Location: Toronto, ON
Date: November 26
Winning Coach: Hugh Campbell
Outstanding Offensive Player: Tom Wilkinson, QB, Edmonton
Outstanding Defensive Player: Dave Fennell, DT, Edmonton
Outstanding Canadian: Angelo Santucci, RB, Edmonton
For the second time in the 1970s, the Montreal Alouettes failed to repeat as Grey Cup champions against the Edmonton Eskimos. Unlike the previous year in Montreal, the Alouettes’ offence was handcuffed by a tough Alberta Crude defence at Toronto’s Exhibition Stadium.
The Eskimos jumped out to a 10-0 lead. Dave Cutler booted a 37-yard field goal to open the scoring and Jim Germany scored on a two-yard run for Edmonton’s lone touchdown. The play was set up by David Green’s fumble and a successful fake field goal by the Eskimos. Don Sweet then put the Alouettes on the scoreboard with a 32-yard field goal before the end of the first quarter.
Cutler failed on a 31-yard field goal attempt late in the first half which gave the Eskimos a point. Randy Rhino then fumbled Hank Ilesic’s punt, allowing Cutler to make good on a 35-yard attempt before halftime.
With the Eskimos ahead 17-3 late in the third quarter, Tom Wilkinson and Germany mishandled a hand off which Alouettes defensive tackle Gord Judges recovered on the Edmonton 10. Two plays later, Montreal quarterback Joe Barnes ran 10 yards for the major.
Montreal backup quarterback Sonny Wade, like previous Grey Cups, got the call again midway through the fourth quarter and the Alouettes trailing 17-10. Vernon Perry had intercepted a Wilkinson pass, putting the Alouettes on the Edmonton 31. Montreal had to settle for a field goal by Sweet to narrow the gap to 17-13.
With 90 seconds left in regulation, Wade faked a punt on third down in Montreal territory. With no receivers to throw to down field, Wade got sacked by Dave Fennell. Cutler would use the great field position to kick his fourth field goal of the game to give the Eskimos some breathing room. He was responsible for 14 of the Eskimos’ 20 points.
Wade drove the Alouettes down to the Edmonton 27 with the time he had left, and needed only one yard for the first down. But Wade elected to throw down field, and two incomplete passes ended any hopes of a Montreal miracle comeback.
Following the game, the Grey Cup was damaged after Wilkinson accidentally dropped the trophy after being bumped by some rowdy fans. Dan Kepley caught it, but he too got knocked and the mug dropped to the turf and broke. “I shouldn’t have dropped the Grey Cup. The Alouettes hit me a lot harder than that,” said Wilkinson.