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THE CANADIAN PRESS
TORONTO — Turnovers hurt the Calgary Stampeders early, and none were more costly than Kevin Glenn’s interception early in the second quarter of the 100th Grey Cup.
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Down 7-3 and facing a second and 10 on his own 10-yard line, Glenn stepped back, looked right and then threw an errant ball.
Toronto defensive back Pacino Horne — all alone on the 25-yard line — bent down low to grab it, rolled over and then steamed straight into the end zone with Marcus Ball and Jalil Carter leading the way.
“That turnover in the first quarter was key,” said Toronto coach Scott Milanovich. “We weren’t doing very well offensively and we got that turnover and took it down and stuffed it.”
Glenn said he was reacting to the Argos’ defensive coverage, trying to put the ball where the inside defensive back couldn’t get it. But Horne stepped off his man and ended up being the closest player to the ball.
“Just an overthrown ball,” said Horne, who turned 29 Sunday. “I was able to get under it. Once I got the ball, I had some good blocks from my man, No. 6 (Ball), my brother. He led right up there in there.”
Just 43 seconds into the second quarter, Toronto was up 14-3 thanks to the longest interception return of the first-year Argo’s career.
“That was a huge momentum shift,” said fellow defensive back Etienne Boulay.
“That’s big,” said quarterback Ricky Ray.
“No doubt,” echoed Toronto GM Jim Barker. “(Defensive co-ordinator) Chris Jones teaches an aggressive style and sometimes big plays happen.”
“He’s a playmaker,” said Carter. “He came in the clutch. Right time.”
Calgary had registered just one first down at the time, with Toronto’s defence dominating. The Argos scored 10 more points in the quarter to lead 24-6 at the half.
“It was a hell of a catch, I didn’t even think he caught it, I thought it might have hit the ground, just the way he caught it,” Glenn said of Horne’s acrobatics. “Those kinds of things happen, if I’d left the ball inside, it would have been a pick, so I’ve got to give the receiver a chance, I left it high and outside for him to try and get it.”
The Stamps turned it up a notch in the second half but Toronto was equal to the task, winning the Cup 35-22.
Horne, whose mother named him after Academy Award-winning actor Al Pacino but goes by the nickname Chino, had four interceptions during the regular season. Signed and released twice by the Detroit Lions, Horne was out of football in 2010 and 2011 before joining the Chicago Rush of the Arena Football League and Bloomington Edge of the Indoor Football League earlier this year.
Horne, who won a championship a decade ago with Grand Rapids Community College, signed with the Argos in May.
“This is amazing,” he said, when asked about winning the Grey Cup after his up-and-down football journey. “To be here on my birthday, to win a Grey Cup on my birthday, the 100th Grey Cup, this is an amazing feeling right now. I can’ say nothing else. I’m just living the moment right now.
“I just hope I can feel this way the rest of my life.”
Toronto had survived a Ray interception on its first offensive play, but the Stamps were skewered by their mistakes.
A Jon Cornish fumble on a Glenn handoff set up Toronto’s first points _ a five-yard pass from Ray to Chad Owens.