HAMILTON — They’ve helped the Winnipeg Blue Bombers capture consecutive Grey Cup titles and now Andrew Harris and Nic Demski also have top Canadian player honours.
Demski was named the top Canadian in Winnipeg’s thrilling 33-25 overtime win over Hamilton in the Grey Cup game Sunday at Tim Hortons Field. Harris captured both outstanding player and Canadian honours in 2019 when he led the Bombers past the Tiger-Cats 33-12 in the CFL title game.
Both Harris and Demski are Winnipeg natives.
“It’s great,” said Demski. “To have one of the best Canadians of the past decade on my team (Harris) and winning it and seeing him winning it in 2019, it really is an honour to be named top Canadian.
“There are so many great Canadians in the league. I’m just happy I could be one of them.”
Quarterback Zach Collaros was named the game’s outstanding player after completing 21-of-32 passes for 240 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. He connected with Darvin Adams for the winning TD in overtime.
Earlier this week, Collaros captured the CFL’s outstanding player award.
“Zach Collaros is the man,” Demski said. “If you would’ve asked me that (in 2019) I would’ve said the same thing.
“He’s been the man since he put on a Blue Bombers jersey. He’s really been a great dude to have in the locker room. He’s developing me into the player I am. I’m just honoured to have him in our locker room and throwing me the football.”
Demski had four catches for 27 yards and a touchdown.
The Grey Cup win capped a dominant season for Winnipeg, which posted a CFL-best 11-3 record and boasted both the top-scoring offence and stingiest defence. But the Bombers battled very windy conditions (gusts of 50 kilometres an hour) and a stubborn Ticats squad before an enthusiastic record Tim Hortons Field gathering of 26,324.
“The storyline was always talking about how we had no adversity this year,” Demski said. “But we grind week in and week out, we sacrifice week in and week out.
“It just says a lot about our team, how mentally focused we are, how we can mentally lock in to come out here and finish strong, even being down in a big game like this.”
Hamilton held a 22-10 advantage in the fourth quarter.
Winnipeg upset Hamilton 33-12 in 2019. That year, the Ticats had a CFL-best 15-3 record while the Bombers finished third in the West and had to finish with three straight road playoff wins to secure their first Grey Cup title since 1990.
“I guess you could put that kind of cliché on it that we were underdogs in 2019,” Demski said. “But you know what? It’s that much harder to win week in and week out, especially when you’re down at the half.
“It was a lot of hard work and it’s just sweet.”
There was no Grey Cup game in 2020 as the CFL didn’t stage a season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.