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HISTORY >> Grey Cup >> 1936

1936 – Sarnia Imperials 26, Ottawa Rough Riders 20

Venue: Varsity Stadium
Location: Toronto, ON
Date: December 5
Attendance: 5,883
Winning Coach: Art Massucci

A year following Western Canada’s first Grey Cup win another dispute between the Western Canada Rugby Football Union and the Canadian Football Union resulted in the Grey Cup being awarded to the Eastern champion.

The CRU ruled that only U.S. residents of Canada before January 1 were eligible to play in the Grey Cup. Since the Regina Roughriders had five ineligible imports on their roster, they withdrew their challenge. The parties attempted to reconcile but it was to no avail.

The Eastern Final turned out to be one of the better games ever contested for the Grey Cup. Sarnia jumped out to a 12-0 lead. Mike Clawson’s recovery of an Ottawa fumble 10 yards from the goal line paved the way for Ormond Beach’s run into the end zone.

Sarnia scored again on an Alex Hayes-to-Rocky Parsaca-to-Mike Hedgewick end run which started 45 yards out and ended with Hedgewick flying across the goal line.

The Rough Riders finally got on the scoreboard 10 minutes into the contest when Tommy Daley went around the end and fired a lateral pass to Andy Tommy who ran 35 yards to paydirt. Ottawa evened the score in the second quarter as Tiny Herman smothered a Sarnia fumble on the Imperials’ 30. Dave Sprague and Bunny Wadsworth took turns hammering the Imps back towards their goal line. Wadsworth fumbled as he crossed the line, but was awarded a touchdown.

Poor kicking by Ottawa’s Rocky Rocanno resulted in the Imps restoring their 12-point advantage. Rocanno kicked it out of touch at his own 25 setting up Beach’s second touchdown of the game.

Rocanno kicked it into touch again as the Ottawa 35, giving the Imperials great field position. Hedgewick ran around the right end for 15, Beach plunged for 10, and Hedgewick streaked around the end again for the try. Sarnia had a 24-12 at halftime.

Ottawa cut the deficit by two in the third quarter on a pair of rouges. The Rough Riders came out determined in the final 15 minutes. On a drive start from the Ottawa 40, the Riders stormed down field, scoring on Arnie Morrison’s run around the end.

With time running out, Ottawa had one last chance to tie the score. On third down and seven yards from the end zone, the ball was snapped back to Jack Leore, who sidestepped a tackle and threw the ball hard and low. Hedgewick came out of no where to bat the ball down and secure the win for the Imps.

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