Chicago Bears 34

Montreal Alouettes 16


Aug. 5, 1961


The Bears and the Alouettes met at Molson Stadium in Montreal on August 5, 1961. The Quebec populous were intrigued by the prospect of a contest between the two leagues in the days leading up to the game. Of course, the American teams were expected to be much stronger. Perry Moss, former Packer star and the youngest college head football coach in the US at Florida State, was the newly acquired head coach of the Alouettes in 1961. Montreal had offered Moss 5% of the team and a substantial raise to head north. He would go on to coach in the NFL, WFL, USFL and Arena League. Moss told the press before the game, "We perhaps will lose 50-0 or 80-0, maybe it will be closer. I do not believe that it is important. What is important is to prove with the majority our players, who have never faced the talent of the NFL, that they also are human beings; that they also make errors." George Halas, legendary founder of the NFL, was the coach of the Chicago Bears. The contest featured a bench clearing brawl. The Canadian Press mentioned this, the Chicago Tribune did not.




No Convert to NFL Games As Bears Beat Als 34-16


Amid the confusion of a set of dual rules, Chicago Bears failed to convert any Canadian fans to their game in clawing the Alouettes 34-16 at Molson Stadium Saturday night.


The Bears gave the Larks a taste of their three-pronged aerial attack, an item that the Als patented in the mid-fifties when they dominated the eastern sector of the Canadian game.


Three field generals completed 29 of 41 aerials for the Bears but that and a threatening player brawl were the only features of the game that Canadian fandom seemed to relish. Four players were ejected from the game for fighting.


In between the passing, however, the Teddy Bears held various picnics on the field during the 90-second time outs permitted in the National Football League.


Meanwhile the 16,293 fans were left twiddling their thumbs without even a suds commercial to hold their attention.


Even Chicago's owner-coach George Halas agreed that the Canadians 'have something' in their brand of football.


"You have a good, lively game of football up here." remarked Halas. "Just what the Canadians have been telling me for years now. I've only seen movies before. That extra player sure comes in handy sometimes."


The Bears used their ghost-fielder as a flanker and QBs Ed Brown, Billy Wade and Dick Norman found him useful several times in completing 74 per cent of their passes.


The Als held the lead twice (3-0 and 9-7) and only trailed 20-9 at three-quarter time. But the Bears became re-acclimatized to their game in the final 15 minutes as the Als only had the ball for eight plays.


Rick Casares collected two touchdowns for the Bears while John Farrington, Angelo Coia and Harlon Hill added the others. Roger Leclerc booted four converts.


Don Clark completed a 64-yard pass-and-run play from Tom Dimitroff for the Larks' only major from offense while George Deiderich ran an interception back 53 yards for the second major.


Bill Bewley hoofed a 32-yard field goal and added one convert for the Als.


Four Chicago majors came through the air with Brown and Wade each firing two. Coia scored the longest one on a 46-yard jaunt.


Three of the four players were thumbed off the field two minutes before half-time when a pier six brawl threatened. Billy Ray Locklin of the Als and Stan Fanning and Bobby Bethune were ejected.


The fight started while everyone was watching a Wade-to-Farrington completion in the left corner of the field which was nullified by the penalty.


Several players ran onto the field from the Chicago bench and the Als swarmed right behind. None of them entered the fisticuffs which had subsided by that time anyway.


The fight stemmed from the previous play when Paquette was penalized for piling on Fanning, the biggest grizzly of them all.


That wasn't the only time they took offense to it. Jacki Simpson was ejected in the second half.


The Als bench came onto the field as coach Perry Moss used every available body except for three quarterback candidates- Jerry Thompkins, Gerry Doucette and Nels Yarbrough, who retained his first string post after the game.


Dimitroff distinguished himself on the Clark pass but otherwise played himself off the quarterback sweepstakes as did Gideon despite an awesome beginning.


Gideon, who played the second half, had a noisy cheering section behind him but he committed the lone fumble in the game- after a fine first-down rush and later had a pass intercepted.


The Bears converted both into TDs to provide part of their 401 yards through the air and 32 first downs- to eight for the Als.


Alouettes Don Clark eludes Bears' Justin Roland. The Bears' Charles Bivins escapes from Jim Butler (left) and Billy Ray Locklin in the inset photo.





Bears Beat Canadian Pros, 34-16

Chicago Tribune


MONTREAL, Aug. 8 [Special]- The Chicago Bears, held to a 13 to 9 first half lead by the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League, scored three touchdowns in the second half tonight to win, 34 to 16.


The contest was the first of six exhibitions for the Bears, the final one coming on Sept 8 in the annual armed forces' benefit game against the Pitts­burgh Steelers in Soldiers' field.


The first half was played under Canadian roles, and the second by National Football league regulations, which might explain the Bears' problems during the first 90 minutes. Canadian rules require a team to make a first down in three plays instead of four. Also, there are bans on downfield blocking and the making of a fair catch of a punt


Despite their slow start, the Bears picked up 516 yards, including 401 by passing and 115 on the ground. They used three quarterbacks- Ed Brown, Bill Wade, and Dick Norman- and the trio combined for 29 completions in 41 attempts be­fore 16,293.


On the ground, Fullback Rick Cesares and halfbacks Willie Galimore and Johnny Morris led the attack. Morris picked up 41 yards in five carries; Cesares, 27 in six, and Galimore, 29 in six.


Brown was the leading passer for the Bears, completing 11 out of 14 for 202 yards. Wade completed 13 out of 21 for 131 yards and Rookie Norman hit five of six for 80 yards.


The Alouettes opened the scoring at 4:40 of the first quar­ter when Bill Bewley kicked a 32 yard field goal. The Bears bounced back to take a 7 to 3 lead at the end of the first quarter when Brown pitched a 30 yard touchdown pass to John Farrington. Roger LeClerc added the extra point.


Montreal took a 9 to 7 lead at 4:56 of the second quarter on a 64 yard pass from Tom Dimitroff to Don Clark. Bewley missed the extra point kick.


The Bears went ahead to stay at 13:50 of the second quarter when Wade threw a 14 yard pass to Cesares in the end zone. LeClerc missed on the extra point attempt to leave the Bears ahead at the half, 13 to 9.


The Bears completely dominated play in the second half under National Football league rules with Brown throwing 47 yards to Angelo Coia at 2:35 of the third quarter; Wade tossing to 19 yards to Harlon Hill at 4:50 of the fourth quarter, and Cesares climaxing a 50 yard drive with a three yard plunge at 8.10 of the final period. LeClerc added all three extra points to make it 34 to 9 before the Canadians added a final touchdown on George Deiderich's 47 yard runback on an interception of a Norman pass. Bewley added the extra point.


Fight photos from the Montreal Gazette (left) and a Gazette cartoon prior to the game.




Chicago Bears






Montreal Allouettes







Scoring Summary


First Quarter

MTL- FG Bewley 39

CHI-  Farrington 30 yard pass from Brown (Leclerc kick)


Second Quarter

MTL- Clark 64 yard pass-run from Dimitroff (kick failed)

CHI- Cesares 14 yard pass from Wade (kick failed)


Third Quarter

CHI- Coia 47 pass from Brown (Leclerc kick)


Fourth Quarter

CHI- Hill 10 yard pass from Wade (Leclerc kick)

CHI- Cesares 3 run (Leclerc kick)

MTL- Diderich 53 yard pass interception (Bewley kick)



Regular Season:

In 1961, Montreal finished 4-9-1, last in the Eastern Division and failed to make the playoffs. Montreal’s stars were Don Clark, Milton Crain, and Marv Luster on offense and Billy Ray Locklin, Bobby Jack Olivier and Ron Brewer on defense. The Bears were 8-6-0 and finished 5th in the Western Conference. Chicago was led by quarterback Bill Wade, fullback Rick Cesares and tight end Mike Ditka.