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TEN SIPS FROM THE CUP

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers have a long and storied history that includes 24 trips to the Grey Cup — second -most in Canadian Football League history — and 10 championships. A recap of those 10 championships…

78th Grey Cup

Date: November 25, 1990
Site: B.C. Place, Vancouver, British Columbia

BLUE BOMBERS  50  EDMONTON ESKIMOS  11

 

 

The 1990 Bombers were hardly an offensive juggernaut, finishing with a league-low 472 points.But they did have some offensive stars and, coupled with an absolutely stifling defence, cranked out 12 wins during the regular season en route to the 10thGrey Cup title in franchise history.

The 1990 season began with most experts predicting the Bombers would finish last in the East Division, especially after a 1989 campaign that saw the club finish 7-11 following seven-consecutive defeats before a loss in the East Final. As the new season neared, and with Lee Saltz and Sam Garza listed 1-2 on the Bombers quarterback depth chart, GM Cal Murphy pulled off a shrewd deal that would be critical in the team’s success.

Just prior to the start of the season, on Canada Day to be exact, Murphy swung a trade with the Saskatchewan Roughriders to land veteran pivot Tom Burgess. He was gritty, intelligent and gave the Bombers exactly the kind of efficient quarterbacking they needed – including a critical 30-yard run in the dying moments of the 1990 East Final that set up Trevor Kennerd’s game-winning field goal over the Toronto Argonauts.

Burgess came up big again in the championship, as he was named the Grey Cup offensive MVP after completing 18 of 31 passes for 286 yards with three touchdowns to Lee Hull, Perry Tuttle and Warren Hudson. Danny McManus came off the bench later in the game and connected with Rick House for the other offensive TD.

But, as was the case all season, it was the defence that was the backbone in the championship win. Linebacker Greg Battle, the CFL’s Most Outstanding Defensive Player in 1990, intercepted two passes in the Grey Cup – returning one 32 yards for a TD – and was named the game’s defensive MVP with James West and Tyrone Jones registering sacks.

1990 Grey Cup MVPs
Offence: Tom Burgess, QB, Winnipeg
Defence: Greg Battle, LB, Winnipeg
Canadian: Warren Hudson, FB, Winnipe

The 1990 Bombers Grey Cup lineup:


Head coach: Mike Riley
GM: Cal Murph
Quarterbacks: Tom Burgess, Danny McManus, Sammy Garza
Running backs: Robert Mimbs, Warren Hudson, Matt Pearce
Receivers: Lee Hull, Perry Tuttle, Rick House, Eric Streater, Ken Winey, Rob Crifo, (injured: James Murphy)
Offensive line: Chris Walby, David Black, Lyle Bauer, Bob Molle, Nick Benjamin, Steve Rodehutskors, Scott Redl
Defensive line: Quency Williams, Stan Mikawos, Mike Gray, Leon Hatziioannou, Jeff Croonen
Linebackers: Tyrone Jones, James West, Greg Battle, Paul Randolph, Albert Williams
Defensive backs: Less Browne, Ken Hailey, Dave Bovell, Darryl Sampson, Rod Hill, Michael Alle
Kickers: Trevor Kennerd, Bob Cameron

Scoring:
Blue Bombers (50)
– TDs: Warren Hudson (2); Lee Hull, Greg battle, Perry Tuttle, Rick House; FGs: Trevor Kennerd (2); Converts: Kennerd (6); Safety touch (West sacked Ham in end zone)
Eskimos (11) – TD: Larry Willis; FG: Ray Macoritti; Convert: Macoritti; Single: Macoritti

Scoring Summary
Qtr       Time    Team   Scoring play
1          7:11     Wpg    FG, Kennerd, 13 yds
1          10:38   Wpg    TD, Hull, 11-yd pass from Burgess; Convert, Kennerd
2          6:35     Edm     Punt single, Macoritti, 56 yds
2          14:59   Edm     FG, Macoritti, 37 yds
3          5:16     Wpg    TD, Battle, 32-yd INT; Convert, Kennerd
3          8:56     Wpg    TD, Tuttle, 5-yd pass from Burgess; Convert Kennerd
3          10:35   Wpg    TD, Hudson, 18-yd pass from Burgess; Convert Kennerd
3          15:00   Wpg    TD, Hudson, 2-yard run; Convert Kennerd
4          2:34     Edm     TD, Willis, 20-yard pass from Ham; Convert Macoritti
4          5:09     Wpg    Safety, West sacks Ham in end zone
4          10:24   Wpg    FG, Kennerd, 14 yds
4          12:54   Wpg    TD, House, 56-yd pass from McManus; Convert Kennerd
Final: Winnipeg 50 Edmonton 11

Attendance: 46,968

1990 Grey Cup Game video

76th Grey Cup

Date: November 27, 1988
Site: Lansdowne Park, Ottawa, Ontario

BLUE BOMBERS  22  B.C. LIONS  21

 

 

The 1988 Winnipeg Blue Bombers season opened with the finish of the 1987 campaign still stinging.

The ’87 Bombers were 12-6 and placed nine players on the CFL All-Star team but where upset at home in the East Final by the Toronto Argonauts. It had earned them the inauspicious label as ‘the best Bombers team never to win a Grey Cup.’

There was a ton of change heading into 1988, as well. Gone were quarterback Tom Clements, the CFL’s Most Outstanding Player in 1987 who had retired, along with Willard Reaves and Tyrone Jones to the NFL while the league’s top Canadian, Scott Flagel signed with Calgary.

They were 9-6 in October, but dropped their last three games to finish 9-9. That meant that as the playoffs opened, the Bombers were the longest of long shots. Just 12,210 fans showed up to watch the club knock off Hamilton at home in the East Semi-Final.

But momentum or, at least, hope, began to build after the Bombers knocked off the heavily-favoured Argos – 14-4 that season – in the East Final, leading to a Grey-Cup matchup against the 10-8 B.C. Lions.

The first-ever Grey Cup played in the nation’s capital was impacted by the weather. Conditions at kickoff were listed as 14C, but with winds gusting at 40 km/h. That made the kicking game critical, and punter Bob Cameron – the best wind-kicker in CFL history – played a mammoth role. Named the top Canadian, Cameron kicked two singles, but handled the wind conditions perfectly in a game that was all about field position.

Bombers QB Sean Salisbury connected with James Murphy for the team’s only touchdown, Trevor Kennerd hit four field goals and the win was sealed by one of the most-memorable moments in club history. Lions star pivot Matt Dunigan had driven his club to the Bombers seven-yard line with 1:45 left in the game when Delbert Fowler tipped a pass attempt into the end zone that was then grabbed by Michael Gray. It was a play dubbed ‘The Immaculate Interception’ and it was massive in the club’s 9thGrey Cup title.

1988 Grey Cup MVPs
Offence: James Murphy, WR, Winnipeg
Defence: Mike Gray, DE, Winnipeg
Canadian: Bob Cameron, P, Winnipeg

The 1988 Bombers Grey Cup lineup:


Head coach: Mike Riley
GM: Cal Murphy
Quarterbacks: Sean Salisbury, Lee Saltz
Running backs: Tim Jessie, Tony Johns, Terry Cochrane, Vernon Pahl
Receivers: James Murphy, Ken Winey, Buster Rhymes, Paul Shorten, Randy Fabi (injured: Perry Tuttle)
Offensive line: David Black, Lyle Bauer, Brad Tierney, Bob Molle, Nick Bastaja, Steve Rodehutskors, (injured: Chris Walby)
Defensive line: Stan Mikawos, Mike Gray, Leon Hatziioannou, Willie Fears
Linebackers: James West, Paul Clatney, Dan Wicklum, Aaron Brown, Delbert Fowler, Romel Andrews
Defensive backs: Ken Hailey, Darryl Sampson, Rod Hill, Michael Allen, Ken Pettway, James Jefferson, Bennie Thompson
Kickers: Trevor Kennerd, Bob Cameron

Scoring:
Blue Bombers (22)
– TDs: James Murphy; FGs: Trevor Kennerd (4); Convert: Kennerd (1); Single: Bob Cameron (2); Kennerd.
Lions (21) – TDs: Anthony Cherry, David Williams; FG: Lui Passaglia; Convert: Passaglia (2); Single: Passaglia (2); safety touch

Scoring Summary
Qtr       Time    Team   Scoring play
1          5:14     Wpg    Cameron, 42-yd punt single
1          7:43     BC        TD, Cherry, 14-yd run; Convert Passaglia
1          14:01   Wpg    FG, Kennerd, 22 yds
2          4:40     Wpg    FG, Kennerd, 43 yds
2          8:22     BC        TD, Williams, 26-yd pass from Duigan; Convert Passaglia
2          9:46     Wpg    TD, Murphy, 35-yd pass from Salisbury; Convert Kennerd
2          13:55   BC        Single, Passaglia, missed field goal
3          1:53     BC        FG, Passaglia, 28 yds
3          5:20     Wpg    FG, Kennerd, 20 yds
3          12:34   BC        Single, Passaglia, 84 yds
3          15:00   Wpg    Single, Cameron, 49 yds
4          12:05   Wpg    FG, Kennerd, 30 yds
4          14:02   BC        Safety touch
Final: Winnipeg 22 B.C. 21

Attendance: 50,604

1988 Grey Cup highlights:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jy0FRcSKleQ

72nd Grey Cup

Date: November 18, 1984
Site: Commonwealth Stadium, Edmonton, Alberta

 

BLUE BOMBERS  47   HAMILTON TIGER-CATS  17

 

 

 

The Blue Bombers lived the life of rock stars after capturing the 1984 Grey Cup, as it had been 22 years since their 1962 victory and 19 years since the team’s last appearance in the championship.

And so, when the team returned home from the first-ever Grey Cup played in Edmonton, they were greeted like conquering heroes.

That wasn’t surprising. Not only had the Bombers not appeared in the title game since 1965, some solid clubs under head coach Ray Jauch and led by Dieter Brock in the late 1970s/early 1980s had unfortunately worked in the shadow of the CFL’s greatest dynasty in the Edmonton Eskimos of 1978-82.

The Bombers were led by former B.C. Lions head coach and Eskimo and Montreal Alouettes assistant Cal Murphy, then just in his second season as the team’s head coach, and finished 1984 with a 11-4-1 record. After knocking off the Esks in theWest Semi-Final, they upset the B.C. Lions at a sold-out B.C. Place to win the division.

Winnipeg faced the Ticats in the title game and lined up against a familiar face – Brock, who had demanded and been granted a trade a year earlier in a deal that landed the Bombers quarterback Tom Clements.

It was Brock who snuck in for the game’s first score and the Ticats roared out to a 17-3 advantage before the Bombers found their footing on the icy grass at Commonwealth Stadium.

Winnipeg set a record for points in a quarter with 27 (later broken by the Bombers in the 1990 Grey Cup, with 28) in what became a thorough spanking of the Ticats. Clements was named the offensive MVP, running back Sean Kehoe was the top Canadian while Tyrone Jones, who set a record with four quarterback sacks, was the top defensive player. 

1984 Grey Cup MVPs
Offence: Tom Clements, QB, Winnipeg
Defence: Tyrone Jones, LB, Winnipeg
Canadian: Sean Kehoe, RB, Winnipeg

The 1984 Bombers Grey Cup lineup:


Head coach: Cal Murphy
GM: Paul Robson
Quarterbacks: Tom Clements, John Hufnagel
Running backs: Pat Cantner, Sean Kehoe, Willard Reaves
Receivers: Jeff Boyd, Jerome Erdman, Rick House, James Murphy, Kevin Neiles, Joe Poplawski
Offensive line: Nick Bastaja, John Bonk, Mark Moors, Richard Nemeth, Chris Walby
Defensive line: Doug MacIver, Stan Mikawos, Tony Norman, Brent Racette, John Sturdivant
Linebackers: Aaron Brown, Delbert Fowler, Tyrone Jones, Vernon Pahl, Frank Robinson
Defensive backs: Scott Flagel, Ken Hailey, Donovan Rose, David Shaw, Wylie Turner
Kickers: Trevor Kennerd, Bob Cameron

Scoring:
Blue Bombers (47)
– TDs: Willard Reaves (2), Joe Poplawski, Stan Mikawos, Jeff Boyd; FGs: Trevor Kennerd (4); Converts: Kennerd (5)
Tiger-Cats (17) – TDs: Dieter Brock, Rocky DiPietro; FGs: Bernie Ruoff; Convert: Ruoff (2)

Scoring Summary
Qtr       Time    Team   Scoring play
1          8:03     Ham    TD, Brock, 15-yd run; Convert Ruoff
1          11:24   Ham    DiPietro, 7-yd pass from Brock; Convert Ruoff
1          15:00   Wpg    FG, Kennerd, 25 yds
2          3:29     Ham    FG, Ruoff, 20 yds
2          4:58     Wpg    FG, Kennerd, 46 yds
2          7:28     Wpg    TD, Reaves, 3-yd run; Convert Kennerd
2          11:58   Wpg    TD, Poplawski, 12-yd pass from Clements; Convert Kennerd
2          12:34   Wpg    TD, Mikawos, 24-yd fumble return; Convert Kennerd
2          14:03   Wpg    FG, Kennerd, 19 yds
3          12:18   Wpg    FG, Kennerd, 16 yds
4          7:23     Wpg    TD, Reaves, 3-yd run; Convert Kennerd
4          11:10   Wpg    Boyd, 4-yd pass from Hufnagel; Convert Kennerd
Final: Winnipeg 47 Hamilton 17

Attendance: 60,081

1984 Grey Cup video

50th Grey Cup

Date: December 1-2, 1962
Site: Exhibition Stadium, Toronto, Ontario

BLUE BOMBERS  28  HAMILTON TIGER-CATS  27

 

 

A dominant side again during the regular season – Winnipeg would post a league-best 11-5 record in ’62 – the Bombers were fortunate just to make it to one of the strangest Grey Cup games every played.

The Calgary Stampeders had captured the first game of the best-of-three West Final and, after losing the second, were ahead with just one play remaining in the decisive game at Winnipeg Stadium.

Gerry James had a 17-yard field-goal attempt partially blocked by Jim Furlong of the Stamps, with the ball bouncing into the Calgary end zone. Calgary’s Harvey Wylie opted to kick at the ball to get it out of play, but his attempt hit a charging Farrell Funston of the Bombers, who fell on it for a touchdown and a 12-7 Bomber win.

The 1962 Grey Cup – which became known as ‘The Fog Bowl’ — featured the Bombers meeting the Hamilton Tiger-Cats for the fifth time in six years and was carried live for the first time on a commercial U.S. TV networks (ABC). But as the fog rolled in off Lake Ontario for the late Saturday afternoon telecast the conditions worsened dramatically. That’s when CFL commissioner G. Sydney Halter opted to postpone the game with 9:29 remaining and the Bombers leading 28-27.

The two clubs returned to Exhibition Stadium the next day – with just 15,000 fans returning – but there was no more scoring. Bombers running back Leo Lewis, who scored two touchdowns and threw for another to Charlie Shepard – who also scored two TDs – was named the game’s MVP.

Grey Cup MVP: Leo Lewis, RB, Winnipeg

The 1962 Bombers Grey Cup lineup:


Head coach: Bud Grant
GM: Jim Ausley
Roster: Ray Ash (G), Jack Bruzell (C), Dave Burkholder (LB, T), Jack Delveaux (HB), George Druxman (C), Farrell Funston (E), Herb Gray (DE, G), Roger Hamelin (T), Rod Humeniuk (G), Gerry James (FB, K), Henry Janzen (DB), Ron Latourelle (HB), Hal Ledyard (QB), Leo Lewis, Jr. (RB), Cec Luining (E), Nick Miller (HB), Steve Patrick (T), Cornel Piper (G), Ernie Pitts (E), Kenny Ploen (QB), Rick Potter (HB), Norm Rauhaus (DB, E), Frank Rigney (T), Roger Savoie (T), Charlie Shepard (FB, P), Neil Thomas (T), Dick Thornton (DB), Sherwyn Thorson (G), Garland Warren (C), Joe Williams (FB)

Scoring:
Blue Bombers (28)
– TDs: Leo Lewis (2), Charlie Shepard (2); Converts: Gerry James (4).
Tiger-Cats (27) – TDs: Garney Henley (2), Bobby Kuntz, Dave Viti; Convert: Don Sutherin (2); Single: Don Sutherin (1).

Scoring Summary
Qtr       Time    Team   Scoring play
1          4:51     Ham    TD, Henley, 74-yd run; (Convert failed)
2          0:13     Wpg    TD, Lewis, 6-yd run; Convert James
2          8:56     Wpg    TD, Shepard, 15-yd pass from Lewis; Convert James
2          8:56     Wpg    Convert, James
2          12:50   Ham    TD, Kuntz, 1-yd run (Convert failed)
2          13:45   Ham    TD, Henley, 18-yd run; Convert Sutherin
2          14:20   Wpg    TD, Lewis, 36-yd pass from Ledyard; Convert James
3          7:02     Ham    TD, Viti, 36-yd pass from Zuger; Convert Sutherin
3          9:39     Wpg    TD, Shepard, 4-yd run; Convert James
3          12:39   Ham    Single, Sutherin on missed FG
Final: Winnipeg 28 Hamilton 27

Attendance: 32,655/15,000 (estimated on December 2nd)

1962 Grey Cup video

49th Grey Cup

Date: December 2, 1961
Site: Exhibition Stadium, Toronto, Ontario

BLUE BOMBERS 21 HAMILTON TIGER-CATS 14

 

The Bombers were stinging from a loss in the 1960 West Final when the ’61 season opened. Winnipeg had posted a league-best 14-2 record in 1960, a winning percentage that remains unmatched by any other Bomber side in club history.

But in the three-game divisional final the Bombers beat the Edmonton Eskimos 22-16 and then fell 10-5 and 4-2 – the key play in the clinching-game a fumble by quarterback Ken Ploen.

Ploen would more than redeem himself in 1961 after hammering the Calgary Stampeders 14-1 and 43-14 in the West Final.

Not surprisingly, the Bombers – 13-3 that season – would meet the Hamilton Tiger-Cats for the Grey Cup. The Ticats were led by Bernie Faloney and held a 14-7 lead heading into the fourth quarter as the star quarterback connected with Paul Dekker for a 90-yard TD in the first and followed with a 23-yard scoring strike to Ralph Goldston in the third.

But the Bombers, led by superb two-way lineman Frank Rigney, would limit the Tabbies to just 25 yards rushing. And while Ploen and Hal Ledyard would combine to complete only 12 of 22 passes the ground attack of Leo Lewis and Roger Hagberg were able to rumble for 268 yards.

As the game wore on the Bombers grew stronger. And when Gerry James slammed home from three yards out in the fourth quarter, the game was sent into extra time – the first Grey Cup to be decided in overtime.

Ploen would play the hero in OT in one of those moments that will be forever etched in Bombers and CFL history in one of the greatest single plays in the league’s history. In the second overtime, Ploen dropped back to pass, but finding no one open opted to run.

His 19-yard scramble to pay dirt – in which he eluded several would be Ticat defenders – is one of the most-spectacular runs football fans have ever seen and was part of an effort that made Ploen the game’s MVP.

Grey Cup MVP: Ken Ploen, QB, Winnipeg

The 1961 Bombers Grey Cup lineup:

Head coach: Bud Grant
GM: Jim Ausley

Roster: Jack Delveaux (FB, P), George Druxman (C, LB), Farrell Funston (E), Herb Gray (DE, LB), Farrell Funston (E), Herb Gray (DE, G), Roger Hagberg (FB), Roger Hamelin (T), Rod Humeniuk (G), Gerry James (FB, K), Henry Janzen (DB), Ray Jauch (HB), Ron Latourelle (HB), Hal Ledyard (QB), Leo Lewis, Jr. (RB), Cec Luining (E), Ron Meadmore (DE), Nick Miller (HB), Baz Nagle (HB), Steve Patrick (T, G), Cornel Piper (G), Ernie Pitts (E), Kenny Ploen (QB), Rick Potter (HB), Norm Rauhaus (DB, E), Frank Rigney (T), Gordie Rowland (HB, LB), Roger Savoie (T), Garland Warren (C), Mike Wright (T)

Scoring:
Blue Bombers (21) – TDs: Gerry James, Ken Ploen (OT); Field goal: Gerry James (2); Convert: Gerry James (2); Single: Jack Delveaux
Tiger-Cats (14) – TDs: Paul Dekker, Ralph Goldson; Convert: Don Sutherin (2).

Scoring Summary
Qtr       Time    Team   Scoring play
1          7:45     Ham    Dekker, 90-yd pass from Faloney; Convert Sutherin
2          11:40   Wpg    Single, Delveaux, 46-yd punt
3          5:46     Wpg    FG, James, 18 yds
3          11:33   Ham    TD, Goldson, 23-yd pass from Faloney; Convert Sutherin
3          14:59   Wpg    FG, James, 28 yds
4          9:57     Wpg    TD, James, 28-yd run; Convert James
OT (2)  1:58     Wpg    Ploen, 18-yd run; Convert James
Final: Winnipeg 21 Hamilton 14

Attendance: 32,651

47th Grey Cup

Date: November 28, 1959
Site: Exhibition Stadium, Toronto, Ontario

BLUE BOMBERS 21  HAMILTON TIGER-CATS   7

 

Following another dominant regular season in which the Bombers finished with a 12-4 record, the club would knock off the Edmonton Eskimos en route to another Grey Cup showdown with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

After years of playing the Grey Cup at Varsity Stadium, the 1959 championship was held at Exhibition Stadium, a new park on the Canadian National Exhibition fairgrounds right on the shores of Lake Ontario. But there were troubles with the change of venue. The field was covered with a tarpaulin the night before the game, but it did little to protect the turf. During the contest, groundskeepers were often seen scrambling onto the field during breaks in the action to replace giant chunks of sod which had become uprooted.

The Ticats led 7-3 into the third quarter in what would have to be dubbed a yawner, especially in comparison to the classic the same two teams served up the year previous in Vancouver. All that said, there was some brilliance in the game, both on the field and in the strategy used by head coach Bud Grant en route to victory. Grant utilized the talents of fullback Charlie Shepard while also employing the quick kick and, following TDs from Shepard and Ernie Pitts on a 33-yard pass from Ken Ploen, the Bombers cruised to victory

Grey Cup MVP: Charlie Shepard, FB/P, Winnipeg

The 1959 Bombers Grey Cup lineup:

Head coach: Bud Grant
GM: Jim AusleyRoster: Walt Bilicki (C, LB), Dave Burkholder (LB, T), Jack Delveaux (FB, P), George Druxman (C, LB), Farrell Funston (E), Herb Gray (DE, G), Gerry James (FB, K), Henry Janzen (DB), Ed Kotowich (G), Ron Latourelle (HB), Leo Lewis, Jr. (RB), Cec Luining (E), Ron Meadmore (DE), Nick Miller (HB), Steve Patrick (T, G), Cornel Piper (G), Ernie Pitts (E), Kenny Ploen (QB), Rick Potter (HB), Norm Rauhaus (DB, E), Frank Rigney (T), Rae Ross (DB, E), Gordie Rowland (HB), Roger Savoie (T), Carver Shannon (HB, K), Charlie Shepard (FB, P), Jim Van Pelt (QB), Gene Wlasiuk (HB)

Scoring:
Blue Bombers (21)
– TDs: Charlie Shepard, Ernie Pitts Field goal: Gerry James; Convert: Gerry James (2); Single: Charlie Shepard (4)
Tiger-Cats (7) –  Field goal: Steve Oneschuk (2); Single: Vince Scott

Scoring Summary
Qtr       Time    Team   Scoring play
1          5:18     Wpg    FG, James, 21 yds
2          5:45     Ham    Single, Scott, blocked punt into end zone (Wpg recovered)
3          7:50     Ham    FG, Oneschuk, 10 yds
3          14:46   Ham    FG, Oneschuk, 28 yds
4          2:48     Wpg    Single, Shepard, 37-yd punt
4          4:54     Wpg    TD, Shepard, 2-yd run; Convert James
4          6:32     Wpg    Single, Shepard, 76-yd punt
4          10:45   Wpg    Single, Shepard, 53-yd punt
4          13:36   Wpg    Single, Shepard, 69-yd punt
4          14:50   Wpg    TD, Pitts, 33-yd pass from Ploen
Final: Winnipeg 21 Hamilton 7

Attendance: 33,133

46thGrey Cup

Date: November 29, 1958
Site: Empire Stadium, Vancouver, British Columbia

BLUE BOMBERS  35  HAMILTON TIGER-CATS  28

Before the heroics of Ken Ploen in 1961, before the Tom Clements-to-Tony-Gabriel big finish for Ottawa in 1976 and Dave Ridgway’s dramatic kick for Saskatchewan in 1989, there was the 1958 classic – still to this day ranked as one of the greatest Grey Cups of all time.

The Bombers and Hamilton Tiger-Cats met in a rematch of the 1957 title game, won easily by the Ticats 32-7, in a match=up that would become common over five of the next six Grey Cups. In 1958, the Bombers and Ticats would trade shots like heavyweight contenders in a prize fight.

Hamilton jumped to a 14-0 lead early by capitalizing on Bomber miscues, including a fumble by Winnipeg rookie QB Jim Van Pelt that was returned 75 yards by Ticat defender Ralph Goldston. The Bombers other QB, Ken Ploen, had injured his shoulder in the sixth game of the regular season and had been replaced by Van Pelt. Ploen, showcasing his amazing athleticism, would still suit up for the Grey Cup and star in the secondary.

“Van Pelt looked like a little bitty kid down the street,” former Bomber Buddy Tinsley told Graham Kelly in Kelly’s book ‘Grey Cup: A History.’ “But he was a really smart quarterback.”

Before the day was over Van Pelt and a number of other Bombers all took turns leading Winnipeg to victory to end a 17-year drought from the winner’s circle.

Van Pelt scored on a sneak to get Winnipeg on the board and then kicked two field goals to cut the Ticat lead to 14-13. That’s when Hamilton head coach Jim Trimble – who had said before the game his team would ‘waffle’ the Bombers – made one of those coaching blunders that lives to this day. On the last play of the first half Trimble elected to punt with Hamilton scrimmaging from their own 13-yard line. Norm Rauhaus busted through the line to stuff the punt and recover it in the end zone to give the Bombers the lead.

In the second half Leo Lewis connected with Van Pelt for a TD on a trick play as part of a day that saw the Bombers QB finish with 22 points – a Grey-Cup record that stood for 19 years until Montreal Alouettes kicker racked up 23 points in the 1977 Grey Cup.

Of the four Grey Cups the Bombers would win over a five-year span from 1958-62, most of those involve savour the 1958 championship the most.

“Winnipeg hadn’t won a Grey Cup in 18 years,” said Bombers coach Bud Grant. “After what we had gone through the year before and then playing Hamilton again and Jim Trimble – who had been my coach in Philadelphia – saying they were going to waffle us, 1958 was the most satisfying.”

(No MVP awarded prior to 1959)

The 1958 Bombers Grey Cup lineup:


Head coach:
Bud Grant
GM: Jim Ausley
Roster: Walt Bilicki (C, LB), Dave Burkholder (LB, T), George Druxman (C, LB), Frank Gilliam (E), Herb Gray (DE, G), Bob Hobert (T), Tony Kehrer (HB), Ed Kotowich (C, G), Ron Latourelle (HB), Buddy Leake (QB), Leo Lewis, Jr. (RB), Bob McNamara (HB, K), Ted Mikliechuk (G, LB), Nick Miller (HB), Steve Patrick (T), Keith Pearce (E), Cornel Piper (G), Ernie Pitts (E), Kenny Ploen (QB, HB), Rick Potter (HB), Norm Rauhaus (DB, E), Barry Roseborough (QB), Gordie Rowland (HB), Roger Savoie (T), Bob Stransky (HB, K), Jim Tonn (HB), Jim Van Pelt (QB, K), Gerry Vincent (E)

Scoring:
Blue Bombers (35)
– TDs: Jim Van Pelt (2), Norm Rauhaus; Charlie Shepard; Field goal: Jim Van Pelt (2); Convert: Jim Van Pelt (4); Single: Charlie Shepard
Tiger-Cats (28) – TDs: Ron Howell (2), Gerry McDougall, Ralph Goldston; Convert: Steve Oneschuk (4)

Scoring Summary
Qtr       Time    Team   Scoring play
1          4:20     Ham    TD, McDougall, 10-yd run; Convert Oneschuk
1          6:49     Ham    TD, Goldston, 70-yd fumble return; Convert Oneschuk
1          11:35   Wpg    TD, Van Pelt, 20-yd pass from Lewis; Convert Van Pelt
2          6:56     Wpg    FG, Van Pelt, 22 yds
2          10:12   Wpg    FG, Van Pelt, 27 yds
2          15:00   Wpg    TD, Rauhaus, blocked punt recovered in end zone; Convert Van Pelt
3          4:41     Ham    TD, Howell, 12-yd pass from Faloney; Convert Oneschuk
3          10:54   Wpg    TD, Shepard, 3-yd run; Convert Van Pelt
3          13:48   Ham    TD, Howell, 34-yd pass from Faloney; Convert Oneschuk
4          1:47     Wpg    TD, Van Pelt, 1-yd run; Convert Van Pelt
4          5:24     Wpg    Single, Shepard, 52-yd punt
Final: Winnipeg 35 Hamilton 28

Attendance: 36,567

1958 Grey Cup video

29thGrey Cup

Date: November 29, 1941
Site: Varsity Stadium, Toronto, Ontario

 

BLUE BOMBERS 18  OTTAWA ROUGH RIDERS 16

The Rough Riders were making their third consecutive appearance in the title game, while the Bombers arrived for their fifth Grey Cup in seven years dating back to 1935. The two squads served up a dandy final in a game played in perfect conditions – 15 degrees Celsius at kickoff.

The Bombers opened the scoring on a 24-yard field goal by Ches McCance, with Ottawa taking the lead back when Tony Golab’s short punt bounced back to him before he scrambled 45 yards for a TD. The Bombers tied the score at 9-9 in the second quarter after some shrewd work by punter Wayne Sheley. Noticing the Rough Riders appeared to be lining up for a punt block, Sheley completed a pass to Bud Marquardt and raced downfield before lateralling to Mel Wilson for a play that covered 45 yards.

Winnipeg took the lead early in the second half when Marquardt scooped up a fumble and rushed 44 yards for a TD and a 15-9 advantage. The Rough Riders countered with two field goals to tie the score at 15-15, but McCance hit on a 38-yard field goal while an Ottawa attempt from 17 yards out with less than four minutes remaining sailed wide to preserve an 18-16 win.

Key to the victory was some considerable scouting work done by the Bombers. After the game, Bombers coach Reg Threlfall held up a five-cent notepad and two scratch pads with contained all of Ottawa’s plays.

“This scribbler I’ve had for years,” Threlfall told reporters. “When we played Ottawa two years ago in the final I made diagrams of all their plays. This pad (holding up another) has diagrams of the Ottawa plays noted by (assistant coach) Bert Warwick when he scouted the Ottawa versus Hamilton Tigers game last week in Ottawa.

“And this one, I drew in the first quarter of the game today. Compare them – all the plays are the same!”

The 1941 Bombers Grey Cup lineup:


Head coach:
Reg Threlfall
GM: Joe Ryan
Roster: Lloyd Boivin (HB), Walter Chikowski (E), Wilf Daniels (T), Ken Draper (HB), Lloyd Evenson (G), Fritz Hanson (HB), Ben Hatskin (C), Art Kolisnyk (HB), Johnny Lake (HB, QB), Jim Lander (HB), Les Lear (G), Alex Lindsay (QB), Rube Ludwig (G, T), Jack Manners (T), Bud Marquardt (E), Ches McCance (E), Cliff McFadyen (E), Lou Mogul (T), Herb Peschel (T), Ken Preston (FW), Cliff Roseborough (G), Wayne Sheley (QB), Nate Shore (HB), Bernie Thornton (E), Mel Wilson (C)

Scoring:
Blue Bombers (18) – TDs: Mel Wilson, Bud Marquardt; Field goal: Ches McCance (2); Convert: Ches McCance (2)
Rough Riders (16) – TD: Tony Golab; Field goals: George Fraser (3); Convert: George Fraser; Single: George Fraser

Scoring Summary
Qtr       Time    Team   Scoring play
1          7:00     Wpg    FG, McCance 24 yds
1          10:00   Ott       TD, Golab, 45-yd run after recovering own onside kick; Convert Fraser
2          3:00     Ott       FG, Fraser, 15 yds
2          8:00     Wpg    TD, Wilson, 5-yd run after later from Marquardt following 40-yd pass from Sheley; Convert McCance
3          1:00     Wpg    TD, Marquardt, 44-yd fumble return; Convert McCance
3          5:00     Ott       FG, Fraser, 26 yds
3          10:00   Ott       FG, Fraser, 20 yds
3          14:00   Wpg    FG, McCance, 38 yds
4          11:30   Ott       Single, FG miss
Final: Winnipeg 18 Ottawa 16

Note: Scoring times are approximate

27thGrey Cup

Date: December 9, 1939
Site: Landsdowne Park, Ottawa Ontario

BLUE BOMBERS  8  OTTAWA ROUGH RIDERS  7

The Bombers were dealing with the emotional hangovers from Grey Cup losses to the Toronto Argonauts in 1937 and 1938 when they advanced to the 1939 championship by winning a two-game total-point West final over the Calgary Bronks.

Ottawa, playing in front of a home crowd, was heavily favoured heading into the game having out-scored their opposition 207-51 in 12 games prior to the Grey Cup. Conditions were far from perfect and the field was rock hard. In an attempt to soften the turf, organizers poured 400 gallons of gasoline on the field and let it ablaze the day before the game. But freezing conditions overnight didn’t help those efforts.

Ottawa opened the scoring, but the Bombers countered after recovering a fumble deep in Rough Rider territory, with Andy Bieber waltzing in for a seven-yard TD. The game’s scoring then came from singles on missed field goals. With the score tied 7-7 Jeff Nicklin recovered a fumbled punt for the Bombers at the Ottawa 34 to change field position. A subsequent Bombers punt into the end zone was kicked out by the Rough Riders, but shanked out of bounds only to their eight-yard line. And with 45 seconds remaining, Winnipeg’s Art Stevenson crushed a kick into the stands for a single and an 8-7 victory. Fritz Hanson, who played a critical role in the Bombers first Grey Cup win, was again superb in his punt returns and finishing with 126 yards rushing.

The 1939 Bombers Grey Cup lineup:


Head coach:
Reg Threlfall
GM: Joe Ryan
Roster: Harry Badger (HB), Andy Bieber (HB), Bill Boivin (HB), Bill Ceretti (G), Percy Daigle (HB), Marty Gainor (T), Fritz Hanson (HB), Ben Hatskin (C), Greg Kabat (G, HB, K), Les Lear (G), Bud Marquardt (E), Ches McCance (E), Lou Mogul (T), Bill Nairn (G, T, K), Jeff Nicklin (FW), Herb Peschel (T), Wayne Sheley (QB), Art Stevenson (HB), Mel Wilson (C)

Scoring:
Blue Bombers (8) – TDs: Andy Bieber; Singles: Greg Kabat (2); Art Stevenson
Rough Riders (7) – TD: Andy Tommy; Convert: Tiny Herman; Single: Tiny Herman

Scoring Summary
Qtr       Time    Team   Scoring play
1          7:00     Ott       TD, Tommy, 65-yd pass and run (Burke to Perley and then lateral to Tommy for final 28 yes); Convert Herman
1          11:00   Wpg    TD, Bieber, 7-yd run (convert failed)
2          0:30     Wpg    Single, Kabat, 42-yd missed field goal
4          2:00     Wpg    Single, Kabat, 24-yd missed field goal
4          8:00     Ott       Single, Herman, 25-yd missed field goal
4          14:15   Wpg    Single, Stevenson, punt through end zone
Final: Winnipeg 8 Ottawa 7

Attendance: 11,738

1939 Grey Cup video

23rd Grey Cup

Date: December 7, 1935
Site: Hamilton Amateur Athletic Association Grounds, Hamilton, Ontario

WINNIPEG ‘PEGS 18  HAMILTON TIGERS 12

The headline in The Winnipeg Free Press after the 1935 Grey Cup screamed: ‘Zowie! ‘Pegs Win’ and it captured the magnitude of the moment.

Not only did the victory mark the franchise’s first championship, it was the first Grey Cup title captured by a team from Western Canada and marked the first time a team had won with American players in its lineup.

The Tigers had dominated their opponents in the East and were heavily-favoured heading into the game. The 1935 Grey Cup was the first to be broadcast nationally on radio and Winnipeg fans were no doubt thrilled when the ‘Pegs – yet to be named the Blue Bombers – opened the scoring on a Bob Fritz 23-yard touchdown pass to Bud Marquardt. Winnipeg would score again through the air, after Russ Rebholz took a lateral from Fritz and then connected with Greg Kabat for a 33-yard touchdown.

Hamilton narrowed the Winnipeg lead to 12-10 when the star of the game – Fritz Hanson – would work some of his magic on a 78-yard punt return TD that proved to be the decisive score. Hanson, AKA the ‘Galloping Ghost’, ‘Twinkle Toes’ or the ‘Perham Flash’ (he hailed from Perham, Minnesota) would finish the day with an incredible 334 yards in punt returns.

The 1935 ‘Pegs Grey Cup lineup:


Head coach:
Bob Fritz
GM: Joe Ryan
Roster: Lou Adelman (C), Bill Ceretti (G), Johnny Christie, Arnie Coulter, Bob Fritz (QB), Fritz Hanson (HB), Dave Harding, Slush Harris, Eddie James (HB), Greg Kabat (G, HB, K), Tubber Kobrinski, Ed Kushner (W), Dick Lane, Eric Law, Bud Marquardt (E), Herb Mobberley, Lou Mogul (T), Jeff Nicklin (FW), Bert Oja (W), Nick Pagones, Johnny Patrick, Herb Peschel (T), Joe Perpich, Russ Rebholz (HB), Cliff Roseborough

Scoring Summary
Qtr       Time    Team   Scoring play
1          N/A     Wpg    TD, Marquardt, 23-yd pass from Fritz (convert failed)
1                      Ham    FG, Turville, 20 yds
2                      Wpg    TD, Kabat, 33-yard pass (Rebholz, after lateral from Fritz); Convert Rebholz
2                      Ham    Single, Turville
2                      Wpg    Single, Kabat, missed field goal
3                      Ham    TD, Paterson, 4-yd run
3                      Ham    Single, Turville
3                      Wpg    TD, Hanson, 78-yd punt return; Rebholz convert
4                      Ham    Safety, (Kabat conceded)
Final: Winnipeg 18 Hamilton 12

Attendance: 6,405