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The Hamilton Tigers were the early favorite in the IRFU and featured a couple of new players. Johnny Evans, former Queen's quarterback joined he team as did Brian Timmis who had starred with Regina and then Ottawa in 1923. The Tigers lived up to thei rbilling, going 5-1. The main opposition for the Tigers came from the 4-2 Argnonauts, led by star halfback Joseph Breen. Indeed, the Argos handed Hamilton their only regular season loss. The Ottawa team, running under the name Senators instead of the usual Rough Riders, were in a rebuilding year, while the Montreal Winged Wheelers were 1-5, despite having one of the top stars of the league in Jeff Russell at flying wing.
Despite the loss of Evans and other players, tTwo time defending Grey Cup Chamption Queen's University would roll through university play undefeated led by star halfbacks Pep Leadley and Harry Batstone.
In the West, the provincial winners were the Winnipeg Victorias in Manitoba, Regina Rough Riders in Saskatchewan and the Calgary 50th Battalion in Alberta. The 50th Battalion team was a young and speedy team with many players just out of high school or still in high school, and they were too much for the Edmonton Eskimos who had dominated Alberta senior football since the end of the war.
In the East playoffs, Queen's proved too much for the Hamilton Tigers in the East semi-final, beating them 11-1 and setting up an East fina with the upstart Balmy Beach team
Out West, the Calgary 50th had no problems beating the University of Alberta to be declared the Alberta champions and await the winner of the game between the Winnipeg Victorias and the Regina Roughriders. The Riders, minus star flying wing Howie Milne were no match for the Victorias in the West Semi-Final. The Victorias would then go on to beat the Calgary 50th in the West final. That should have sent the Victorias East for the Grey Cup, but the players and executive had a disagreement over which train route (CN or CP) to use. By the time it was sorted out, the Canadian Rugby Union (CRU) declared it was too late and the winner of the East Final (Queen's) was declared the 1924 Grey Cup Champions..
That East final, which turned out sort of retroactively to be the Grey Cup game, was a close game between Queen's and Balmy Beach. The closeness of the game surprised many as the Beaches had been beaten in lopsided exhibition games against both Queen's and the Hamilton Tigers earlier in the year.
The Beaches held the game close for most of three quarters, but a blocked punt by Al (Curly) Lewis in the third quarter ended up in the arms of Wright who ran it in for a touchdown that Leadley converted. That broke open the game and the Beaches could not recover. Queen's played much of the game without one of their stars in Batstone as he was injured in the first half, but his replacement, Pee Wee Chantler was outstanding in his place.