The Argos started the game with a bang as defensive back Ed Berry intercepted Calgary quarterback Danny Barrett’s first pass attempt and returned it 50 yards for a touchdown.
Barrett made up for this miscue late in the first quarter, calling his own number on a one-yard run over the goal line. Toronto led 8-7 after 15 minutes.
The teams exchanged field goals in the second quarter, as the Argos carried their one-point lead into halftime.
The Toronto offence got kick started in the second half. With the Argos trailing 14-12 with three minutes remaining in the third quarter, quarterback Matt Dunigan threw a 48-yard strike to Darrell K. Smith, giving the Boatmen some life.
Reggie Pleasant stepped in front of a Barrett pass in the fourth quarter, helping to set up a Lance Chomyc field goal to make it a 22-14 score. It was Pleasant’s second interception of the game.
Calgary receiver Allen Pitts’ narrowed the gap to 22-21 on a 12-yard touchdown reception. But Raghib "Rocket" Ismail, a much publicized pickup by the Argos in the off-season, returned the ensuing kickoff 87 yards for a touchdown with 10:26 remaining, sealing Calgary’s fate.
Keyvan Jenkins fumbled on the following kickoff, and Argos linebacker Keith Castello covered the ball to set up a 36-yard touchdown from Dunigan to Paul Masotti to officially put an end to the game and their championship season.
The temperature at kickoff was -16 degrees Celsius (+3 Fahrenheit), making the game one of the coldest Grey Cup finals ever.
Matt Dunigan, who completed only 12 of 29 passes, throwing for 142 yards, including two TD passes, was playing with a separated shoulder (frozen for the Grey Cup game), suffered the previous week in the East Final. He finally completed a Grey Cup victory from start to finish. Previously, he lost with the Edmonton Eskimos in 1986, was injured out of Edmonton's classic 1987 victory, lost a heartbreaker with the BC Lions in 1988, and later would lose with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 1992 and was unable to play in the 1993 Grey Cup (due to injury, with Winnipeg).
Danny Barrett, who hit 34 of 56 passes for 377 yards and a TD, but also 3 interceptions, set records for passes attempted and completed in a Grey Cup game.
Raghib 'Rocket' Ismail's 87 yard kickoff return is a Grey Cup record for kickoffs. Surprisingly, Ismail (who went on to a long NFL career) admitted in a recent television interview on the CBC that he had not seen a replay of the return since the game (some 15 years earlier). The CBC provided him with a DVD copy of the game.
Calgary had 28 first downs compared to Toronto’s seven. The Stampeders had 406 yards of total offence compared to 174 for the Argos.