Location: Toronto, ON
Date: November 27
Winning Coach: Ralph Sazio
Familiar rivals squared off in the 1965 edition of the Grey Cup, as the Hamilton Tiger-Cats battled the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
It marked the seventh time in 13 years that the two clubs were opponents in the national championship, with the Blue Bombers holding a 4-2 edge in these games. History was not on Winnipeg’s side in this one, however, as the Ticats prevailed to win their second championship in three seasons on the strength of a dominant defence.
Weather conditions were a factor, as Winnipeg head coach Bud Grant opted to concede three safeties rather than risk kicking into a 30 to 40 mile per hour wind in the first and third quarters. It turned out to be the margin of victory in this game.
Grant, Hamilton head coach Ralph Sazio and CFL officials decided to change the rules because of the wind. Punts into the wind would be ruled dead as soon as a receiver touched the ball.
Leading 1-0 in the opening quarter, Hamilton scored the game’s first major when Frank Cosentino pitched a pass to Dick Cohee, who ran over Henry Janzen for a seven-yard scoring play. The Ticats survived a third-down gamble to keep their scoring drive alive, which was also aided by a 32-yard run by Cohee.
Trailing 10-0, the Blue Bombers cut into their deficit in the second quarter when Art Perkins broke a number of tackles for an eight-yard touchdown run. Winnipeg failed on its convert attempt, but were able to take a 13-10 lead before halftime when Leo Lewis scored on a five-yard run.
The Ticats took control of the game in the third quarter. Joe Zuger connected with Willie Bethea for a 69-yard passing touchdown, giving Hamilton the lead for good. Following a couple of conceded safeties by the Blue Bombers, Zuger avoided near disaster for the Ticats when he recovered a high snap on his 30-yard line and kicked the ball over Billy Cooper and into the Winnipeg end zone for a single point.
A field goal by Norm Winston in the fourth quarter was as close as the Blue Bombers would get.
The Ticats won with a relatively new squad as compared to the previous season. Nine of Hamilton’s starters in the Grey Cup weren’t with the team in 1964.
The game marked Winnipeg’s last appearance in the Grey Cup until 1984.