Montreal Alouettes back home and celebrating after thrilling Grey Cup victory
On Monday morning, the Montreal Alouettes hoisted the Grey Cup on home soil for the first time in 13 years.
The beaming players touched down at Mirabel airport, about 50 kilometres northwest of Montreal, still riding the high from their championship victory Sunday night against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in Hamilton.
"I've been waiting all my life to be a champion," said defensive back Marc-Antoine Dequoy to reporters from the tarmac.
Having grown up watching the Alouettes play, he said it's been "a childhood dream" to win the Grey Cup with his home team.
The Alouettes clinched the cup in the last few seconds of Sunday's game with a 28-24 upset win over Winnipeg thanks in large part to quarterback Cody Fajardo.
Fajardo, named most valuable player at the 110th CFL championship, secured the win with his 19-yard touchdown pass to receiver Tyson Philpot with 15 seconds of the game remaining.
He told reporters Monday he couldn't be more proud of his team.
"The way that everyone counted us out is what bonded us"," Fajardo said. "Having that cup on that plane ride home makes all the blood, the sweat, the tears all worth it."
Sunday night's win earned the team its first CFL title since 2010 and its eighth overall.
Alouettes superfan Augustis Mantelis said he "never lost hope" that his team would take home the cup this year.
"Since the Bombers beat us last time, we've improved quite a bit," said Mantelis, who has attended 20 Grey Cup championships, including last night's.
He said "every emotion was experienced" when Fajardo made that game-winning pass.
"We got up in our seats, we jumped with joy ... some of us started crying. I thought I was going to get a heart attack," he said.
Mantelis said the thrilling win has