- 59th Grey Cup
Grey Cupwas played on November 28, 1971, before 34,404 fans at Vancouver's Empire Stadium.
Calgary Stampedersbeat the Toronto Argonautson a slick rain covered field in an extremely close 14 to 11 match.
Calgary - TD -
Herm Harrison14 yard pass from Jerry Keeling( Larry Robinsonconvert)
Toronto - FG -
Ivan MacMillan11 yards
Calgary - TD -
Jesse Mims6 yard run ( Larry Robinsonconvert)
Toronto - TD -
Roger Scales33 yard fumble return (lateral from Joe Vijuk) ( Ivan MacMillanconvert)
Toronto - Rouge -
Ivan MacMillan27 yard missed FG
The Argos had high hopes that this, their first Grey Cup appearance since 1952, would end in victory. It had been raining on this cold November day and sheets of water lay over the artificial turf at Vancouver's Empire Stadium.
Calgary opened with a Keeling to Harrison passing touchdown. Toronto countered with a big play, a 55-yard pass reception by fan favourite tight end
Mel Profit, but would come away from this drive deep into Stampeder territory with only a field goal. Jesse Mimsadded another Stampeder major, ending the scoring for the half and for Calgary on the day.
The second half saw Theismann replaced by "Greg Barton", but the Argos could not move the ball.
Their only touchdown came when sure-handed Calgary punt returner
Jim Silyedropped a kick which was then recovered by Joe Vijuk. Vijuk had the presence of mind to lateral to Roger Scales, who ran 33 yards for the touchdown. Dick Thornton, a great two way player who had already made a fantastic reception, intercepted a Calgary pass and returned it to the Calgary 11-yard line. With Theismann back in the game, he handed the ball off to Leon McQuay, the Argonauts' star running back. He cut left across the field, and promptly slipped and fumbled the ball, which was recovered Stampeder Reggie Holmes.
Toronto still had a chance as there was 1:53 left in the game, and Calgary was in a deep hole. Not getting a first down they had to punt. Unfortunately, the punt returner,
Harry Abofs, in an effort to capture the wet ball, accidentally kicked it out of bounds while reaching down. CFL rules state that when a ball is kicked out of bounds, possession goes to the other team so Calgary resumed possession. If Abofs had knocked the ball out of bounds with his hand, Toronto would have had one last chance.
But that he did not do, and
Calgarywas the 1971 Grey Cupchampion.
The 10-4 Argonauts faced the 9-6-1 Stampeders for the first time in the Grey Cup. Both teams finished in first place in their divisions, but Toronto, led by star rookie quarterback
Joe Theismannwas the favourite. Calgary was making their second straight appearance in the Grey Cup game, but had not won it since the famous 1948 game. Toronto had nearly as long a drought, with their last victory coming in 1952.
Grey Cupwas the first to be played on artificial (tartan) turf.
Leo Cahill, who won the 1971 Coach of the Year award, would later say, "When Leon (McQuay) slipped, I fell." He was fired in 1972 after the team, beset by injuries, stumbled to a 3-11 finish.
Jim Silye was later a
Member of Parliamentfor Calgary.
58th Grey Cup
60th Grey Cup
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