A.J. Ouellette is special human being and football player, which the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League found out first hand as the former Covington Buccaneer led the Argos to the Grey Cup Championship against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers on Sunday in Saskatchewan, Canada. Toronto won the game 24-23 and it was Ouellette who scored the only two touchdowns put on the board by the Argos, including the game-winner with 3:40 left in the game.
“This feels amazing and I’m so proud of this team right here,” said Ouellette after the game. “We blocked out the media and everyone saying we couldn’t beat them.”
Winnipeg entered the game as a heavy favorite and looking for its third straight Grey Cup Championship.
But the Blue Bombers didn’t have A.J. Ouellette, a player who has always found a way to prove doubters wrong – a trend that started way back in high school where he didn’t receive a single scholarship offer from any college programs. He proved himself as a walk-on at Ohio University and now proved himself at the professional level in the Canadian Football League.
Early on it appeared as if Toronto was going to rely on Ouellette and fellow running back Andrew Harris, but Ouellette pulled his hamstring early in the first quarter after having just two carries for 11 yards.
With Ouellette seeing limited time in the first half, the Argos couldn’t get the offense going and trailed 10-7 at the half on a pair of field goals and a point on a missed field goal that sailed out of the back of the end zone.
“It didn’t look good,” said A.J.’s father, Phil Ouellette, who made the trip with his wife Jody and A.J.’s wife Haley to the championship game. “When he limped off the field he was on the bench getting worked on by the trainer and a bunch of his teammates came up and patted him on the head. We thought he was probably done for the night.”
But Ouellette showed the toughness of a champion by returning to the lineup in the second half and the Argonauts used him in the backfield along with Harris. Ouellette was used primarily as a decoy until he scored on a four-yard touchdown run to give Toronto a 17-10 lead early in the third.
Winnipeg responded with a field goal and a touchdown to take a 23-17 lead after a missed extra point attempt.
Neither team could get much going offensively until the Argonauts took over the ball with 6:07 left in the game and inserted both Ouellette and Harris into the backfield. Starting at its own 31, Toronto moved the ball to the Winnipeg five and Ouellette capped the drive with five-yard run to give the Argos a 24-23 lead with 3:40 left.
“I just made the plays they gave me,” said Ouellette in regards to his two touchdowns. “The O-Line did great. The first one (touchdown run) I’m pretty sure I would have been untouched, but I was a little slow getting to where I was suppose to be. It was just a great job across the board by the team.”
From there, Toronto was able to hold on for the win and a Grey Cup Championship.