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HISTORY >> Grey Cup >> 1951

1951 – Ottawa Rough Riders 21, Saskatchewan Roughriders 14

Venue: Varsity Stadium
Location: Toronto, ON
Date: November 24
Attendance: 27,341
Winning Coach: Clem Crowe

After a 17-year absence, the Saskatchewan Roughriders returned to the Grey Cup final. Their losing streak in the big game continued, however, as it was the other Rough Riders that took home the prize.

Ottawa outmatched Saskatchewan for three quarters before the Westerners made it interesting in the final 15 minutes. It took a last minute single to preserve the victory for the nation’s capital.

With the wind at his back in the first quarter, Glenn Dobbs booted an 87-yard single followed by a 75-yard kick to give Saskatchewan a 2-0 lead.

Ottawa then struck for three touchdowns. A 68-yard gain by Howie Turner set the Easterners up at the three-yard line, and Benny MacDonnell smashed over centre for the major.

A fumble by Saskatchewan’s Mickey Maguire at his own 29-yard line set up Ottawa’s second touchdown. Tom O’Malley fired to Alton Baldwin at the two-yard line, who then crossed over the goal line for the score.

In the third quarter O’Malley hit Pete Karpuk with a 40-yard pass that was caught on the Saskatchewan 25. Karpuk beat Del Wardien to the goal line, giving Ottawa its third TD.

With Ottawa leading 19-2 in the final quarter, Bruce Cummings banged home a single point, putting the East Riders up by 18.

But Saskatchewan forged itself back into the contest. MacDonnell fumbled the ball which Roy Wright recovered at the Ottawa 30. Dobbs completed a pass to Jack Nix on the three-yard line, and Nix struggled across the goal line for the major.

Two minutes later, another Ottawa miscue gave Saskatchewan the ball again. Turner went under a swarm of Western tacklers and lost his handle on the ball. Red Ettinger recovered the ball deep in Ottawa territory, and a few plays later, Dobbs faked out the defence to provide Sully Glasser a huge opening for a touchdown.

The game was lost for Saskatchewan in the final two minutes. Mickey Maguire, trying to make a running catch on a punt, fumbled on his own nine-yard line which was recovered by Bob Gain. After two failed pass attempts, Cummings put it out of reach with a single.

Freshman head coach Clem Crowe matched Frank Clair’s feat of a year ago, winning the Grey Cup in his first year in Canadian football.

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