Fritz Hanson slipped by his tacklers on a slippery field
|Former Perham high school and North Dakota State|
halfback Fritz Hanson runs for the winning touchdown
for Winnipeg in the 1935 Canadian national championship,
the Grey Cup.
Winnipeg and Hamilton played the 1935 Grey Cup game on a slippery field in Hamilton. Throughout the entire game, both teams had kicked often for field position and they chose to kick instead of receive after an opponent scored. Winnipeg’s line forced Hamilton's kickers to get their punts away fast and their kicks traveled for shorter-than-normal distances. As a result, Tigers tacklers couldn’t get downfield fast enough. When Winnipeg's Fritz Hanson caught the ball on his returns he made up for lost field position with large gains in the open. He tallied returns of 75, 52, and 45 yards and several more for at least 25 yards apiece. After Hanson's 75-yard touchdown return (shown here in a December 10, 1935, Winnipeg Tribune photograph), the Tigers started aiming their punts toward Winnipeg teammate Russ Rebholz, instead, but Rebholz just fielded the ball and lateraled it across the grid to Hanson. In total, Fritz Hanson gained 334 yards on punt returns under Canadian rules with no blockers in the open field. (At the time, blocking was illegal on returns.) Afterward, Tigers fans complained that their kickers should have kicked their punts out of bounds to keep them away from Hanson.