The B.C. Lions had the home-field and home-country advantage, and, combined with a little trickery and the kicking of a native Canadian, they kept the Baltimore CFLs from bringing the Grey Cup to the United States last night.
Lui Passaglia kicked a 38-yard field goal on the last play of the game to give the Lions a 26-23 victory and the Canadian Football League championship before 55,097 fans at Vancouver's B.C. Place.
The CFLs were attempting a couple of firsts: winning a league title in an established professional league as a first-year expansion club and becoming the first U.S. team to capture the Grey Cup.
When this game was played last year, Baltimore had yet to be awarded a CFL team.
Baltimore had taken a 14-3 lead in the first half, but the Lions came back to tie the game 20-20 in the third quarter. A key play in the comeback was a fake field goal by B.C. The Lions' holder on the play, Darren Flutie, took off on a 17-yard run to keep a drive going. The drive eventually led to a touchdown and cut Baltimore's lead to 20-17 with less than five minutes left in the third quarter.
The Lions took the lead three minutes into the final quarter, but the CFLs tied the score 23-23 on a field goal by Donald Igwebuike with about 6 1/2 minutes left in the game.
Passaglia won the game on his second chance in the final two minutes. He had missed a kick from 37 yards out, but the Lions' defense held the CFLs and B.C. got the ball back in Baltimore territory. Complete coverage, Section C