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  1. #41
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    Calgary Dino's reign at the top of the CIS list didn't last long as they were crushed 53-3 by the Alberta Golden Bears on the weekend.

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    With Calgary's loss, Laval's Rouge et Or returned to the top of the standings as the playoffs approach.

    The Laval Rouge et Or (7-1), who opened the campaign at No. 1 back in late August, return to the top this week after receiving 11 of 16 first-place votes and 154 points from the Football Reporters of Canada panel.
    The second-ranked Western Mustangs (8-0) and No. 3 Montreal Carabins (6-1) also move up one spot in the new media poll thanks to 145 and 124-point tallies, respectively. The only undefeated team in the country in league play, Western earned all remaining first-place nods.
    Following a lopsided loss in their regular season finale, the Calgary Dinos (7-1) fall all the way from No. 1 to No. 4 with 120 points.
    Rounding out the penultimate top 10 of 2017 are the No. 5 Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks (6-2 / 92 points / no change), No. 6 UBC Thunderbirds (6-2 / 83 / no change), No. 7 McMaster Marauders (7-2 / 55 / no change), No. 8 Guelph Gryphons (6-3 / 47 / up one position), No. 9 Regina Rams (4-4 / 27 / down one) and No. 10 Acadia Axemen (6-2 / 24 / no change).
    The post-season kicked off last weekend in the OUA, with Western and Laurier enjoying first-round byes. In quarter-final action from Hamilton and the nation’s capital, McMaster built a 12-0 halftime lead and then hung on for a narrow 12-9 win over visiting Queen’s, while Guelph outscored Ottawa 20-0 in the opening quarter en route to a comfortable 30-8 victory.
    https://usports.ca/en/sports/footbal...ootball-top-10

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    Looking forward to attending the Wilfred Laurier- MacMaster game in nearby Kitchener on Saturday.

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    Two of the top Canadian CIS QBs will be playing against each other as UBC hosts Regina in the playoffs on the weekend.

    Take Michael O’Connor’s completion percentage and his grade point average and add them together and here’s betting there’s not another U Sports quarterback in the country with a higher combined total. ...O’Connor, the UBC Thunderbirds third-year pivot, has been a well-documented success on the football field, highlighted by leading the Thunderbirds to the Vanier Cup national title two seasons ago. He’s done well in the classroom as well, evidenced by him landing academic all-Canadian status for 2016-17 after attaining an average of more than 80 per cent at UBC’s Sauder School of Business. ...
    The winner of Saturday’s game between UBC (6-2) and Regina (4-4) advances to the Hardy Cup final the following week. That’s two steps away from a spot in the Vanier Cup. The Canadian championship is to be contested on Nov. 25 in Hamilton, Ont.
    Even with so much on the line, O’Connor insists he doesn’t change his routine this week. The Orleans, Ont., native says he’ll try to get his school work out of the way early and spend whatever extra time he has left between that and practice watching film on the Rams.“It’s the same process all year,” explained O’Connor, who maintains that UBC’s academics were part of the draw when he was looking for a university to transfer to after leaving Penn State in 2015. “It’s definitely about a good balance between school and football. It takes a lot of discipline and time management.”O’Connor has connected on 67.5 per cent (183-of-271) of his passes, totalling 2,308 yards along the way. He’s thrown for 14 touchdowns while getting intercepted five times.All of that includes going 14-of19 for 200 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions last Saturday at Thunderbird Stadium in a 44-15 win over Regina. ...

    The game will be yet another showdown between two of the best quarterbacks in the country. Regina pass-thrower Noah Picton is the reigning Hec Crighton Trophy winner as U Sports most outstanding player.
    This season, he’s completed 68.8 per cent (207-of-301) of his passes for 2,491 yards with 19 touchdowns and nine interceptions. He was just 13-of-18 for 106 yards with no touchdowns and one interception last week.
    https://www.pressreader.com/canada/v...82041917392836

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    Some interesting further CIS play-offs coming up.

    Montreal vs. Laval might be a classic - they have had some real tough, close battles the past few years.

    Dinos vs. UBC could be very good too - maybe UBC QB O'Connor can establish himself further as a great CIS QB with another play-off win (like his Vanier winning season)

    Western is rolling over the OUA - with a powerhouse ground attack (nice to see that somewhere still in Canadian football) but they have a good QB in Merchant too. Laurier upset them last year but i would bet heavily against that happening again.

    The AUS is still the weak sister but you never know come one big game in the semis? - SMU young QB seems like a good dual threat passer/runner - going by his stats.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OV Argo View Post
    Some interesting further CIS play-offs coming up.

    Montreal vs. Laval might be a classic - they have had some real tough, close battles the past few years.

    Dinos vs. UBC could be very good too - maybe UBC QB O'Connor can establish himself further as a great CIS QB with another play-off win (like his Vanier winning season)

    Western is rolling over the OUA - with a powerhouse ground attack (nice to see that somewhere still in Canadian football) but they have a good QB in Merchant too. Laurier upset them last year but i would bet heavily against that happening again.

    The AUS is still the weak sister but you never know come one big game in the semis? - SMU young QB seems like a good dual threat passer/runner - going by his stats.
    OV I was at the Laurier game Saturday. They really need their starting QB back against Western to even have a chance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OV Argo View Post
    Dinos vs. UBC could be very good too - maybe UBC QB O'Connor can establish himself further as a great CIS QB with another play-off win (like his Vanier winning season)
    Despite a late comeback the Regina Rams lost the UBC 28-21 in the semi-final game with O'Connor playing an important role in the win.

    O'Connor was 17-30 on the night with 259 passing yards and three touchdowns through the air. ...
    Alex Morrison hauled in 66 and four-yard touchdown receptions from Michael O'Connor in the first quarter to jump out in front. ...
    O'Connor struck again at the start of the second quarter after the Rams conceded another safety, finding Pinto from 28 yards out to stretch the lead to 23-2.
    http://reginarams.com/news/2017/11/4...?path=football

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    The Loney Bowl for the Atlantic University Championship has been cancelled because Saint Mary Huskies have been disqualified due to an eligibility issue. As a result of this, the Acadia Axemen have been declared the conference champions. While the governing body did not identify the player involved, it is believed to be Archelaus Jack.

    Jack was signed to the Saskatchewan Roughriders practice roster on July 12, 2016, where he stayed until October 11, 2016, which might have called his eligibility into question.
    https://3downnation.com/2017/11/09/f...y-controversy/

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    Two exciting, hard fought, down to the wire National quarter-final games:

    Laval win over Montreal in another close, tough game between the 2 Q powerhouses. Carabins had the ball on the Laval 37 (i think it was) in the last minute but chose to try a pass instead of going for a game tying FG (???).

    Calgary beats UBC on a last play 59 yard FG (!!! - new CIS ball record i believe) - in a high-scoring shoot-out.

    Western blows out Laurier in The Yates and IMO looks like the Vanier favorite - powerhouse offence with a very good QB in Merchant, big, strong O-line and a powerful running attack (Cedric Joseph was dominant this game with their #1 back Alex Taylor out - he might be back next game) - they are a ground heavy offence but can still do damage with the pass; i was also quite impressed with some of their D play-makers - LBs Vanin, Sopik & Poulin in particular; but their secondary might be hurt by a strong passing game that the Dinos have.

    What a joke/farce that the AUS title gets handed to Acadia because of an inelligible player by SMU thing. Acadia might get slaughtered by Western but you never know with one game - at home and they had the best run defence in the AUS.


    Also - what a joke/farce that all these big CIS ball play-off games are not on National TV and promoted/hyped. I got to watch the Ontario game on CHCH; but did not have the French TVA in my sat. package to get to watch the Q title game; the West Hardy Cup was not on TV that i could tell; neither would have the AUS title game if it was played. Meanhwile, I could probably have watched a half dozen or more US college ball games on TV today. Sad/pathetic - the lack or respect for Canadian football by a lot of the media in it's own country.

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    The cancellation of the Loney Bowl is becoming a messy situation as St. Mary's has taken the issue to court.

    People awaiting the fate of the Atlantic University Sports (AUS) championship football game between St. Mary's University and Acadia University that was cancelled two days ago may have to wait at least one more day for an answer. ...

    The controversy stems from a league participation rule that dictates any former CFL player, or anyone who remains on a CFL team's practice roster after Aug. 15, has to wait one year before playing for a university team. Wide receiver Archelaus Jack played in every Saint Mary's game this season. He was released from the CFL's Saskatchewan Roughriders practice roster on Oct. 11, 2016. SMU said it reached an agreement on Oct. 27 with the national governing body for university sports, U Sports, after concerns arose about Jack's eligibility to play. ...
    According to a written decision by Ontario Superior Court Judge Todd Archibald released on Friday, U Sports agreed not to investigate the eligibility issue in exchange for SMU not pursuing legal action against it.
    The decision also states that SMU said its understanding of the one-year CFL rule was that it was one academic year, not a calendar year, meaning Jack was only ineligible for the 2016-2017 school year. ...

    The decision also said U Sports believed that while it agreed to stop its investigation into Jack's eligibility, if another school filed a complaint, that would mean it could resume investigating. Archibald did not find this argument persuasive. He found U Sports breached the settlement agreement it had reached with SMU. On Friday, U Sports representatives said at a news conference that it has no authority over AUS and no say over whether the game will be played, and it was up to AUS to handle the situation.
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-s...time-1.4398853

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    A judge has ruled that the Loney Bowl must go ahead on Tuesday. Acadia will not challenge the ruling that St. Mary's has a right to play the game.

    After a marathon court hearing in Halifax, a judge has ruled Atlantic University Sport must allow a football game between Acadia University and Saint Mary's University. ...
    The winner of the Tuesday game will play Western, the Ontario champion from London, in the Uteck Bowl. ...
    Lawyers from Saint Mary's, Acadia University and AUS were back in Nova Scotia Supreme Court on Sunday morning after a 5½-hour hearing on Remembrance Day.The last-minute hearing was held to deal with a motion from Saint Mary's to have the game reinstated. The university also asked that the case be dealt with on an urgent basis. ...
    The controversy started with concerns over the eligibility of Saint Mary's wide receiver Archelaus Jack, who was on the CFL's Saskatchewan Roughriders practice roster until last October. League rules state that any former CFL player, or anyone who remains on a CFL team's practice roster after Aug. 15, has to wait one year before playing for a university team.
    But Saint Mary's says the question of eligibility has already been decided by an Ontario court judge. Its lawyers argued yesterday that AUS is in contempt of that court order.


    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/saint-marys-acadia-university-football-court-1.4399358


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    Quote Originally Posted by jerrym View Post
    A judge has ruled that the Loney Bowl must go ahead on Tuesday. Acadia will not challenge the ruling that St. Mary's has a right to play the game.



    [/FONT][/COLOR]http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/saint-marys-acadia-university-football-court-1.4399358

    [/FONT][/COLOR]

    And what a game it turned out to be ! High scoring, back and forth - late TD drives by both teams to force over-time- where Acadia prevails.

    Most thinking Acadia is going to get just slaughtered by Western now; maybe so, but I wouldn't mind seeing an upset.

    And hoping the Dinos get revenge, at home, for last year's Vanier loss to Laval. They put up tons of passing yards against Laval last year and they continue to have a big air attack.

    This might be finally Western's year (?) after a lot of disappointment even though they have been a dominant OUA team for some time - only to get knocked-off in the play-offs. Like to see them stick with lots of that dominant ground game (though their QB Merchant - formerly at Div I Buffalo in US college ball - is quite good IMO - pretty decent arm and a good running/scrambling QB). Their new OC (Snyder) is maybe deserving lots of credit for their offence now - he might be the key with play-calling and believing in their ground game.

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    Laval DB Kevin McGee has been suspended for three games starting with the November 18th Mitchell Cup because of a head shot to Khalil Kerr of the Carabins. The three game suspension was imposed because he had already had a one game suspension for a similar infraction earlier in the season.

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    Well that was as ugly as it gets.

    I think Western would have won big regardless, but this was a bad week for the CIS/U Sports. Major P.R. disaster.

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    Quote Originally Posted by argolio View Post
    Well that was as ugly as it gets.

    I think Western would have won big regardless, but this was a bad week for the CIS/U Sports. Major P.R. disaster.
    It was certainly ugly as Acadia is literally and figuratively out of its league in playing Western, although playing on short rest after having to play St. Marys on Tuesday probably contributed to the 81-3 margin.

    The Western Mustangs set a Uteck Bowl record for points as their vaunted rushing attack dominated the Acadia Axemen in an 81-3 victory on Saturday.
    Western amassed 451 yards on the ground and starting running back Cedric Jones rushed 13 times for 100 yards and three touchdowns to give him 10 touchdowns in his team’s three post-season games.
    “It’s easy when I’ve got a monstrous O-line in front of me,” said Jones. “I’m going to have to give kudos to them, they’re really making my job a whole lot easier.”
    Jones stepped into the starter’s role when Alex Taylor suffered a knee injury. He thinks a strong running game is the team’s legacy and he and fellow running backs Trey Humes and Yannick Harou get more than enough action to keep them all happy.
    “We’re a hard-nosed, old-school, run-the-ball-down-your-throat type of offence,” Jones said. “We all kind of fit into that mould and we complement each other real nice.”
    http://3downnation.com/2017/11/18/we...1-rout-acadia/

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    Alberta running back Ed Ilnicki named USports’ most outstanding player
    3Down Staff 3downnation.com November 24, 2017

    University of Alberta running back Ed Ilnicki won the Hec Crighton Trophy as the top player in Canadian varsity football on Thursday as U Sports announced its year-end awards.

    Ilnicki, a five-foot-10, 220-pound running back from Spruce Grove, Alta., set a single-season Canada West record with 1,468 rushing yards. He also led U Sports in rushing touchdowns (11) and carries (196) as he helped the Golden Bears reach the post-season for the first time since 2010.

    He is the first non-quarterback to win U Sports’ most outstanding player award since Windsor running back Daryl Stephenson in 2006.

    “Ed embodies everything that is good about university athletics,” Alberta head coach Chris Morris said. “He is a true scholar and has been a four-time Academic All-Canadian. He’s been a dominating and relentless competitor, who in 2017 ran for more yards than anyone in Canada West history. He is a young man of impeccable character who tirelessly serves his team and community.”

    Wilfrid Laurier receiver Kurleigh Gittens Jr., Laval quarterback Hugo Richard and Acadia running back Dale Wright were the other finalists.

    While Richard lost out in the Hec Crighton Trophy, Laval was well represented at Thursday’s awards ceremony. Rouge et Or linebacker Adam Auclair was named the defensive player of the year, while teammate Mathieu Betts was voted the outstanding down lineman for the second straight season.

    Regina linebacker Nick Cross took top rookie honours, Western linebacker Nick Vanin claimed the Russ Jackson Award recognizing excellence in football, academics and citizenship, and Acadia’s Jeff Cummins was selected coach of the year for the second time in his career.

    The U Sports football season ends Saturday, when Laval and Western meet in the Vanier Cup at Hamilton’s Tim Hortons Field.

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    Two USports players selected to prestigious U.S. university all-star game
    Justin Dunk 3downnation.com November 24, 2017

    Two Canadian university football players will get a chance to show their skills in front of pro scouts at an American all-star event.

    University of Alberta offensive lineman Mark Korte and University of Montreal receiver Regis Cibasu have been selected to the East-West Shrine Game, the oldest college football all-star showcase in the United States. It features a week of practices in front of NFL and CFL coaches and talent evaluators followed by a game broadcast on NFL Network on Jan. 20.

    The Shrine Game has served as an NFL launching point for Canadian players such as tight end Antony Auclair (Bucs), offensive lineman Geoff Gray (Jets), defensive lineman David Onyemata (Saints) and offensive lineman Laurent Duvernay-Tardif (Chiefs) in recent years.

    Korte was the Canada West conference Most Outstanding Lineman in 2017. The Spruce Grove, Alberta native was an integral part of the Golden Bears offensive line that paved the way for running back Ed Ilnicki to set a new conference single-season rushing record with 1,468 yards.

    Alberta head coach Chris Morris, who won three Grey Cups as a player with the Edmonton Eskimos (1992-2005), describes Korte as an “old school” offensive lineman. He is very athletic and should be able to compete well south of the border.

    Cibasu burst on to the USports scene as a freshman with 90 receiving yards in Montreal’s 2014 Vanier Cup victory and earned game MVP honours for his effort. Since then Montreal’s talented receiver has developed further and added more muscle to his already impressive frame. Carabins head coach Danny Maciocia said from day one when Cibasu stepped on campus that he could have a chance to play in the NFL if full potential is reached. Physically, Cibasu already has a pro body – one NFL scout believes he has the size – and possesses natural ball skills and run-after-the-catch ability.

    Montreal’s offence is more about ball control and limiting turnovers so there weren’t many passes being thrown around. Cibasu had 27 catches for 387 yards and two touchdowns, which included a 99-yarder, in seven games as a senior with the Carabins. Over four years in USports, Cibasu has 145 receptions for 1,797 and seven touchdowns.

    The last receiver from the Quebec conference to get a Shrine Game invite was Samuel Giguere in 2008 who spent parts of four seasons with the Colts and Giants before coming north to the CFL where he’s played six seasons.

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    Canadian players, including those coming from the CIS, are getting more opportunities to profile their skills in the US each year, as reflected in the growth of their presence at the Collge Gridiron Showcase.

    The College Gridiron Showcase has grown exponentially.
    Craig Redd, a former certified agent, and Jose Jefferson, a former coach and current athletic director, founded the U.S.-based event which began in 2015. The goal: allowing late round and undrafted prospects to be showcased to as many scouts as possible.
    “We’re not the Senior Bowl or East-West Shrine Game and we’re not trying to be. They’ve been around a long time, they worry about the first, second, third round picks, that’s not the player who we’re going after,” Redd said. “We’re going after that player who needs some more exposure.”
    The first-year goal was a modest ten scouts: instead, 65 scouts from 26 NFL teams and 10 to 15 from six of the nine CFL teams showed up, far exceeding expectations. After running a week of practices in preparation for a game in 2015, the format was changed in 2016 and it has remained the same since. It’s an organized training activity style, meaning individual drills, one-on-ones and team periods. ...

    Year two saw 85 NFL scouts representing 30 of the 32 NFL clubs and 15-20 from seven of nine CFL teams make the trip to Texas. And year three 111 NFL scouts, 32 of 32 NFL teams and the same CFL numbers. Clearly scouts like the format of the event.
    And the number of players getting legitimate pro opportunities backs that up. In three years, 273 players have received NFL opportunities, or about 60 per cent of attendees. There are 45 players from the Showcase on NFL rosters, 16 of whom were drafted. All four players from Canada were selected in the CFL draft and 18 players are currently on CFL rosters. ...
    Eight prospects from Canada were invited in 2018 after Canadian company stepped up to sponsor athletes for the week. ...
    “Because of the type of players we get, the late round NFL guys rounds four through seven and undrafted free agents, that’s where a lot of scouts make their money,” Redd said. “Earning their recognition and finding those diamonds in the rough, late round gems who end up making their roster and contributing to their franchise.”
    http://3downnation.com/2018/01/10/co...rican-flavour/

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    Five of the eight Canadians invited to the 2018 College Gridiron Showcase come from the CIS rather than from American colleges, reflecting its growing recognition as a source of talent. The five CIS Canadians, as well as the three from American colleges, are profiled below. The CiS players are: OL Andrew Pickett, FB and LS David Mackie, WR Tyrone Pierre, DB/LB Jackson Bennett, and DB Godfrey Oneyka.

    http://3downnation.com/2017/12/29/ei...iron-showcase/

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    Quote Originally Posted by jerrym View Post
    Five of the eight Canadians invited to the 2018 College Gridiron Showcase come from the CIS rather than from American colleges, reflecting its growing recognition as a source of talent. The five CIS Canadians, as well as the three from American colleges, are profiled below. The CiS players are: OL Andrew Pickett, FB and LS David Mackie, WR Tyrone Pierre, DB/LB Jackson Bennett, and DB Godfrey Oneyka.

    http://3downnation.com/2017/12/29/ei...iron-showcase/
    A lot of CFL (as well as NFL) scouts attend that event. I'd guess they invite a number of CIS players with the CFL scouts in mind, but there have been more and more CIS stars drawing some NFL interest over the past decade or so now.

    Receiver Tyrone Pierre didn't even make Laval's starting line-up last year = not a good sign (fell out of favor with the coaches there?) for a 4th year guy who is a rated CFL draft prospect; but he has good size and has put up an excellent set of testing #s at Combine work-outs.

    Bennett & Onyeka are both probably going to be looked at as CFL safety prospect/projects; wouldn't mind the Argos getting to draft either of those guys.

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