Football: Digesting Week 7

Belated notes on a weekend of CIS ball:


No. 1 Laval: The Rouge et Or got by No. 6 Saint Mary's 29-22 despite its banged-up offence mustering just 192 yards and losing the ball three times on fumbles or picks. A game ball might have to go to kicker Christopher Milo, who outkicked SMU's Justin Palardy and kept Erik Glavic and the Huskies starting with a long field all afternoon. Milo struggles on field goals, but earned his keep with his punts and deep kickoffs.

The other decisive moment for Laval was Duane John's 93-yard kickoff return that set up a touchdown. In other words, despite all the injuries, Laval was still deep enough to win the special teams battle. Laval's showdown with No. 7 Bishop's (5-1) is on a Sunday, so the Rouge et Or get an extra day of R&R. They could spend that day chasing a chicken around the field à la Rocky Balboa in order to prepare for tackling the Gaiters' Jamall Lee.

No. 2 Ottawa: Getting LBs Joe Barnes and Cheelor Lindor back from injuries helped No. 2 Ottawa immensely in a 27-15 win over Laurier that wrapped up home-field advantage for the Yates Cup one week early. Both had sacks for the Gee-Gees, who dropped Laurier QBs five times on their way to a decisive win on the University Rush game.

No. 3 Manitoba: The Bisons are basically in guard-against-complacency mode for the next two weeks. Having to come from behind in the fourth quarter against UBC might be a welcome wake-up call. Their showdown with Regina next Saturday in Winnipeg will probably be billed as a showdown between equals, but the Bisons have an edge in size and experience up front on both sides of the ball.

No. 4 Laurier: The Golden Hawks have some healing to do on offence. QB Ian Noble (6-for-17, 68 yards, two interceptions) did not complete the game. Between finishing with York and having a first-round bye, Laurier is going to have a long wait before it faces a serious challenge, but that's the luxury of being a top team.

No. 5 Saskatchewan: The View From The Stands is the go-to spot for the No. 5 Saskatchewan Huskies' 20-19 home loss to Calgary (the biggest win Blake Nill has had since relocating to Southern Alberta, obviously). The Huskies had issues, especially with both the offensive and defensive lines, which are usually immutables for them. It's still fair to say few people expected them to leave the door open for the young Dinos to pull an upset. This was close to completely unexpected. Lesson learned on this end.

Calgary's Aaron Ifield kicked a 51-yarder at the buzzer to win. The game-turning play was rookie receiver Nathan Coehoorn's 56-yard TD catch with 6:58 left that pulled Calgary within two, coming less than a minute after a Huskies touchdown.

Keep in mind that Saskatchewan is still a lot closer to Manitoba than it is to the rest of Can West.
No. 6 Saint Mary's: Like Queen's when they lost a one-pointer at Ottawa, the Huskies probably feel much the same after a seven-point loss to a nicked-up Laval team. Steve Sumurah's team is past the point of moral victories, but they're not quite at a national level just yet. Keeping it close on the road does go some image rehab for the Atlantic conference.

No. 7 Bishop's: Gaiters ground-acquirer Jamall Lee's 266-yard day vs. Acadia gave him an even 1,200 after six games. Along with Laval, he also has to play Montréal, so if he stays healthy, a final total somewhere in the 1,400s seems about right. How does Lee not get the Hec Crighton with numbers like that? It's probably a little much to expect the Gaiters to give Laval a test; Leroy Blugh's lads are only a year removed from 1-7.

No. 8 Regina: Is it rash to favour Regina over Saskatchewan in that Oct. 27 game that will likely decide second place in Canada West and home field for the conference semi-final? Maybe a little. The Rams (5-1) still have the rep of being a bit soft up front.

No. 9 Queen's: Gaels tailback Mike Giffin became the first runner in the program's history to go over 1,000 yards in a season with a 193-yard day in a 45-0 wipeout of Waterloo. At the rate he's going, he could be a very good backup or blocking back for those all-powerful teams in the 519 area code. (Note the sarcasm.)

Once the homecoming hangover wears off, Queen's fans might want to note they had three red-zone turnovers and 169 yards in penalties on Saturday. Not a good sign seven games in.

No. 10 Concordia: Puzzling as ever yet still beating, thy name is the Stingers, who eked out another low-scoring win, 13-8 over winless McGill. QB Liam Mahoney ran for 181 yards and tailback Cedric Ferdinand added 148 as the Stingers contained McGill's Matt Connell by the only way known to man -- keeping him on the sideline. The Stingers aren't exactly inspiring confidence these days.


What does Calgary's win over Saskatchewan mean? It sets up a matchup vs. UBC on Oct. 26 that will likely decide the final playoff berth. Between Calgary's ground game and improving defensive front seven (seven sacks vs. Saskatchewan) and UBC's defence led by Scott McCuaig, whoever finishes fourth can give Manitoba a good fight in conference semi-final.


Hat tip to coach John Bloomfield's program at St. FX, which pulled off a 41-35 win over Mount Allison. The X-Men are a ways away from respectability, but they've had some triumphs this fall. Just having the extra week that comes with preparing for a playoff game would help and hey, they will have a shot at Acadia before the post-season.

Montréal (2-4) saved their season for at least one more week by pulling out a 31-28 overtime win over Sherbrooke. The Carabins have to win out vs. Mount Allison and Bishop's to get the fourth playoff spot; Sherbrooke closes with St. FX and McGill and should win both.

Forgive McGill alumni if they're not too preoccupied about the football Redmen being winless. The school's basketball team is going to be good. Senior Sean Anthony had 33 points and 14 boards in a 101-98 upset last night of Windsor, who is ranked No. 3 in the country by


Playoff scenarios: Guelph and McMaster are locked into fourth and fifth place (both lost to third-place Queen's and beat the teams who will finish sixth), so their meeting next week will decide who hosts the OUA quarter-final on Oct. 27.

The Western-Waterloo game is a sudden-death playoff for the final spot and a playoff date with Queen's. It's rash to say it's a given the Mustangs will beat the Warriors, but if they do, Greg Marshall's team will have made the post-season by beating all four teams who didn't.

Waterloo is who we thought they were. The Warriors (3-4) were outgained 553-87 by Queen's and finished the game with wideout Anthony Amadio taking snaps at quarterback. They were every bit a homecoming opponent.

James Mirtle has covered off the U of T's record-setting 48th consecutive loss down below.


Rising: Jamall Lee from Bishop's, Teale Orban from Regina (1,809 yards and an 18-5 TD-INT ratio)

Holding: Sacobie from Ottawa, Erik Glavic of Saint Mary's

Darkhorses: Mike Giffin of Queen's, Anthony Woodson of Calgary

Early guesses on the Top 10: Nos. 4-6, Laurier, Saskatchewan and Saint Mary's, each lost; the Golden Hawks might hold their position with Saint Mary's inching up to No. 5 since they had a close loss on the road. Saskatchewan might get dropped as far as No. 8 behind Regina and Bishop's, although that's probably low considering their reputation.
Next PostNewer Post Previous PostOlder Post Home


Post a Comment