September 7, 2005

Grey Cup Memories: 1922

1922 – Queen's University 13, Edmonton Elks 1

The Edmonton Eskimos, renamed the Elks, made it to consecutive Grey Cup games, but suffered the same fate as they did in 1921. The only difference was that the Elks actually got on the scoreboard, and led their opponents at halftime.

It was the first and only time the Grey Cup game was played in Kingston, but it wasn't a memorable one. After victories against the University of Toronto and Toronto Argonauts, the past two Grey Cup winners, Queen's was expected to steamroll over the Elks. Richardson Stadium overflowed with fans, some of whom were forced to stand around the playing field, but the small venue meant only 4,700 could watch the game.

The Elks were weary following a four-day journey by train that brought them into Kingston at midnight on game day. But it didn't stop them from taking a 1-0 lead into halftime on a rouge by Jack Fraser.

After a verbal tirade by coach Billy Hughes, Queen's looked like their dominant selves in the third quarter. After a pair of rouges off the foot of Pep Leadlay which gave the students a 2-1 lead, Edmonton's Scotty Brown dropped a punt at his own 30-yard line, which was recovered by Queen's and returned ten yards. Harry Batstone and Johnny Evans carried Queen's to the five-yard line, and then Charlie Mundell crashed through the line for a try. Leadlay was good on the convert.

On the ensuing kickoff, Queen's recovered George Day's fumble on the Elks' 40-yard line just as time expired in the third quarter. The students drove down the field to begin the fourth, and from the 10-yard line Dave Harding marched through a hole as wide as one of the Thousand Islands, running the ball between the goal posts.

Following the game, a banquet was held in the players' honour, followed by a dance with the student body. The Elks were asked to attend, but they refused, upset over a lack of hospitality by the winning side. They were also irritated with the officiating, with one member of the club saying that they would have to be twice as good as their Eastern opponent if they ever hoped to offset the unfavourable decisions of the Eastern officials.

Edmonton would not send a team to the Grey Cup again until the 1940s. For Queen's, however, it was the beginning of a dynasty.