OTTOWA, Ontario — Former Sacramento State quarterback Ricky Ray led the Toronto Argonauts to a come-from-behind victory in the 105th Grey Cup on Saturday in a snow storm. With the win, Ray became the first starting quarterback to win the Grey Cup four times in CFL history.
Ray, who played for the Hornets in 1999-2000, completed 19-of-32 passes for 297 yards and a touchdown. After not scoring in the first quarter, Ray put the Argos on the board with a Grey Cup record 100-yard catch-and-run to wide receiver DeVier Posey early in the second quarter. Those points, however, were the team's only score in the first half as Calgary built a 17-8 lead at halftime.
Both teams found the end zone once in the third quarter and Calgary took a 24-16 lead into the final 15 minutes. Calgary appeared to have the game in hand as it drove inside the 10-yard line but Cassius Vaughn scooped up a fumble at the 1-yard line and returned it 109 yards for the longest defensive touchdown in Grey Cup history. Ray tied the contest with a two-point conversion pass to Declan Cross.
After Toronto forced a punt, Ray led the team to his 43rd game-winning drive in his guaranteed Hall of Fame career. The 38-year old QB, started the series with 2:26 remaining and hit Posey for a 29-yard completion. After an incompletion, he connected with S.J. Green (10 yards), Cross (7 yards) and Posey (8 yards) on three consecutive plays to take the ball to the Calgary 25. Those plays set up the game-winning field goal from Lirim Hajrullahu from 32 yards with 49 seconds left in the contest.
The victory completed a redemption season for Ray. After starting in just 12 games in the previous two seasons combined due to injury, he answered the doubters by throwing for 5,546 yards and 28 touchdowns in 17 games in 2017. The team, which is coached by former Chicago Bears head coach Marc Trestman, started slowly but won the Eastern Conference with a 9-9 overall record. However, the Argos ended the year as the hottest team in the CFL winning seven of its last nine.
Ray also won Grey Cups with the Edmonton Eskimos in 2003 and 2005 and with Toronto in 2012.
Opposing Ray on the other side of the ball was former Hornet Brandon Smith who was a starting defensive back for Calgary.