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HISTORY >> Grey Cup >> 1939

1939 – Winnipeg Blue Bombers 8, Ottawa Rough Riders 7

Venue: Lansdowne Park
Location: Ottawa, ON
Date: December 9
Attendance: 11,738
Winning Coach: Reg Threlfall

Despite the world at war once again, the battle for Canadian football supremacy continued.

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers played in their third consecutive Grey Cup final, but this time made sure they were rewarded for their efforts.

A last-second rouge gave Winnipeg its second title in five years in only the second Grey Cup game played in the nation’s capital. A costly error by Ottawa’s Orville Burke put the Blue Bombers in great field position, allowing Art Stevenson to kick the winning point.

The Rough Riders drew first blood in the first quarter when Burke fired a 40-yard pass to Rick Perley, who then threw a lateral pass to Andy Tommy who took it the rest of the way for a major.

Later in the quarter Burke made his first fumble of the game, and Winnipeg’s Lou Mogul fell on the ball on the Ottawa 10-yard line. Andy Bieher needed two cracks at the goal line to cut the Blue Bombers’ deficit to 6-5.

On the opening play of the second quarter Greg Kabat missed on a 42-yard field goal attempt, tying the score with a rouge.

This was all the scoring until the fourth quarter. Bill Ceretti blocked a punt on third down, which Les Lear recovered at the Ottawa 15. Kabat attempted another placement, but missed again for another rouge.

Ottawa had a chance to take the lead with three minutes to go, but Tiny Herman missed on an attempted field goal. His kick sailed right of the goal posts, but managed to tie the score at 7-7.

With overtime a real possibility, Stevenson kicked the ball to Burke. The ball eluded him and was recovered by Winnipeg’s Jeff Nicklin deep in Ottawa territory. Stevenson then attempted a single point, but Burke kicked the ball out of touch near the Ottawa 10-yard line. Stevenson made good on his second attempt, kicking the ball to the deadline for the winning point.

The Rough Riders had three more plays to move down field, but could not snatch victory from the hands of defeat.

Winnipeg won the title despite playing at a disadvantage. Western rules allowed linemen to block 10 yards past the line of scrimmage, while the East played under a three-yard rule. The Blue Bombers were forced to play under the Eastern standard.

The game was played on a snow-covered field at temperatures hovering around minus-5 degrees Celsius.

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