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HISTORY >> Grey Cup >> 1985

1985 – B.C. Lions 37, Hamilton Tiger-Cats 24

Venue: Olympic Stadium
Location: Montreal, QC
Date: November 24
Attendance: 56,723
Winning Coach: Don Matthews
Outstanding Offensive Player: Roy Dewalt, QB, B.C.
Outstanding Defensive Player: James Parker, QB, B.C.
Outstanding Canadian: Lui Passaglia, P/K, B.C.

The 1980s proved to be a decade of halting Grey Cup droughts.

The Toronto Argonauts ended 30 seasons of futility by recapturing the title in 1983. The Winnipeg Blue Bombers ended a 21-year drought without a national title the following year.

It was the B.C. Lions turn in 1985. The Lions hadn’t won a Grey Cup since their inaugural championship in 1964. Fittingly, their opponent in 1985 was the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, the same team they defeated for their first title. It was the second straight trip to the final for the Ticats.

The Lions jumped out to a quick start when five minutes in, quarterback Roy Dewalt and receiver Ned Armour combined on an 84-yard passing play for a major. B.C. added two field goals to take a 13-0 advantage early in the second quarter.

But much like they did the previous season, the Ticats made it interesting. Hamilton recovered a fumble by Lions running back Freddie Sims at the B.C. 50. It led to rookie quarterback Ken Hobart’s 35-yard touchdown strike to Ron Ingram, cutting the margin to six.

Late in the opening half, Hobart broke free from the Hamilton 33 and utilized great blocking to get to the B.C. 15. Two plays later, Johnny Shepherd leaped high to snag a touchdown reception, giving the Ticats a 14-13 advantage with 1:35 remaining in the first half.

After failing to get a first down on their next possession, the Lions were forced to punt. Hamilton’s Mitchell Price and Grover Covington bore down on B.C.’s Lui Passaglia in an attempt to block the kick and Passaglia, seeing the danger, wisely kept the ball and scrambled to his right, resulting in a first down.

B.C. then went for the dagger. Dewalt hit Armour again on a 59-yard touchdown play, giving the Lions the lead for good. Shortly after, Quick Parker forced Hobart into a fumble, setting up a Passaglia 24-yard field goal. Instead of a one-point lead at halftime, Hamilton was in a hole 23-14.

The Lions never looked back. Passaglia booted another two field goals for five in the game, and Dewalt threw another big touchdown pass in the fourth quarter, a 66-yarder to Jim Sandusky.

Hobart hit Steve Stapler for a 12-yard touchdown late in the game.

The Lions won despite being without the services of the injured Mervyn Fernandez and Keyvan Jenkins.

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