Sonny Wade, QB, Montreal
It was an unlikely group that sipped from the Grey Cup in 1970.
The Montreal Alouettes were a team in limbo a year prior, winning just two games. But with a new owner, new management, new coaching staff and 21 new players, the Als did what many thought to be impossible, returning the title to Montreal for the first time since 1949.
Their opponents, the Calgary Stampeders, were playing in their second Grey Cup game in three years. They had not won a national championship since 1948.
Much like they did all season, the Als started out of the gate slow, but got it going when it counted most. Sonny Wade’s first pass attempt was intercepted by Calgary’s Frank Andruski, putting the Stampeders on the Montreal 49. After the Als defence forced Calgary to punt, the kick bounced off Bob Storey’s chest and was recovered by the Stamps 15 yards from the Montreal end zone. Two plays later, Hugh McInnis punched it in to put Calgary out in front.
The Alouettes responded with a major of their own on what appeared to be a broken play deep in Calgary territory. Halfback Moses Denson was trapped for a loss by Terry Wilson, but before he hit the turf he threw to Ted Alfien in the end zone. George Springate missed the convert, as Calgary preserved a one-point lead.
The Als took a 9-7 advantage into the third quarter courtesy of a 21-yard field goal by Springate. But another Montreal turnover would put the Stamps in front again. A high snap on an Als punt attempt allowed Calgary’s Dick Suderman to recover the ball on the Montreal 34, setting up a field goal by Larry Robinson.
The Als took control of their destiny later in the quarter. Al Phaneuf made his second interception of the game off of Jerry Keeling, returning the ball to the Calgary 27. Wade dropped back on what looked to be a pass attempt, but handed off to Tom Pullen for an easy score.
It turned out to be all the Als needed, but they added one more for good measure in the final quarter. Wade hit Gary Lefebvre on a touchdown pass, sealing top player honours.
The Stampders were very vocal about the poor field conditions at Toronto’s Exhibition Stadium, with head coach Jim Duncan calling it a “disgrace”.