Fighting for the Grey Cup in the CFL’s biggest game of the year is nothing new for Regina-born Zack Evans.
“This is, ah, pretty not new to me anymore. It’s getting a habit so I’m liking it a lot,” Evans, a defensive lineman for the Ottawa Redblacks, told The Green Zone’s Jamie Nye.
In fact, this Sunday’s game at BMO Field in Toronto will be his third Grey Cup appearance in the last four years – the others came in 2013 with the Saskatchewan Roughriders and 2015 with the Ottawa Redblacks.
Evans said there is a difference between the two Redblacks teams that have made it to back-to-back Grey Cup games.
“I think we just understand where we are now. I think last year it was a shock to everyone that we were there,” stated Evans, adding they are in Toronto to win it, not just participate.
In order to collect the franchise’s first CFL title, the Redblacks will have to defeat the league’s best team, the Calgary Stampeders. The Stampeders finished the regular season atop the West Division with a record of 15-2-1, while the Redblacks finished the top ranked team in the East Division with a record of 8-9-1.
“(The Calgary Stampeders) are a great team, they’re going to be a really tough test and it’s gonna be hard to bring them down.”
The Redblacks will be up against the one of the league’s candidates for most outstanding player, Bo Levi Mitchell, and the CFL’s top rusher this season in Jerome Messam. Evans said it will be important to stop both those players.
Aside from football, Evans is now a permanent resident in Ottawa saying he’s moved the whole family to the nation’s capital.
“I’ll spend my off season there, and, ah, get to train with all the guys, and, yeah, I’m happy out there.”
Evans started his CFL career in 2012 with Saskatchewan, playing two seasons for the green and white, before being picked by the Redblacks in the 2013 CFL Expansion Draft. He also played for the Regina Thunder of the Canadian Junior Football league.
According to the Redblacks website, Evans recorded 24 defensive tackles and six sacks in 17 games in 2016.