Venue: A.A.A. Grounds
Location: Hamilton, ON
Date: December 1
Winning Coach: Mike Rodden
The Grey Cup trophy returned to Hamilton in 1928 for the first time since the Great War. The Tigers missed out on a chance to win the championship the previous season against Balmy Beach and made sure not to let the opportunity slip a second time.
The Regina Roughriders returned to the Grey Cup final after a six-year absence, bringing an impressive resume East. The Roughriders hadn’t lost a game in three years, not allowing a touchdown to be scored against them. Both streaks came to an end against the Tigers.
Hamilton took quick advantage of a Roughriders turnover, recovering the ball on the Regina 35. Five plays later, Brian Timmis plowed through for a touchdown giving the Tigers all the points they would need.
But after their initial score the Tigers played haphazardly, fumbling the ball often. They only added one point to their total before halftime, keeping the Roughriders in the game.
Any thoughts of the Grey Cup trophy heading West for the first time were quickly dashed in the third quarter. After Huck Welch kicked a rouge, a fumbled pass from a Regina player allowed Jack Baker a chance to dribble the ball. The oval ultimately landed across the Roughriders goal line where a fleet-footed Jimmy Simpson fell on it for a touchdown.
After Ken Walker scored following Pep Leadley’s perfect onside kick, a Leadley-to-Glen Small-to-Simpson combination run led to the latter’s second touchdown of the game. Timmis went on to score his second major in the fourth quarter.
The Roughriders made their second trip to the Grey Cup final without scoring a single point. They came close when Leadley’s daring pass to Walker was intercepted by Jack Erskine, who returned the ball to the Hamilton 10. Following two failed plunges, the Roughriders appeared ready to kick the ball into the crowd for a point, but opted for an onside kick. Leadley was ready for it, and ran it out of the end zone.
A couple of Roughriders caused a stir when they played with bare legs exposed. The players argued that by playing without their socks, they wouldn’t have to carry the extra weight on the muddy field. Eastern fans referred to these players as daredevils.
The 1928 classic marked the first time a play-by-play broadcast of the game was available on radio.