionally spent,” he said. “During the playoffs I dreamed of being top Canadian in the 100th Grey Cup.
“If we get a Grey Cup ring, who cares about the NFL not working out. I’d trade all of that to win the Grey Cup. In my lifetime, there will never be a bigger Grey Cup. And we won, in Toronto. I feel so blessed right now.”
Foley was in a play that helped set the tone early on.
Star Stampeders running back Jon Cornish dropped a handoff from Kevin Glenn and Foley pounced on it at the Calgary 45-yard line. That helped set up Ricky Ray’s touchdown pass to Chad Owens that opened the scoring 8:03 into the game.
And it sent the message that Cornish, the CFL’s rushing leader, was not going to run riot in Toronto.
“Hats off to the fans that supported us,” Foley said. “The 13th man was huge, especially on defence.
“The quarterback couldn’t hear the snap count and we were able to penetrate the backfield. That made Cornish stop his feet. He’s a great downhill runner, but if we can make him stop his feet, we can get after him and gang tackle like we did.”
Cornish was held to 57 yards on 15 carries. He had fewer than 60 yards in all three meetings with Toronto this season.
Foley joined Toronto in 2010 after four seasons with the B.C. Lions, partly for the chance to play a Grey Cup game in his hometown.
Coach Scott Milanovich was glad for him.
“I watched this week how emotional this is for him,” said the first-year coach. “He’s a home town boy and he wanted this so bad. I’m happy for him. We talked in the pre-game that this is our time to step into the spotlight and take what we want. Ricky did that and a number of guys did that.”