Edmonton Eskimos 1954 - 1956
The 1954 to 1956 Edmonton Eskimo teams were the “original dynasty” of the Edmonton Eskimos proud tradition. The Eskimos won three straight Grey Cup Championships during this time.
In 1954, the nine-team, two-division league format was formed, and the modern era of the CFL was born. Using a chalk board to diagram plays, Eskimo coach “Pop” Ivy revolutionized Canadian football when he created offensive and defensive plays that are considered to be the most innovative plays and player formations in the game. He came up with the “lonesome quarterback” set which was a forerunner of the shotgun play. His created the twin-fullback formation that enabled fullbacks, Normie Kwong and Johnny Bright to play on the field at the same time; they led the league in rushing yards for the next five years. Halfbacks Rollie Miles and Jackie Parker made running sweeps, counter plays and created double-pass routes.
“Nobody could stop it…it set the league on fire” said former Eskimo Bob Dean.
The Edmonton Eskimos and the Montreal Alouettes were the top in the league in 1954 when they met for the Grey Cup game, a thrilling 26-25 Eskimos win, that featured Jackie Parker’s fumble recovery and 84 yard touchdown – one of the most famous plays in Canadian sports history. In 1955, Normie Kwong rushed for 145 yards and led the Eskimos to a 34-19 Grey Cup victory over the Alouettes. Both teams set a Grey Cup record, establishing 1,115 total yards of offence. Edmonton beat Montreal in 1956, as they won 50-27. The game is the third-highest scoring game in Grey Cup history and set the record for most touchdowns by both clubs with eleven (seven by the Eskimos). Johnny Bright set a Grey Cup record when he rushed for 171 yards.
The three championship games helped put the Grey Cup game on the map and produced over 3,200 yards of total offence and 181 total points. The Eskimo players are some of the greatest players to play the game and include the names of CFL Hall of Famers “Johnny Bright, Bernie Faloney, Normie Kwong, Rollie Miles, Frank Morris, Roger Nelson, Jackie Parker, and Bill Zock.
Ivy, Frank “Pop”*
Zock, William “Bill”*