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McCallum kicks six field goals as Lions win Grey Cup

Nov 20, 2006 - 2:44 AM MONTREAL (Ticker) -- Paul McCallum's accuracy and Dave Dickenson's leadership were just what the B.C. Lions needed to lock up another championship.

McCallum kicked six field goals and Dickenson threw for 184 yards as the Lions won their first Grey Cup title since 2000 and fifth in franchise history with a 25-14 triumph over the Montreal Alouettes.

After posting a league-best 13-5 record in the regular season, B.C. defeated Montreal for the third time in as many meetings this season, outscoring the Alouettes, 109-37.

"I've dreamed about this since before high school," Lions defensive lineman Brent Johnson said. "It's better than I dreamed. I feel privileged to be on the same field with these guys."

McCallum, who spent the previous 12 campaigns with the Saskatchewan Roughriders, tied the single-game Grey Cup record for most field goals, first set by Montreal's Don Sweet in 1977. Hamilton's Paul Osbaldiston (1986) and Edmonton's Sean Fleming (1993) also matched the mark.

The victory was especially rewarding for Dickenson, who won his first championship as a starter in three tries. After winning as a backup with the Calgary Stampeders in 1998, he lost to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in 1999 and the Toronto Argonauts in 2004.

Dickenson completed 18-for-29 passes and rushed for 53 yards en route to being named the game's Most Valuable Player.

B.C. jumped to a 6-0 lead before defensive lineman Aaron Hunt knocked the ball loose from Montreal quarterback Anthony Calvillo and linebacker Javier Glatt recovered at the Alouettes 24. Two plays later, McCallum booted his third field goal of the opening quarter.

Ian Smart, who played four games with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2004, widened the margin for the Lions with a 25-yard touchdown around the left end, giving them a 16-0 lead.

Montreal defensive back Chip Cox recovered Dickenson's fumble at the Alouettes 47 in the third quarter, which led to its only TD, a two-yard run by Robert Edwards, which cut the deficit to 19-12.

Edwards, a former New England Patriot who led the league with 17 touchdowns in the regular season, gained 85 yards on 15 carries.

McCallum kicked two field goals for B.C. in the fourth quarter for a 25-12 lead before Calvillo drove the Alouettes to the Lions 1. However, Edwards fumbled on 2nd-and-goal and linebacker Otis Floyd recovered at the 2 with four minutes left.

One video replay showed Edwards may have been down before the ball came loose, but Montreal opted not to throw the challenge flag and ask for an official review.

After winning three Grey Cups with Calgary (1992, 1998 and 2001), Wally Buono became the fourth coach to capture four titles. He did so with his fourth different starting quarterback.

"I'm not overly concerned about looking pretty," Buono said. "When it's all said and done, we did more than they did and we won."

"He brought the winners to B.C.," Lions defensive tackle Tyrone Williams said. "He's been a winner all his coaching career."

The loss meant a disappointing finish to a roller-coaster season for the Alouettes, who won their first seven games before dropping the next six. Don Matthews, the league's all-time winningest coach, stepped down due to health reasons late in the campaign and was replaced by general manager Jim Popp.

"They hurt us to a degree, but I think we did more to ourselves than they did to us," Popp said. "They jumped on us early and that kind of dictated the game."

Calvillo completed 20-of-41 passes for 234 yards and Ben Cahoon caught 11 passes for 137 yards for the Alouettes, who have lost three straight Grey Cup contests after their last victory in 2002.

"We're fortunate that we've done things in this league that most teams haven't done," Popp said. "We've played five Grey Cup games in seven years. It's a hard thing to do."

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