Montreal Alouettes

Don Sweet - Kicker - 1972-84 - Washington State

 

A Sweet day in '77 - Kevin Gillies - KGillies@abbotsfordtimes.com

One Abbotsford man is the answer to a trivia question being asked all across Canada this week.

 

Who, in a Grey Cup game between the Edmonton Eskimos and the Montreal Alouettes, set the league record for scoring the most points in a Grey Cup game?

 

Well the answer is none other than Heritage Park secondary school vice-principal Don Sweet. Then the Alouettes' place kicker, 55-year-old Sweet now lives in Abbotsford and has made a career for himself teaching kids in both Abbotsford and Mission.

 

But for the record, it was Nov. 27, 1977 in Montreal's brand new Olympic Stadium. There, before a record crowd of 68,318 - an attendance record that still stands - the Alouettes defeated the Eskimos 41-6 on a winter day when the field was so slick the game is fondly remembered as "The Ice Bowl."

 

Under those conditions, Sweet scored 23 points and set his single-player point record for any Canadian Fall Classic. He was good on six of seven field goal attempts, he added two converts and two singles, or "rouges" as they're known in the CFL.

The record still stands today, along with two others - most points scored by a Canadian player [23] and the highest number of field goals in a Grey Cup game [six].

 

The last record has been tied by two other kickers but never broken.

 

Don Sweet       Washington State  
  Conv     Field Goal    
Yr Team A G % A G % LG Pts
1972 Mtl 30 21 70% 20 8 40% 42 52
1973 Mtl 29 29 100% 29 19 66% 45 87
1974 Mtl 38 32 84% 41 24 59% 52 109
1975 Mtl 25 25 100% 38 25 66% 47 107
1976 Mtl 23 23 100% 50 38 76% 47 141
1977 Mtl 27 27 100% 46 35 76% 49 136
1978 Mtl 31 31 100% 35 30 86% 46 123
1979 Mtl 38 38 100% 32 22 69% 47 111
1980 Mtl 7 7 100% 11 7 64% 38 34
1981 Mtl 13 13 100% 20 13 65% 47 56
1982 Mtl 18 16 89% 38 27 71% 51 109
1983 Mtl 36 36 100% 46 31 67% 52 137
1984 Mtl 27 27 100% 43 33 77% 48 131
1985 Ham 2 2 100% 8 2 25% 41 9
Total 14 344 327 95% 457 314 69% 52 141

The new field, artificial turf, had been covered with snow so stadium workers covered it with a saline solution to melt the

 snow. The plan backfired and the field iced over

 

"One of our players, Tony Proudfoot, went and grabbed a staple gun and started stapling his shoes," Sweet recalled. The players were wearing turf shoes that had numerous nipples on their soles. Proudfoot stapled crosses on each nipple.

"I think it worked pretty good. I'd approach the ball cautiously," Sweet explained. "The big thing was the plant foot, to make sure that didn't slip."

 

Last month Sweet attended a 25-year reunion of the win with players and coaches from across North America.

"It was the most outstanding day I've ever felt," he said. "The most heartwarming feeling was seeing [former coach] Marv Levy and wondering how many Grey Cups we would we have won had Marv stayed."

 

As a place kicker for the Als, Sweet played in five Grey Cup games in the 1970s, winning two. He would be named the game's outstanding Canadian player - one of three times he would be recognized for that, another record.

 

The 61 points Sweet scored in those five Grey Cup games between 1972-85 ranks second only to former Eskimo kicker Dave Cutler who put up 72 points between 1969-84 - including the six in the 1977 game. Sweet's 17 Grey Cup field goals were only eclipsed by Cutler's 18 and he remains ranked fourth overall in most Grey Cup kickoffs and is tied for third in number of kickoffs in one game - the 1997 Grey Cup - with eight.

 

It was one sweet day to remember in his life.