Robert Drummond, RB, B.C.
The B.C. Lions became the first team in CFL history to win the Grey Cup after posting a losing record in the regular season.
The history of the championship is dotted with upstart teams that have losing records in the regular season only to make a dramatic bid for the CFL title before succumbing in the final.
The 2000 B.C. Lions showed signs of being one of those teams. Forced to deal with a head coaching change in mid-season, the Lions finished with an 8-10 record and third place in the West Division. B.C. won three out of their last four just to make the post-season. Momentum was on their side however, as the Lions took playoff games in Edmonton and Calgary to earn their trip to the Grey Cup.
The Lions faced an Alouettes team who, despite great win-loss records since their return to Montreal in 1996, had underachieved in the playoffs. The Als were making their first Grey Cup appearance since 1979.
B.C. reached the end zone first when quarterback Damon Allen scored on a one-yard run midway through the first quarter. The Lions took a 12-3 lead into halftime. The Alouettes showed signs of life in the third quarter when Jock Climie scored on a one-yard reception from Anthony Calvillo. Montreal trailed 12-10 after 45 minutes.
The Lions restored their nine-point lead early in the fourth quarter when Robert Drummond broke off a 44-yard run for a touchdown. Following a Montreal field goal, Allen called his own number again for a one-yard major. But B.C. failed on an attempted two-point convert. Trailing 25-13, the Alouettes set up a dramatic finish when Mike Pringle scored on a five-yard run. But with 1:25 remaining in regulation, Lui Passaglia ended his 25-yard career on a championship note, kicking a 29-yard field goal for B.C.’s winning points. Passaglia missed three out of his first four field goal opportunities in the first half.
The Alouettes still had some fight left in them. With 44 seconds remaining, Calvillo found Ben Cahoon for a 59-yard touchdown. Needing a two-point conversion to tie the game, Calvillo had Thomas Haskins in his sights but could not make the connection, as the Lions held on for the 28-26 win.
B.C.’s ground attack proved to be unstoppable, as Drummond rushed for 122 yards. Sean Millington fell one yard short of 100, while Allen chipped in with 39. As a team, the Lions had a total of 260 rushing yards.