Toronto Argonauts linebacker Henoc Muamba made history on Sunday night at the 109th Grey Cup in Regina.
Muamba notched three tackles and one key interception late in the fourth quarter to help the Argos pull off a 24-23 upset of the two-time defending Grey Cup champion Blue Bombers. The 33-year-old snared a Zach Collaros pass that was intended for Dalton Schoen with less than three minutes and 30 seconds left in the game.
“It’s hard to describe, but 11 years of hard work, 11 years playing this game and all I ever wanted was to be great,” Muamba said.
“We had ultimate confidence in ourselves. We knew what we brought to the table, we knew what kind of team we had, we knew what kind of guys that we had in the locker room.”
From 1974 to 1990 there were awards for offensive and defensive players of the CFL’s championship game. Muamba is the first Canadian LB to win with only one MVP named in the Grey Cup. He’s the second Canadian linebacker to earn the MVC nod, joining Dale Potter who earned it in 1980.
During the 2022 regular season, Muamba recorded 75 tackles with three sacks and two interceptions in 17 games. He made seven tackles in Toronto’s 34-27 East Final win over the Montreal Alouettes.
The 10-year CFL veteran who attended high school in Mississauga joined Toronto via free agency in 2021. In 2019 he won the league’s Most Outstanding Canadian award after posting 93 defensive tackles, one sack, and two forced fumbles in 17 games.
The six-foot, 230-pound product of St. Francis Xavier University began his CFL career in Winnipeg after being selected with the first overall pick in the 2011 CFL Draft. He would play three seasons in Winnipeg, earning one CFL all-star nod as well as an East Division all-star honour in 2013.
Born in the Congo, Muamba would move to the Indianapolis Colts for two years (2014-15), playing in 13 games before signing with Montreal (2015) and Saskatchewan (2016-17).
Muamba has amassed 592 defensive tackles, 78 special teams tackles, 17 sacks, eight interceptions, 14 forced fumbles and one touchdown in 135 career regular season games.
“I talk about mental toughness and today, it wasn’t about talking it was about walking the walk,” Muamba said.
“You see how emotional he was after the game. It’s fun to see guys hit their goals and they can’t take it away from you, that feeling is going to last forever,” head coach Ryan Dinwiddie said.