Owens gets the nod over Cornish again as Argonauts defeat Stampeders in Grey Cup
TORONTO - The defences kept a lid on the two Most Outstanding Players finalists at the Grey Cup, but the victory spoils went to Argonauts receiver-returner Chad Owens once again.
Owens, who beat out Stampeders running back Jon Cornish earlier in the week as the CFL's top player, walked into the Argo locker-room and happily received a beer shower from Marcus Ball and other teammates following Toronto's 35-22 win over Calgary on Sunday.
The five-eight Flyin' Hawaiian, wearing a hat that said Grey Cup Champions, was also swallowed up in a sea of super-sized teammates as he tried to shake off some of the beer — like a dog who had just come in from a rainy day. A happy Owens screamed with delight as he was hugged and high-fived.
The Stampeders restricted Owens to just two catches for 14 yards. But one of those was a five-yard strike for the game's opening touchdown.
Owens also returned four punts 27 for yards and two kickoffs for 62 yards for a total of 103 yards — a light day at the office for the all-purpose Argo threat.
For the third game this season against the Argos, Cornish was kept under wraps. The league's leading rusher managed just 57 yards on 15 carries and 21 of those yards came on one play.
"That was our plan all along. Stop the run and do what we do," said Argo defensive back Etienne Boulay.
Toronto GM Jim Barker praised defensive co-ordinator Chris Jones for his game plan.
"I thought the key to the game was he took Cornish completely out — there was gang-tackling," Barker said. "If you can take out a guy who was the Western Division MOP, take him out of the game and neutralize him, you've got a great chance to win."
Cornish ran for 39 and 43 yards in earlier losses to Toronto.
Owens led the league in receiving yards (1,328 yards) and set a pro football record with 3,863 all-purpose yards this season.
Cornish, meanwhile, broke Normie Kwong's 56-year-old single-season rushing record by rambling for 1,457 yards on 259 carries. Kwong's record was 1,437 yards.
The University of Kansas product also became the first Canadian to win the rushing title since Orville Lee in 1988.