The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

November 24, 2013

Simon, Roughriders capture Grey Cup


sports@tribdem.com

REGINA, Saskatchewan — Johnstown native Geroy Simon caught three passes for 67 yards and two touchdowns to help the Saskatchewan Roughriders capture the fourth Grey Cup in franchise history on Sunday.

The Roughriders drubbed the Hamilton Tiger-Cats 45-23 in front of their home crowd at Mosaic Stadium.   

Simon – in his first year with the Roughriders – caught his first two Grey Cup touchdown passes in four appearances in the CFL’s championship game.

“This is totally different,” Simon told Canadian network TSN following the game. “Leaving the situation I left in B.C. to have an opportunity to win. This is the only reason I came here because I knew we had an opportunity. It’s amazing. It’s the best feeling in the world.”

During his 15 CFL seasons, Simon was part of the Lions’ Grey Cup-winning teams in 2006 and 2011. The former Johnstown star was named the CFL’s Most Outstanding Player in 2006, and he’s had six league all-star selections and seven divisional all-star honors.

Kory Sheets ran for a record 197 yards and two touchdowns in the win.

Sheets, who briefly played for the Miami Dolphins and Carolina Panthers, broke the Canadian Football League championship game rushing mark of 169 yards set in 1956 by Edmonton's Johnny Bright.

Sheets was especially impressive in the first half. The former Purdue star ran for 128 yards and a TD in leading Saskatchewan to a 31-6 advantage, and was picked as the game's Most Valuable Player.

Darian Durant threw three touchdown passes as Saskatchewan won its fourth Grey Cup and first since 2007. Simon caught two of the TD tosses.

“I talked to Darian earlier in the week and I hinted to him that I never scored a touchdown in the Grey Cup,” Simon said to TSN. “He said ‘don’t worry.’ He actually told me during the week that I was going to be MVP, but either (he) or Kory deserves that.”

Quarterback Henry Burris, who rallied Hamilton from a 24-10 deficit to beat Toronto 36-24 in the East final, ran for an 18-yard TD that helped the Ticats pull within 31-16.

Sheets ran 5 yards for a score with just over five minutes remaining to keep Saskatchewan in control.

Hamilton was trying to win the CFL title for the first time since 1999, but quickly fell behind

Sheets and Jock Sanders ran for TDs before Durant, a former North Carolina standout, hit Simon on a 42-yard scoring strike with 1:46 left in the second quarter. Saskatchewan set a Grey Cup record for most first-half points despite three fumbles by Durant.

Actor Tom Hanks and comedian Martin Short were in the crowd on a chilly day with brisk winds.