Location: Vancouver, BC
Date: November 30
Winning Coach: Ralph Sazio
The Hamilton Tiger-Cats had proven to be the team to beat in the Eastern Conference for a decade. From 1953 to 1962, the Ticats played in six Grey Cups. The problem was they only came away with two victories. They had also suffered four consecutive losses in the big game.
The Ticats were back in familiar territory in 1963, but they were facing an entirely new foe. All six of their previous Grey Cup appearances had been against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. But for the first time in their young franchise history, the B.C. Lions had made it to the national stage. The Lions had only made it to the playoffs once in their previous nine seasons, but finished on top of the standings in 1963 en route to a Grey Cup appearance in Vancouver.
Unfortunately for the Lions, they were forced to deal with injuries to both Sonny Homer and Ron Morris. Making matters worse was a questionable hit by Hamilton’s Angelo Mosca against B.C.’s Willie Fleming which knocked him out of the game with a concussion late in the first half. The Lions claimed Fleming was already down along the sidelines when Mosca made contact; the Ticats on the other hand believed it was a legal tackle. Either way, the Lions had to play the remainder of the game without their star offensive player.
The clubs battled through a scoreless first quarter, although the Ticats had a golden opportunity to put points on the scoreboard. Bobby Kuntz blocked a punt which Gene Ceppetelli recovered, but the Ticats were held in check on the B.C. three-yard line.
The Ticats finally broke the ice on a 10 play, 89-yard drive in the second quarter which ended on a four-yard touchdown catch by Willie Bethea. Hamilton took a 14-3 into halftime when Art Baker plunged over the goal line late.
The Ticats struck quickly early in the third quarter when Hal Patterson took in a pass from Bernie Faloney for a 70-yard touchdown, shaking off a tackle by Steve Shafer in the process.
B.C.’s lone touchdown came in the dying moments, when Joe Kapp led an 81-yard drive in six plays, culminating in Mack Burton five-yard catch deep in the Hamilton end zone.
The win gave Hamilton’s Ralph Sazio a Grey Cup title in his rookie season as head coach.