EDMONTON — Calgary Stampeders quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell capped a return to the Grey Cup winner's circle Sunday by being named the most valuable player of the game.
The seven-year veteran, from Katy, Texas, threw two touchdown passes as the Stamps led wire to wire to defeat the Ottawa Redblacks 27-16 in the 106th CFL championship at Commonwealth Stadium.
The victory came after Calgary lost Grey Cups in 2016 and 2017 and faced the possibility of being the first team since the Montreal Alouettes of the 1950s to lose three in a row.
Mitchell, sporting an ear-to-ear grin, his red uniform streaked with champagne, acknowledged that while he said the game wasn't about avenging prior Grey Cup losses, the haunting history played a role.
"It feels surreal," Mitchell said. "I know we talked that (the two previous losses) didn't mean anything but we couldn't make the game bigger than it was. We had to understand that this was one game and you can only win one game and win only one Grey Cup. I think the guys who were on those two teams, even on the team last year, the emotions at the 30-second mark kind of hit. It wasn't about redemption against anybody else or the league ... it felt like as an organization we've been at the top too much not to finish the job. It feels amazing to get it done for the city of Calgary."
Mitchell was 24-for-36 passing for 253 yards with TDs to Lemar Durant and Don Jackson in the 27-16 win.
Mitchell, the CFL's most outstanding player this season, was also the MVP of the 2014 Grey Cup game, Calgary's last title.
During the regular season, Mitchell quarterbacked the Stamps to a 13-5 record and led the CFL with 35 TD passes despite seeing his receiving corps turn over drastically due to injuries.
The 28-year-old becomes a free agent this off-season.
Asked about his future plans, Mitchell said: "I'm letting my agent handle it.
"I'm waiting to see what will happen with the (collective bargaining agreement). Until then I will explore my options.
"I love being here. I'm not a complacent guy. I'm not going to stay here just because I'm comfortable. I've put a lot of work in with this team and the legacy and this league and I want to continue to build that.
"But for family and everything if something else arises it would be hard not to just test it."
Dean Bennett, The Canadian Press