I just put together the QB passing rankings through Week 6 (see past rankings for an explanation) and Windsor's freshman quarterback Sam Malian is, unexpectedly, #1 so far this year.

Malian, with 9.0 adjusted net yards per pass attempt, just noses out Laurence Nixon and Josh Sacobie, both at 8.8, and Benoît Groulx, at 8.5. This does not account for their rushing skills or quality of competition faced, but it's still surprising to see a rookie quarterback (who plays for an unranked team) sitting near the top of the country.

It's even more remarkable given that Malian has been sacked 10 times for 71 yards lost--those other three QBs mentioned have been sacked for 86 yards combined--and his completion percentage is just 61%. Malian has overcome those issues by throwing just one interception in five games and averaging 10 pass yards per attempt, the third-highest average in the league behind Nixon and Sacobie.

Malian seems like a solid candidate for rookie of the year. It's just another reason to keep an eye on the Lancers, who are a team that nobody picked to finish in the top half of the OUA yet are currently 3-2 after their upset win against Ottawa.

The top 10 quarterbacks so far in 2008 (adjusted net yards per pass attempt):
9.0, Sam Malian - Windsor
8.8, Laurence Nixon - Saskatchewan
8.8, Joshua Sacobie - Ottawa
8.5, Benoît Groulx - Laval
7.7, David Hamilton - Toronto
7.7, Jean-Philippe Shoiry - Sherbrooke
7.5, Justin Dunk - Guelph
7.0, Dan Brannagan - Queen's
6.7, Michael Faulds - Western
6.1, Jesse Andrews - Bishop's
The Guelph Mercury's Greg Layson, is back posting at Big Man on Campus after a two-week vacation.

Mr. Layson's been an invaluable supporter of this site and Out of Left Field, so it's welcome sight.

As a general note, it is good to see the Halifax Herald, Ottawa Citizen, Vancouver Province and Regina Leader-Post, among others, are seeing the value in having the scholastic sports reporter keep a blog. It's a ton of extra work, but all should know that there's great appreciation for the effort.
It was a frantic weekend of CIS football action, but we shouldn't overlook a former star's performance just because it took place in a different league. Former Queen's wide receiver Rob Bagg was just about the only bright spot [Murray McCormick, The Vancouver Sun] for the Saskatchewan Roughriders in their 37-12 loss [game stats, cfl.ca] to the Montreal Alouettes Sunday. Bagg caught six passes for a game-high 146 receiving yards: no other player on either team was over 100 yards. 72 of those yards came on one impressive long pass that Bagg took down to the three-yard line, but the Alouettes made a tremendous goal-line stand (similar to what they pulled against B.C. last month) and Saskatchewan settled for a field goal.

Bagg's performance performance wasn't good enough for the Regina Leader-Post's Rob Vanstone, though, who wrote, "Although Bagg had two long receptions, he is not going to scare defences. His lack of speed was noted when he didn't score on the 72-yarder." So, 146 yards receiving doesn't scare defences, and a 72-yard reception is a bad thing now?

In any case, things are looking good for Bagg these days. As Vanstone points out, the injuries to D.J. Flick, Andy Fantuz, Matt Dominguez and Adarius Bowman mean that Bagg and Weston Dressler are probably the Riders' two top receivers at the moment. He should be seeing lots of passes in the weeks to come, and this kind of performance against a good Montreal team suggests that he may have the skills to stick around in the CFL.

Note: Bagg has also been serving as the team's field-goal holder, and was featured in that capacity in this Aug. 19 piece by McCormick.
In women's hockey, it is more often than not McGill vs. Alberta, and the defending national champion Martlets struck for three quick goals on Sunday to beat the U of A 3-2 and win the Panda Presence tournament.

McGill got goals from Marie-Andrée Leclerc-Auger, Jordanna Perdoff and Alessandra Lind-Kenny in a three-minute, 17-second span of the first period, and hung on for its 23rd straight win.

Leclerc-Auger scoring is a big takeaway. A couple of U.S. college hockey forums note the 20-year-old, who played her CEGEP hockey at Collège St. Jérôme in Montreal, was expected to play big-time NCAA D1 hockey at either Minnesota or Minnesota-Duluth. There might have been a NCAA Clearinghouse issue, plus many Canadians have had visa problems. Either way, she's at McGill.

Stephanie Ramsay and veteran Tarin Podolski scored for the Pandas. Alberta is 6-2-0 thus far, with the lone loss coming against the Edmonton Chinos of WWHL.

(Incidentally, when will there be one women's hockey league for Ontario and Quebec, just like for the men? It's got to get old playing the same three teams — four once the U de Montréal gets going in 2009-10 — over and over in league play.
Josh Sacobie "does not have a broken bone in his non-throwing arm and ... is expected to practise Tuesday," according to U of O sports information.

It's a spot of good news for the Gee-Gees, but there's a lot more oowies to be healed up before Saturday's home game vs. Laurier (1 p.m., The Score, SSN Canada). A healthy Sacobie ought to help them out get in fighting trim before the playoffs.

First place is out of reach for the Gee-Gees. The bottom line is they have three games left, including a Thanksgiving weekend date at Queen's, to get in fighting trim for the playoffs. The talent is there, even if it seems like confused talent over the past fortnight.
One should not read too much into September exhibition hockey scores, but still.
Carleton 3, Lakehead 2
The second-year Ravens pulled this off in fairly impression fashion, coming from behind in the third period in front of a crowd of 2,800-plus at Fort William Gardens.

Again, it might only be noteworthy to me since I live in a neighbourhood populated by Carleton students (who never raise hell to the point where the police reports on a Saturday night run to 13 pages, unlike a certain place that rhymes with ingston). Beating Lakehead at Lakehead in their first try should turn some heads. Adam Marriner got the game-winner for the Ravens, who had played Lakehead to a 2-2 tie in Friday's first game before a bank of lights were knocked out when lightning struck the arena, forcing the game to be called.

Lakehead has Saint Mary's in for two games next weekend. The Thunderwolves are probably being fairly experimental with their line combos and defence pairs, while Carleton's lineup is relatively set. Still, for a second-year team, that's a nice little score.

(Lakehead won a shootout that was held to decide a winner for Friday's game, but really, it was a tie.)
Nine stories from the weekend that was in the CIS
  1. Upsets (and a season-in-the-balance QB injury): Bishop's stops No. 8 Sherbrooke in the final minutes to win 15-10. the Tussle in the Townships, while Windsor stuns No. 5 Ottawa 40-38.

    The Gee-Gees might have lost QB Josh Sacobie, who injured his left (non-throwing) arm on the final play of the game.

    In a span of three hours, Ottawa went from being in a three-way tussle for home-field advantage throughout the playoffs to a three-way tie for third. Sacobie will have his arm X-rayed today. His heir apparent, Brad Sinopoli, has seen extended action the past two seasons, but the Gee-Gees' issues go way beyond the man under centre.
  2. Separation Saturday in the OUA: Queen's hammers turnover-prone (you think?) Western 43-16 and essentially wraps up home-field advantage throughout the OUA playoffs. (And the OUA hosts a bowl game, remember.)

    The Gaels' D-line of Osie Ukwuoma, Kyle MacDonald, Dee Sterling and Neil Puffer had their way with Western's blockers. Michael Faulds ended up throwing 57 passes after Greg Marshall seemingly decided to junk the run some time between the coin toss and O Canada.
  3. And introducing the Saskatchewan Huskies: The Green Dogs have Laurence Nixon back, and after winning 35-12 over Alberta on Friday, control their own destiny in the crazy-kooky Canada West conference.
  4. Speaking of which: Simon Fraser's 31-7 loss to Regina leaves Can West in even more of an entertaining uproar.

    Rams QB Teale Orban has a couple TD tosses, Luke Derkson churns out a 156-yard day along the ground and the U of R (2-3) exposes Simon Fraser (3-2) on both sides of the ball. The Clan passing game was below 100 yards for the second straight week.
  5. Front-runner for the Hec? Bishop's Jamall Lee runs for 176 yards to help the Gaiters take down Sherbrooke in the first leg of the Tangle in the Townships.

    Lee has 724 yards (7.6 per carry) through four games, while Queen's Mike Giffin has 753 (7.2 per) in one more game.
  6. That's Mr. Jones: Saint Mary's keeps on rolling, even without Erik Glavic. The soon to be No. 2 Huskies (and there's a case that argument is low), gets a 29-carry, 251-yard day from Devon Jones in a five-point win over Acadia.
  7. Atta way, Mount A: The undermanned but game Mounties finally put one in the win column, 27-24 in overtime over St. FX.

    Mount Allison's defence somehow held up despite being on the field for 77 plays.

  8. Guelph decides to play: A 30-0 shutout over U of T might not seem like a lot to hang your hat on, but the Gryphons (2-3) probably believe they can run the table going into the playoffs.
  9. Best stab at the Top 10: Laval is still No. 1 if it beats Concordia. Saint Mary's No. 2, Queen's No. 3 and Saskatchewan No. 4. Western, thanks to the three-slot rule, will be No. 5. The rest of the Top 10 could be picked out of a hat.
Laval, the one sure thing in the country, is home to Concordia on Sunday afternoon.
It was a busy day with work commitments, but here's the game capsules:


Windsor 40, No. 6 Ottawa 38:
The Gee-Gees might have had the longest bus trip home in modern OUA history.

Ottawa QB Josh Sacobie, according to uOttawa sports information, will have his injured left (non-passing) arm X-rayed today. (Update: No break -- he'll practise Tuesday.)

He got hurt after throwing the Hail Mary on the final play. As cruel as fate as it is for Josh, it was a perfect denouement ("the final unravelling") to a day where the Gee-Gees had five interceptions and a fumble that turned into a scoop-and-score for Matt Bucknor.

Take nothing away from Windsor, which had its biggest win in two years, and first over Ottawa in a generation. It almost got away from them in the second half after a 35-point second quarter put them up 37-3, but the Lancers defence, with the likes of Chad Cossette (1.5 sacks) and Bryan Quayson (three INTs) hung on.

Daryl Stephenson rushed 27 times for 136 yards, enough to keep the clock moving and keep Ottawa's offence on the sideline. He didn't face Ottawa's D during his Hec Crighton season, so that must have felt good him to go above 100 yards and do it in a win.

Ottawa does not travel well -- 1-2 on the road with the win being a three-pointer over a rebuilding Mac team. They might just want to avoid the 519 area code from here on in.

No. 4 Queen's 43, No. 2 Western 16: Please don't begrude a Golden Gaels fan for wanting to get his Grantland Rice on.

You know ... Outlined against a gray September sky the Four Horsemen rode again. In dramatic lore they are known as famine, pestilence, destruction and death. These are only only aliases. Their real names are: Osi Ukwuoma, Kyle MacDonald, Dee Sterling and Neil Puffer ...

The Mustangs' Michael Faulds has almost as many lives as his team had turnovers -- 11. That is one sum-it-up. Queen's handled out a physical pounding -- Greg Marshall mothballed his running game some time between the end of warmups and the national anthem. Faulds spent much of the afternoon scrambling and chucking it deep like Rex Grossman in is his most fevered dream.

It worked well enough to keep Western in the game. They outgained Queen's by some 200 yards, yet still lost by 27 points.

There was some tension wwhen Western got within nine points, 23-14, going into the fourth quarter. MacDonald came up with a sack-forced fumble that ended one drive, then Queen's stacked up Faulds on a third-and-1 sneak.

There's a lot of football left, but Western just had a brutal afternoon. The defence did a good job on Mike Giffin (69 yards), especially since D-lineman Chris Greaves didn't return in the second half. However, getting sucked in on fake punt and a fake field goal, having two long snaps go over the punter's head and having a kick returner slip down on his own four-yard line (which led to Queen's third touchdown) is pretty inexcusable, even in inclement conditions.

Sterling, during an on-fieldpost-game interview, gently corrected The Score's D.J. Bennett -- "We're the Golden Gaels."

Our own Andrew Bucholtz already has his game story online at The Queen's Journal.

Laurier 38, Waterloo 23: The Golden Hawks' steadily improving QB Luke Thompson accounted for more than 400 yards' offence and threw for four touchdowns. It didn't sound like much of a game

Guelph 30, Toronto 0: No one had Week 5 in the pool for when Nick FitzGibbon would finally score a rushing touchdown, huh? Well, we'll just have to roll the jackpot over (no jokes about when York will score its next rushing touchdown).

The OUA has three 3-2 teams and three more at 2-3. Western's loss and the Gryphons' talent means that it's very much in play that they could win out and get to 5-3.

It was a tough afternoon for U of T. It would be good to see them have some close games over the second half of the schedule -- it would help sell the notion that they are rebuilding in earnest.
Both CIS teams in the GTA got shut out this weekend and the Argos lost by 28 points at home. At least Toronto has one winning football team -- the Bills will be 4-0 by this time tomorrow.

Canada West

No. 10 Calgary 24, UBC 11:
No one said it had to be pretty. Calgary TCB'd big time, with its defence stymieing the Thunderbirds, especially in the fourth quarter.

Deke Junior had three touchdowns through the air for Calgary, which is right in the thick of about four or five teams who are slugging it out for the 2-4 slots in the Can West playoff field. His 64-yarder to Nathan Coehoorn broke a long offensive-touchdown drought for Calgary.

Highly touted rookie QB Billy Greene, who was All-Everything in B.C. high school football the past couple years, saw extended action (5-of-13 for 102 yards, but 64 on one play) for the Thunderbirds. His statline didn't include a touchdown pass that would have brought UBC within six points (with the convert), since it was wiped out by a holding penalty. It would not be a shock to see Marc McVeigh end up moving to another position eventually.

Jordan Flagel, the Dinos quarterback for much of 27, is now playing receiver. He caught three passes for 32 yards, including a six-yarder for the day's final touchdown.

Regina 31, No. 7 Simon Fraser 7: The Rams have two games against Alberta left, so they're not out of this by any means. Luke Derkson, who'


Mount Allison 27 St. FX 24 (OT):
When Mount A wins, fans of 25 other teams always get a warm feeling. Olivier Eddie kicked the game-winning field goal on the second overtime possession, capping a homecoming victory for a team who's surely suffered for it.

Mounties d-back Callan Exeter was in on 13 tackles. Presumably, St. FX's James Green might still be running if Exeter had not been all over the field. Green's 27-carry, 214-yard day was the second-best in the country this weekend.

Four of the Mounties' games have been decided by five points or less and they led Saint Mary's for a half in their other outing. For a team which lost its coach not too long before the season, they've hung in there every week, to the best of their ability.

Saint Mary's 28 Acadia 23: Erik Who? The Huskies ran for their obligatory 340 yards, with two hundred and fifty-one coming from Devon Jones, and weathered a strong effort from a snakebitten Acadia team which remains winless.

Saint Mary's doesn't need a statement game, but if they want to have one next week at St. FX, sure, that would be nice. It's understandable that they know most of their league games are cake. They're still playing with fire -- a last-minute fumble actually gave Acadia to get in range for a Hail Mary pass before a sack stalled the last desperate drive.

The Axemen (0-4) still have their home-and-home with Mount Allison upcoming, but there's a trip to Sherbrooke yet for Acadia. The bottom line is sweeping the Mounties likely means a playoff berth and then it's two wins to a bowl game.


Bishop's 15 Sherbrooke 10: That's it, the Vert et Or's Thursday night TV privileges have been taken away for two weeks. They evidently watched USC's loss to Oregon State and figured that's how you play against a lightly regarded 1-2 team.

Jamall Lee ran 26 times for 176 yards, bringing him up to 724 halfway through the season. Laval has a quarterback who's an 80% passer, so Benoit Groulx might be the conference's nominee. However, the Laval QB always leads the country in completion percentage -- Lee is probably more valuable to the Gaiters.

Sherbrooke probably figures to get Bishop's back for this next week, but it might cost them a home playoff game -- unless they're fixing on winning at Concordia and/or Laval. They might be the Q's answer to Ottawa -- very talented, but struggle on the road. They were 10 yards from winning this, and took two holding penalties in the red zone that left them in third-and-18 on the game's decisive play.

Montreal 58 McGill 7: Oh, please.

The Carabins have Concordia and Saint Mary's on the road the next two weeks.

Laval 21 Concordia 12: If you hold Rouge et Or QB Benoit Groulx to an exacting Alex Rodriguez standard, then 20-of-31 for 293 yards (no TDs, no interceptions, but ouch, five sacks) is a bad game for him. For any other QB on any other team, it's great.

Étienne Légaré had 6½ tackles and sack for the Rouge et Or, giving him four takedowns of the quarterback in the past two games. He springs to mind as a Presidents' Trophy shortlister in the Q.
Canada West

Saskatchewan 35 Alberta 12: From the looks of it, the Huskies have got some swagger back, with Laurence Nixon throwing 32 times for 425 yards and three TDs in his first start since being injured early in the season. Travis Gorski had a big night (10 catches, 212 yards, and two TDs from two different passers).

Saskatchewan had 14 penalties for 150 yards (Alberta was also flagged 14 times, for 123), which probably held the score down. Please, don't by stingy with the comments: Was that the officiating, or a symptom of a larger problem for the Green Dogs?

Nixon did have two interceptions in the first half, including a pick in the red zone on the game's first drive. He should get a mulligan for that, since it was his first start in a while. All four of Saskatchewan's touchdown drives covered at least 80 yards and none lasted longer than five plays. That's impressive.

The Huskies have two games vs. UBC left, plus a return date with Simon Fraser and a trip to Manitoba (which might have run up the white flag if it falls to 2-3 with a loss on Saturday). The bottom line is that they control their own destiny in Canada West, more than anyone else, between having that Oct. 18 game with Simon Fraser at home and having Nixon back.

The Golden Bears had only one first down in the second half before putting together a window-dressing TD drive in the late going. There's no question about the effort. It just seems like they're at that stage where they can't avoid mistakes, and can't avoid paying dearly.


McMaster 53 York 0:
A converted kicker -- can you even convert from something that's not a position? -- delivering a pick-six kind of sums up the state of each program.

This game might only be mentionable for the fact that Mac's Pauolo Faiazza, made two interceptions and returned one for a touchdown. Faiazza, like a few of his booting brethren, is a fine all-around athlete -- he was known to pull the ball down and pick up first-down yardage. Once a upon a time, though, Mac would not be moving players around like that. They didn't have to, except when they had a talent like Jon Behie who had to be on the field somewhere.

Mac is making strides. They can't be considered an OUA playoff team until after Friday's home game vs. Toronto. When how a team plays U of T is a condition of how you look at them ... well, let's stop right there.

One would hope the freshmen York has pressed into service -- here one thinks of the QB, Nick Coutu, running back Ryan Rowe and linebacker Rob Thomas (the latter starred at Huron Heights in Newmarket, north of Toronto), are keeping their chins up. This cannot be easy. York has now gone scoreless for 168 minutes 55 seconds.

Back in 2004, Toronto allowed 450 points -- 56 a game. York is giving up almost 59 per outing.

(No blunders, no conference records .... it was hard to match last Friday.)
"You can't be lazy and be successful in college sports, and you can't be successful in business if you're lazy. You have to want to succeed. Some stuff you like, some stuff you don't. Some stuff is hard, some is fun. You win, you lose. But you have to analyze why and what you can learn from it. I think there are some pretty good correlations."
It's only sporting to call attention to an excellent profile in the Globe & Mail of telecommunications tycoon Lee Bragg -- who played hoops at Mount Allison and UNB.

Bragg probably would have done OK even if he'd never touched a basketball. The fact remains that his drive was honed on the hardwood in the Atlantic Universities basketball conference before it was unleashed on the business world.

Most valuable player; Two things were expected of Lee Bragg: He'd one day run part of the family empire, and he'd play basketball. Dad must be proud (Michael Grange, reportonbusiness.com)
Stingers Head Coach Gerry McGrath first met Palatnikov at a basketball game last winter. Palatnikov hadn't played a down of football in his life.

“I didn’t know who he was,” McGrath recalled. “He was about 210-215 pounds, but the way he walked and carried himself got my attention. I asked him if he ever played football, and he said no.”
Concordia, as an English-language school in a bilingual city of 3 million people, has always had a roster that very much reflects Canada's multicultural mosiac. For that reason, the name Sasha Palatnikov did not stick out as much as it should have while watching the RDS broadcast of the Concordia-Laval game last week.

As the story details, he grew up in Australia before coming to Canada to study. He ended up finding that the football at Concordia was more challenging to him than rugby, so he switched after being recruited by McGrath.

One impulse here is to start compiling the All-Unlikely Team -- the 26 playes across the country who took the unlikeliest route to starting on a CIS football team. Simon Fraser has its Viennese contingent, where QB Bernd Dittrich throws to Daniel Stanzel, while Valentin Gruber keeps pass rushers out of his face.

The floor is open to suggestions. Ottawa's Jason Peterson, who is listed as a DL/OL/P, can be the kicking specialist. (Since this team is all about people who can adapt, one of the receivers or defensive backs can take on the placekicking duties.)

Australian rugby player takes to Canadian football; Concordia University lineman takes the unlikely road to gridiron (Jared Book, Canadian University Press)
Alberta offensive lineman Simeon Rottier tops the CFL's initial list of the top 10 amateur football players currently playing in the CIS.

It's good to see the CFL get on this and try to call attention to fans where the next homegrown players in the league are coming from. Rottier, by all accounts, is a fantastic player in Canada West, but the anonymity of the O-line and Alberta's record work against him having as much name recognition.

Not too long ago, the U of A had a lineman get a look from the NFL, Patrick McDonald. Rottier also played on the national junior champion Edmonton Huskies (thank you, Vic) in 2005 under present York coach Mike McLean. McLean, of course, played and coached with the Edmonton Eskimos.

Green and gold already looks good on Rottier. Maybe it will in the CFL too.

For interest's sake, 10 of the first 20 picks in the 2008 CFL draft were from Canadian schools.

The list is of players who are eligible for the league's combine next season, so a fifth-year player would not be considered:

  1. Simeon Rottier, offensive line, Alberta
  2. Matt Morencie, offensive line, Windsor
  3. Jamall Lee, running back, Bishop's
  4. Scott McHenry, slotback, Saskatchewan
  5. Étienne Légaré, D-line, Laval
  6. Matt Carter, slotback, Acadia
  7. Steve Myddelton, offensive line, St. Francis Xavier
  8. Dylan Steenbergen, offensive line, Calgary
  9. Mike Cornell, outside linebacker, Ottawa
  10. Osie Ukwuoma, defensive end, Queen's
Jaime Stein, the one-time play-by-play voice of the Queen's Golden Gaels and Toronto Argonauts, is is now working in CFL headquarters. He had a big part in getting this launched. Kevin McDonald (former Laurier quarterback) and Ryan Janzen (star McMaster receiver in the late '90s/early 2000s), who also work for the CFL, also had a large role.

(Cross-posted to Out of Left Field.)
Through games of Sept. 20. Top 10 ranking as of Sept. 23 in brackets.

1Western (2) O44046.513.533.0
2Ottawa (5)O43145.814.331.5
3Queen's (4) O44043.815.528.3
4Laval (1)Q33033.36.726.7
5Sherbrooke (8)Q33035.019.715.3
6Saskatchewan (6)W32128.013.714.3
7Saint Mary's (3)A33033.019.713.3
9Simon Fraser (7)W43121.013.87.3
13Concordia (9)Q32129.730.7-1.0
15Calgary (10)W42214.318.3-4.0
22Mount AllisonA30322.034.0-12.0

There's bad and then there's York. (Also, I can't tell you how totally excited I am for this weekend's #20 at #26 matchup. Who needs Western-Queen's?)
Nine stories from the football weekend:
  1. Your Canada West leaders, the Simon Fraser Clan: A 20-3 home win in a turnover-filled game vs. Calgary means the Clan are on top of the country's most crazy-kooky conference.

    Can Dave Johnson's team keep it up? Three of their last four games are on the road and the home game is against Manitoba.

  2. UBC must mean "utterly bizarre coaching": This was covered off last night and at Out of Left Field, but one shudders to think what the fallout would be in the NCAA if a team committed the blunder that the Thunderbirds did in an 18-16 loss to Regina that should have been a 19-18 win.

    The T-Birds, down by two, had the ball at the Rams 21-yard line with 16 seconds on the clock. Somehow, some way, they ended up running a scrimmage play and managed not to try the field goal. Kicker Scott McIsaac had only made 11 straight, too. They even had a timeout to burn.

    (The only possible get-out-of-jail-free for the T-Birds: Ron Lancaster's grandson, Marc Mueller, is a Regina backup quarterback. Any good Saskatchewan football fan will tell you that the Little General could find a way to deliver a win from the Great Beyond.)
  3. J-Lee paints McGill's back porch red: This has been quite the season for national offensive records falling, so it might actually be surprising that Bishop's Jamall Lee(see Friday night's roundup) merely set the QUFL career record, missing the CIS single-game mark by four yards. He had 35 carries for 391 yards in McGill, coming within four yards of the all-time record. He's now at 3,642 for his career.
  4. Groulx plays the percentages: Laval QB Benoît Groulx completed 32-of-38 in a win at Concordia and is now completing a, frankly, ridiculous 79.8% of his passes, putting him well on pace to set a CIS single-season record. Three of the top six single-season marks are held by Laval passers, all in the past three years, but when you're completing 80% of your throws, you're not just a system quarterback.
  5. Manitoba gets back in the win column: A 27-17 win at Alberta, keyed by a 249-yard night by running back James Gerardy, gets the Bisons halfway out of the doldrums.
  6. Mac Stefs up: First and foremost, yes, Guelph gave it away on the University Rush game on The Score. One still has to be happy for the 1-3 Marauders after they came from 13 points down on the road to win 32-31 at someone else's homecoming. McMaster is starting to have some success coach Stefan Ptaszek's preferred style on offence, even though it's a very young team.
  7. New to the top 10: Sherbrooke beat Montréal 37-20 and will push them out of the Top 10. J.P. Shoiry had a 400-yard game ahead of back-to-backs against Bishop's in the Tussle in the Townships.
  8. Top 10 dropouts: No. 9 Calgary should fall out after fumbling six times (five of which SFU picked up) and not managing to score a touchdown. To quote the U of C alum who lives at 24 Sussex Dr., "Stéphane, we didn't get it done."

    Manitoba probably should return to the Top 10 after its road win at Alberta, although Calgary beat the Bisons by 20. It's either rank one of them or put in St. FX, who's 2-1 after outlasting winless Acadia in overtime.
  9. As the rest of Canada's hands were clenched its fits of rage: It's No. 4 Western at No. 2 Queen's in a battle of unbeatens — OUA unbeatens, some would feel compelled to add — next week on national television.
The game capsules are broken out in a separate post.

Laval 36, Concordia 13:
One play in the second half showed that Benoît Groulx is no system quarterback.

It was a second down, good coverage by the Stingers, and Groulx stepped into a throw and found Matthew Leblanc, who was double-covered, along the sideline. It didn't have a tight spiral on it, but it was a hell of a throw.

D-tackle Étienne Légaré had a monster game for Laval with 3½ sacks.

Concordia had eight penalties for 80 yards, and also settled for a field goal after being set up inside the Rouge et Or 35-yard line by a Nicholas Arsenault-Hum interception. Those were killers, and they get Laval at Laval next Sunday.

Sherbrooke 37 Montréal 20: Congrats are in order for the Vert et Or, who will be ranked. They're a high-powered offence, but the D still has to catch up.

(Cisfootball.org commenter Bizz has a great breakdown of the Q after three weeks.)


McMaster 32, Guelph 31:
The Marauders, aided and abetted by some Gryphons gaffes, got off the schneid thanks to Ryan Fantham (24-of-42, 283 yards, 4 TD) tossing two touchdown passes inside of the 3-minute warning.

The Stef Ptaszek revolution was televised. McMaster (1-3), on offence, is starting to move the ball somewhat like Ptaszek's old Laurier offences did, just not with as good an offensive line. One of its staples is the long handoff -- short, timing routes designed to let the receiver run after the catch. Running back Joey Nemet set up a field goal in the first half with a 24--yard scamper off a draw-trap play, that looked a lot like the ones Nick Cameron used to run during the Golden Hawks' championship years.

Mac has a couple of run-and-shoot style receivers, 5-foot-9 Matt Giordano and 6-foot Matthew Peressini (seven catches today). It's a complete 180 from coach Greg Marshall's style of power football, where the prototype Mac receiver was a big guy like Vaughan Swart and the inside receiver spot usually went to a tight end like Konrad Gloge, who looked like an extra offensive lineman -- until he started running.

Mac's a long way from a complete team, but it has York, Toronto, Laurier and Windsor in the second half. Their force unit, with Ryan Chmielewski, Simon Binder and James Edwards, did a job, holding Guelph's Nick Fitzgibbon to 62 yards rushing (take away a 44-yard cutback run, and he was under two yards per carry).

Slamming Dunk?

It is totally Tall Poppy Syndrome to say the Gryphons' Justin Dunk was diminished in many eyes.

It's just that Dunk is phenomenal, yet his team blew a 13-point lead against a winless team on Homecoming. He's someone whom the OUA and The Score look at to put an appealing face on football, with good reason. He's also a fourth-year starter who contributed significantly to Mac's comeback by tossing a very bad interception -- throwing back into the middle of the field when he was close to going out of bounds.

The Score (Tim Micallef, Mike Morreale and D.J. Bennett had a very good broadcast) also showed a particularly damning replay of the play that preceded the 45-yard field-goal try that Rob Maver missed with less than 20 seconds to go.

Fitzgibbon was out in the flat, wide open, and Dunk somehow did not see him. Instead, he tried to run and only got a couple yards, forcing Guelph to try a field goal that was very tough to make on a grass field.

It wasn't the QB's fault that Guelph strugged for 2½ quarters. A fumbled punt by Sean Riley inside the Gryphons 10-yard line also set up Mac for its second touchdown.

Dunk wasn't on the field when Guelph, which has a young secondary, did not have a defender within a postal code of Mac's Andrew Ross on the game-winning 52-yard touchdown pass with 58 seconds left. The fact remains that Guelph is 1-3 (two losses by a combined three points, but that only means they're leaving points on the field).

The only stat that matters for a QB is the W-L record. Well, not really, and it's a truth that a few peope who saw the last minutes of Guelph-Mac would have said, "Wow, what a crazy, exciting game." It would be boring if no one ever made a mistake.

It's also true that the reality OUA teams, on average, are younger than they were a decade ago, which means things that coaches and fans cannot be so sure of things they used to treat as immutables.

Guelph will end up no worse than 4-4. Just check the schedule. A top-4 finish and home-field advantage for an OUA quarter-final -- which in fairness, they did not need last season -- could be out of reach. Laurier and McMaster

One also wonders how a loss like this will stay with the Gryphons until they get in a tight spot again.

Laurier 33, Windsor 18: Your younger brother's Golden Hawks are set up well for a 5-3 finish and a No. 4 playoff seed in the OUA.

Luke Thompson (17-of-25, 302 yards by air, 47 by land) seems to offer something more than Ian Noble did, although Laurier could always back. The offensive line is of bigger concern, and it did manage to spring Ryan Lynch for a 40-yard run (but other than that, he was below four per carry).

Freshman wideout Shamawd Chambers scored the day's first touchdown and put Laurier ahead to stay with a 15-yard scoring run in the third quarter.

In the first half, Windsor apparently had to kick a field goal after being goal-to-go inside the five and passing twice. 'Tis better to have run and lost, than to have never run at all.

Chances are, the OUA rookie of the year played in this game. He would be either Windsor QB Sam Malian, who threw 26 times for 248 yards, Lancers safety Daryl Townsend, or one of Laurier d-back Courtney Stephen, linebacker Mitchell Bosch or Chambers.

Ottawa 59, Waterloo 0: The Gee-Gees' Josh Sacobie and the Warriors' Evan Martin are believed to be the first aboriginal Canadian quarterbacks to start in the same CIS game.

Waterloo's inside linebacker, Jordan Verdone, is also getting some pub for OUA rookie of the year honours. Verdone came in leading the OUA in tackles, alhtough tackling statistics don't tell you everything.

Gee-Gees receiver Ron Kelly got a chance to test the ankle that had been bothering him. He abused Waterloo's young secondary (six catches, 128 yards).

(Hat tip to Rogers 22 Ottawa's play-by-play man Richard Zussman -- a CFRC 101.9 alumnus -- for the historical nugget.)

Queen's 58, Toronto 14; Western 71, York 0: There's really not a whole lot to say when Andrew Bucholtz has a Queen's-U of T recap and also liveblogged the game. Jeff Chan also has a photo gallery.

The Golden Gaels' Mike Giffin, according to the game summary, ran 16 times for 212 yards. Quoth Mike Toth, on the CFRC halftime show, "He runs like an angry young man."

As for Western, super safety Matt Carapella played and made an interception. Western's a different team when he's at 100%.

What are the odds of York giving up exactly 71 points twice in a season?

Are York's freshmen RB Ryan Rowe and DB Brandon Rowe twins? They're each first-year players from Cathedral in Hamilton, within one inch and five lbs in same size.


Simon Fraser 20 Calgary 3: Co-ordinator of the week honours go to SFU's Lou DesLauriers, whose unit has given up just a single and a field goal in its past six quarters.

Bad luck (Calgary's) played a part, but Simon Fraser ahad six takeaways, including a strip-and-score by Christion Folk for the only TD of the game. The only dark lining was that Bernd Dittrich did not have a great statline and that Gabriel Ephard, the tailback, got nicked-up, according to the dot-org.

Calgary is a hurtin' unit on offence without Anthony Woodson. No doubt the Dinos would have preferred to make it through September before someone felt obligated to console people with the thought that Dalin Tollestrup will be back next year. Tollestrup was Canada West rookie of the year in 2006 as an 18-year-old quarterback straight out of high school before he began his Mormon mission.


St. FX 20 Acadia 13 (OT): X now has wins over Acadia and Mount A, giving it a leg up in the race to have a puncher's chance vs. Saint Mary's in the Loney Bowl.

James Green capped a 169-yard day with a 26-yard run on the second series of overtime. No Acadia running back or receiver had even 50 yards from scrimmage.

No disrespect to the school or the voters, but X had better not be ranked on Tuesday just because it's 2-1.

Is Manitoba a default No. 10 for being defending champions, or do you rank Calgary because it beat Manitoba by 20 before going two games without an offensive touchdown?

Regina 18, UBC 16:
Hey, UBC, before you join the NCAA, learn how to kick a last-second field goal. (Sorry, couldn't resist.)

As best as can be figured out from the dot-orgers' account, with 12 seconds left the Thunderbirds had driven to the Regina 21-yard line. It was very makeable field-goal range for their kicker Shawn McIsaac, who was only 10-of-10 in the past two weeks.

Twelve seconds is enough time to fit in one more scrimmage play if the offence gets up to line and snaps the ball quickly. There's some suggestion that as play was whistled in and the clock began to wind, UBC didn't do move with any great alacrity. No one made any motion to call a timeout and settle the team down. The clock was at about :06 when the ball was snapped and the QB, Marc McVeigh, handed the ball off to the tailback, Dave Boyd.

By the time Boyd was brought down, there were zeroes on the clock, and a probably more than a few Thunderbirds' jaws scrapping the ground. Instead of a 19-18 win, they'd lost. (One feels guilty for merely mentioning the players who touched the ball, but hey, it's in the boxscore,)

It's irony, on a base level, that this happened one day after the Vancouver Province ran a column about UBC's interest in joining the NCAA. That has very little to do with what happened tonight. For cryin' out loud, though, UBC coach Ted Goveia and his staff should be glad that they don't face, to turn the writer's words against him, the "extreme pressure to win in (NCAA Division 1), something foreign to the Canadian University Culture at this point."

A coaching staff in a big-time football conference in the States who had a blunder like this happen on a Saturday would be polishing up their resumes by Monday. They would hear about it for weeks, from boosters, bloggers, babysitters, talk-radio hosts, fans on Rivals.com, the media, the milkman, their pastor and the paper boy. There would be YouTube takedowns, like the one directed at former Arkansas coach Houston Nutt.

Point being, be glad for the UBC coaches that one person's backwards approach to university athletics is another person's sense of perspective. It's Canadian football. The coaches and players bust their butts as much as the school or a CFL team's budget allows them to, but a fan has to approach it with a little bit of ironic detachment.

Canadian football is always going to be imprecise. There isn't as much money in it, so it's harder to cover for human error. Unfortunately for it UBC, it found out the hard way.

Now, who's not going to cheer for UBC (2-2) to rise above this and make the Canada West playoffs? A team worthwhile can overcome.

The game thread on cisfootball.org is a good read. The final seconds pretty much pushed the first 59:48 of the game aside. Luke Derkson had a 208-yard night for Regina, which had turnover problems. Lost in the shuffle was that UBC tailback Cheng Wei (19 rushes, 89 yards) had two fumbles in the second half (one set up a field goal that cut a UBC lead to 16-15), which is why Boyd was in the game on the final series. That could have contributed to the brain-cramp.

Manitoba 27 Alberta 17: The Bisons have got to feeling better after ending a two-game skid and finding a running back, bearing in mind that Alberta's struggling.

James Gerardy gained 116 of his 249 yards during a 17-point fourth quarter. He broke off a pair of first-down runs before scoring the go-ahead touchdown.

A few minutes later, Alberta had a golden opportunity to go back on top, taking over at the 42-yard line after a bungled Bisons punt, only to throw another interception, their fourth of five on the night. They've thrown 11 in two games. Soon after that, Gerardy broke off a 37-yarder, which became a 52-yard play after an Alberta unnecessary-roughness penalty. Manitoba's Terry Firr caught a 16-yard TD pass to ice the game two plays later.

Quade Armstrong was at quarterback for the bulk of the game for the Golden Bears. Freshman Ben Gorniak started but threw three interceptions, all to Manitoba's Teague Sherman, before being replaced. The game moves at a million miles per hour for young quarterbacks. It seems fair to hope Gorniak grows from having a tough first start.

For the record, Manitoba only got eight points off those three picks. That's not much of a killer instinct, but tonight, they didn't need one.


Bishop's 45 McGill 21:
Congratulations are in order for Bishop's brilliant Jamall Lee, who set the Québec conference single-game and career marks tonight vs. McGill in Montréal.

J-Lee came within, what, one more broken tackle of perhaps having the first 400-yard game in CIS history. He finished with 35 rushes for 391 yards (the all-time record is 395, set by Calgary's Chris Lewis back in '94), bringing him to 3,642 after just 27 career regular-season games.

Just to put it in perspective, Lee's per-game average is 134.9 yards, achieved on a team which was 1-7 in each of his first two years, against Québec conference defences. It's bit facile, but that's better than the 129.3 you get when Jesse Lumsden's total of 4,138 is divided into 32 games.

The yards came coming easily for Jamall tonight against McGill's freshman-laden defence. Please keep in mind, though, in his first two seasons Lee was often close to a one-man offensive in his first two years with the Gaiters, before Leroy Blugh's rebuilding efforts started bearing fruit. Getting to 3,600-plus yards in the third game in his fourth season is a hell of a feat for him and his blockers, who tonight include the O-line of Tom Cumberbatch, Phil Sauer, Steve Mabee, Mike Berta and Alex Lau, along with blocking back Tim Cronk. (As a Kingstonian, it's obligatory to point out that Lau and Cronk played their high school football together at Holy Cross and with the Grenadiers amateur football team.)

Bishop's SID John Edwards gets a glove-tap for Twittering updates all night long.


Saint Mary's 50 Mount Allison 20:
Don't write this off as a mere mauling of undermanned Mount A. SMU scored 40 points in the second half, including 32 in the third quarter. That's good against almost any team east or west of Ontario.

Erik Glavic is back under centre for SMU, but Nathan Beeler-Marsman played the bulk of the game.
"The question that needs to be asked here is this: Is (UBC's) plan simply to go to NCAA Division II and stay there, or are there eventual plans to go to Division I and all the attendant glories, costs and concerns that go with it? Right now athletic director Bob Phillip is dancing on that one, not wishing to spell out his plans.

"... Part of the thrust (for UBC) to go NCAA in the first place has been provided by CIS, which has watered down the appeal of UBC, UVic, TWU and SFU here in B.C. It has given virtually every small school playing status with the big four, which are not amused by the idea of being lumped into a B.C. division, something presently being considered." — The Province, Sept. 18
It finally comes out, albeit not in a direct quote from anyone at the University of British Columbia.

Thing is, there is a solid case to be made for tiering university leagues and not pitting small schools against large State U-type schools, the Albertas and the UBCs. There's a strong whiff of big-city snobbery to it, though, but what are you going to do?

The larger point is that no one should really oppose Canadian athletes endeavouring to face the best competition available. Division 2 of the NCAA isn't it, however, and doing it to spite Thompson Rivers or UCFV is pretty low.

Is UBC's goal NCAA Div. 1?; But second-tier play may not be good enough (Tony Gallagher, Vancouver Province)
Should Canadian schools be excited to join Division II? (NCAA Double-A Zone)
The faculty strike at Windsor will affect the various Lancers teams.

Football coach Mike Morencie, as a unionized employee, has to step aside as long as his union is out. Four other Windsor coaches are affected, but only one, cross-country/track and field's Dennis Fairall, is in-season.

Laurier was in a similar starts six years ago, in 2002. Then-coach Rick Zmich had to step away from the team. The athletic therapy staff also had to leave, which meant players had to go to the hospital off-campus for treatment, which needless to say was tremendous inconvenience. It also meant slower recovery time from those nagging injuries -- bruises, muscle pulls and such. Laurier ended up 1-7 that season, although they actually finished in the black in point differential, imagine that (you can guess who the "1" was -- actually, as of 10:05 p.m. on September 1, those jokes can no longer be made).

Again, it's very early in the game with this, but it's bound to be a distraction for Windsor, especially if practice times get shifted to avoid dealing with picketers.

Lancers will field teams despite strike (Windsor Star)
University of Windsor classes cancelled as profs strike (Canwest News Service)
John Makie, Manitoba's exemplar of quiet efficiency over the past two seasons, is likely to miss Saturday's game at Alberta.

The upshot is that Nathan Friesen is more of a running threat at quarterback for the 1-2 Bisons. Alberta is not without its own problems under centre -- starter Quade Armstrong is injured and his replacements threw six interceptions last week -- so Manitoba should be fine. The emphasis is on the should be, since this is a team which just lost 28-0 at home.

Injury a big concern; Bisons QB hurt during sack (Winnipeg Sun)
Daryl Stephenson has always projected an ability to keep on keeping on, trying to play the game right.

At the end of the day, that is all any fan may ask of a young person who's playing football and getting an education. It's been said the only thing that endures in life is character. Across five seasons, suffering the slings and arrows of playing for the Windsor Lancers, a program which seems to bring out a special kind of bile in OUA fans, Stephenson has always let his game speak for him. He's shown character in spades.

It was fitting how Stephenson's record-breaking night unfolded. The Windsor star ground out a 115-yard night to become Canadian university football's all-time leading rusher, with 4,740 yards lifetime (in four less games than Dominic Zagari accumulated the old mark of 4,738). It was raining cats and dogs, the Guelph Gryphons had the game well in hand, and who knows, perhaps Windsor coach Mike Morencie, who surely had a few alumni staring daggers in his direction on a night when Lancer ceremonially marked 40 years of Lancers football, kept Stephenson in to make sure he got the record on his home field.

What does matter is now that the record's his, it's time to salute Stephenson for standing for total effort, putting up numbers in oftentimes trying situations. This isn't a Who's The Best discussion. It's about acknowledging that whatever your opinion of his team or the calibre of his competition in the OUA, Stephenson has earned your respect.

I've only been a hardcore CIS nut for 11, 12 years, so my historical perspective is lacking, but it's hard to remember an offensive star who had a harder time getting his due as a great player. There have been plenty who shone despite being on losing teams -- look at Matt Connell at McGill, or Mount A's all-purpose wideout Gary Ross -- but no one questions them.

With Stephenson, it's like he had a few strikes against him from the get-go.
  1. The next great running back in the OUA after the dynamic duo of Andre Durie and Jesse Lumsden was bound to suffer in comparison.
  2. Stephenson was a player out of London who passed up the traditionally strong team in his hometown, Western, to go to Windsor. No doubt some view him as someone who should been a Mustang.
  3. Thirdly, his highly contentious selection as the Hec Crighton Trophy winner in 2006 was the eighth straight for a player for an Ontario-based school, which was understandably hard to take for fans elsewhere in the country, especially given well-founded questions about the calibre of some OUA programs.
It's hard to see where any of that was Stephenson's doing.

On the first count, there is no way to definitively figure out how he compared to Lumsden (Durie was just from another planet). What is known is that Lumsden, while far from being a product of McMaster's system, at various times had four offensive linemen who went on to the CFL -- Fabio Filice, Matt O'Meara, Ryan Donnelly, Kyle Koch -- blocking for him. That's four more future CFLers than Stephenson has had blocking for him at Windsor.

Secondly, like it or not, a student-athlete's choice of school is her/his own business. Some Western fans probably didn't take it well when Stephenson went elsewhere, but he wasn't the first, nor is he the last, young person who had an opportunity to play a CIS sport and decided to do it at a university a couple of hours away from home rather than in his own backyard.

From a football standpoint, it also made sense. Western, in the winter of 2003-04, had two excellent tailbacks -- D.J. Bennett, who was going into his third season, and sophomore-to-be Randy McAuley. The Mustangs also had Andy Fantuz at receiver. Meantime, Windsor was offering to build its running game around Stephenson. Anyone who had spent his football life carrying the ball probably would have taken the latter.

As for the 2006 Hec, it's hard to begrudge anyone personally for winning an award. Applaud the honouree, but argue for a different way to decide the honour.

None of the above should diminish Stephenson's feat in anyone's mind. He's kept his head up through thick and thin and been loyal to the Lancers. In a year when several teams have fifth-year transfers, he returned to a team which was 2-6 in 2007 to begin work on a masters' degree. That's not meant to slight anyone else, but it says a lot for him. Like one of the devotees at cisfootball.org said tonight, he's risen above some tough times for his team, one carry at a time:
5 years of pounding and devotion to this program won't ever be forgotten. say what you will, but far too often he's been a one man show for windsor.... as he was again tonight.
One truth in life is that if your head can hit the pillow with the feeling you gave the best you could that day, then you're worthy.

Daryl Stephenson is worthy. There's even video evidence:

Nine stories from a CIS weekend:

  1. SFUBC 55, Saskitoba 17: Let's be on the up-and-up and focus on what this means for Simon Fraser, 27-17 winnes at home over Saskatchewan, and UBC, which won 28-0 at Manitoba.

    Saturday was an indicator that UBC's Ted Goveia and Simon Fraser's Dave Johnson are making progress on the talent-rich Left Coast, which has enough talent for two good CIS programs.

    Special teams was a common thread in both upset wins. The T-Birds got the game's only touchdown on a 98-yard punt return by Spencer Betts. Simon Fraser, meantime, outplayed the Huskies on specials, with Jeffrey Biles going 4-for-4 on the field goals and having a better net punting average than the green dogs' Connor Macdougall.

    That speaks how the coaches seem to have improved their overall depth; often, bad teams struggle in that third phase of the game since defensive starters have to double-up on their duties. who was also 0-for-3.
  2. Gee-Gee ennui: That old joke about a team looking like it was facing 24 guys -- 12 on the other team and the 12 on its own -- applies here. The No. 6 Gee-Gees, 22-19 over winless McMaster, will move up in next week's Top Ten only because Saskatchewan lost.

    It's understandable if Ottawa is feeling the weight of high expectations, or if they feel they can experiment with different schemes and lineups against lesser teams. They're good enough to get away with it much of the time.
  3. Waiting for Glavic: Saint Mary's dual-threat QB, Erik Glavic, was a late scratch,f orcing the Huskies to play three different QBs -- two of whom committed turnovers that were returned for Bishop's touchdowns. Saint Mary's, which might be the best team in the country, won nevertheless thanks to big days from Allister Blair (223 yards rushing) and Craig Leger (100).
  4. The T is for terrific: The Varsity Blues throttled York 58-7 and are now 2-1 for the first time since 1996.

    How long ago was that? For me, that was two degrees, 10 changes of address and a thick, lustrous head of hair ago. (Seriously, people would come over and ask to have their picture taken with it. Those were the days.)
  5. Queen's D is Sterling: Paraphrasing what Bob Horner said after hitting four home runs in one game against the Expos in 1986, "Today, Dee Sterling had a great season."

    Five-and-a-half sacks is a good year for an interior lineman. Sterling got that in one game in Queen's win against Laurier. It's unclear what the CIS record (mea culpa: when asked by someone, I dimly recalled that UBC's Scott McCuaig had six sacks in game last year, but that was wrong: He had six over two games. Whoops!)
  6. Somewhere, Peter Dalla Riva weeps: First Teyo Johnson caught that end-of-the-half Hail Mary touchdown for the Calgary Stampeders on Friday night, then two CIS teams did their part to revive the tight-end position.

    Simon Fraser's Miloš Živković, a 6-foot-5 H-back, caught a 77-yard game-tying touchdown for the Clan. Queen's 6-foot-6 inside receiver Scott Stinson had five catches for 111 yards, including a 48-yard score.
  7. No one's safe in Canada West: It's a four-way tie at 2-1 -- Calgary, UBC, Saskatchewan, and Simon Fraser.
  8. The Connell watch: McGill's Matt Connell had a 440-yard night on Friday in a 46-41 shootout loss to Concordia, which brings him to just more than 1,000 yards away from Ben Chapdelaine's career mark. He's got a good chance to get in over the next three weeks, although it's presumed he'd love to playing on a ranked team, like Josh Sacobie.

    The passing record:
    Ben Chapdelaine, McMaster 1997-2001: 9,974
    Matt Connell, McGill 8,927
    Josh Sacobie, Ottawa: 8,667
    Teale Orban, Regina: 8,132
  9. Later, Laurier: Come Tuesday, the Golden Hawks (1-2, and a couple plays from 0-3) will be unranked for the first time since 2003. Their place will likely be taken by Sherbrooke.
Canada West

Simon Fraser 27, Saskatchewan 17:
The Clan might have to make an annual game at B.C. Place a regular thing, since they pulled arguably their biggest win since becoming a CIS team in 2002 (yes, there was a championship in '03, but what accomplishment was it to win with team that been put together to play in the NAIA?).

Anthony Deslauriers, Nick Shuster and linebackers Brian Ridgway and Christion Folk each made INTs for Simon Fraser. Aeron Kawakami also had four pass breakups.

The View From The Stands took care of the post-mortem from a Huskie perspective. Seriously, who would have anticipated a Brian Towriss team losing a game where it had a running back, Tyler O'Gorman, go for almost 200 yards?

The final 30 minutes was practically an intervention for the Huskies. They have to show that they're capable of taking off that foam cowboy hat and playing football.

UBC 28, Manitoba 0: Call the Elias Sports Bureau -- has a team ever scored 28 points without benefit of an offensive touchdown? The T-Birds scored on a punt return and seven field goals. Unreal.

It's the first time in a while that Manitoba has lost back-to-back. It's a good thing they'll be getting a new stadium, since Brian Dobie has probably peeled a lot of paint off the walls trying to fire up his flatlining team. Manitoba has a lot

Calgary 17, Alberta 11: The Dinos' Brett Ferguson picked the wrong week to make three interceptions, including one that he returned 52 yards for the lone Dinos touchdown, because Sterling probably has a lock on defensive player of the week honours.

Take away a 69-yard scamper and Calgary's Matt Walter was held to just four yards per rush. Calgary will be a lot easier to assess after its trip to Simon Fraser next week.


Ottawa 22, McMaster 19:
The weather played hell with forging any kind of precise passing attack, so both teams should get some benefit of the doubt.

Josh Sacobie (19-of-32, 288 yards, 2 TD, 2 INT) was good enough in a game that didn't demand better of him. Ivan Birungi (seven catches, 123 yards) now has four TDs in three games; he's eight away from tying Andy Fantuz' career mark of 41.

Mac is 0-3, but Kevin Fantham showed enough that Stefan Ptaszek might have stick with him. Rookie Matthew Peressini also had a nice night (66 yards on five receptions). The Marauders still can't run the ball or avoid penalties (15 flags for 169 yards). They would have to underdogs vs. Guelph on Saturday.

Fans of karma no doubt noticed that Mac's Kurt Morrison was beaten for a touchdown pass in the third quarter almost immediately after he was flagged for a late hit out of bounds on Sacobie.
Guelph 34, Windsor 8: It's not really fair to judge teams on bad-weather games. Guelph ended up with more than 370 yards rushing, with Nick Fitzgibbon going for 175 and Justin Dunk adding 120.

Guelph kicker Rob Maver had a terrific night kicking in the rain -- 48.5 punting average, 2-of-2 on field goals. Just for good measure, he also had a first-down run on a fake punt where he juked two Lancers, causing them to crash into each other like bowling pins.

Queen's 41, Laurier 7: One cisfootball.org commenter is already trying to stick the needle by suggesting Queen's should be ranked No. 1 after a game where it outgained Laurier 643-123. It was in jest, right? Let's not succumb to Patriots fan-style hyperbole.

Andrew Bucholtz, who actually attends games before blogging on them (fancy that), has this game covered off at both Out of Left Field and Sporting Madness. The only point left to make is that from a Queen's point of view, one obvious comparison is a 45-0 rout of Waterloo last October. In hindsight, that was a lopsided game that instilled a false sense of security (and Queen's paid for it two weeks later), but the Gaels believe they're older and wiser in '08.

Laurier, which has lost two straight for the first time since Gary Jeffries took over in 2003, is patchwork along the O-line, so this one was a write-off. Some of the kids had their moments: Frosh wideout Shamawd Chambers hauled in a 42-yard scoring pass from soph QB Luke Thompson. Freshman LB Mitchell Bosch also made an interception where he won a battle for the ball. Ian Noble started at quarterback but got the quick hook.

Queen's cornerback Jay Oduwole started after being scratched last week, but came out again. (His backup just came up with an INT.)

U of T 58 York 7: Far be it to begrudge Toronto for piling it on, since they probably feel they had it done to them a few times. Can someone please shed some light on York's plight? So far they've been outscored 169-17.

Western 49 Waterloo 3: It looks like The Score should have a matchup of 4-0 teams on Sept. 27 when the Mustangs face Queen's. Make sure you get your blood pressure checked.

By the way, there is no media bias in Southern Ontario. So what if Tim Micallef, during the Ottawa-Mac telecast, said, "The Ottawa Gee-Gees, hoping to keep pace with the 3-0 Western Mustangs," omitting any mention of the other 3-0 OUA team?

(It's all good, Tim. We kid, because we love.)


Saint Mary's 35 Bishop's 27:
Imagine how good Saint Mary's running game would be with an able-bodied Erik Glavic. They totalled 372 yards along the ground and for all you time-of-possession fans, controlled the bal for 36:12.

Bishop's (0-2), thanks to two defensive TDs, cut a 20-point deficit to two after a TD with 2:38 left. On the two-point convert attempt that would have tied the game, Jeff Zelinski, the transfer from Regina, broke up the pass. Justin Palardy kicked his third and fourth field goals to seal the win.

Sherbrooke 23 Mount Allison 22: The Vert et Or's tailback tandem of Pascal Fils (14 carries for 143 yards) and Joseph Mroué, who had a 97-yard kick-return TD, bailed them out on Saturday.

Sherbrooke was under 4.5 yards per pass, which usually means a loss (judging from the punting stats, the wind was a big factor).

Jared Collett, from GTA powerhouse Huron Heights in Newmarket, had a game-high 107 yards on five catches. Has Mount A found a No. 2 receiver to complement Gary Ross?

Montreal 33 St. FX 9: About exactly what was expected.

Laval 47 Acadia 1: Rouge et Or QBs Benoit Groulx and Cesar-Roberto Sanchez combined for a completion percentage of more than 90 per cent, which says a lot about the different between the AUS and QUFL.

Concordia 46 McGill 41: There is no way to put lipstick on this pig, at least in the eyes of Stingers fans on cisfootball.org.

McGill came within a few plays of winning for the first time since 2006 before Devon Mitchell's TD run with 13 seconds left helped the Stingers avert disaster. On the bright side for Concordia, they are 2-0 heading into their home-and-home series vs. Laval, with the first leg in Montreal next week. Laval didn't look too great in its opener, either.

QB Liam Mahoney also had 322 yards total offence and led two scoring drives in the final five minutes, which might serve him well somewhere down in the line in a score-or-else situation vs. a better team. He will be in the first Hec Watch list -- 20 players who could emerge as candidates.

It's sometimes best not to do too much analysis of a game that clearly got away from the defensive co-ordinators (1,107 yards' offence). Concordia knows it has to tighten up its secondary. Their players know McGill, which has now lost 11 straight, might very well deserved a better fate, especially considering coach Sonny Wolfe dressed 35 underclassmen. McGill would be a young team even in CEGEP.

Big games in Week 5:
  • Atlantic: Acadia at St. FX (who's second-best in the AUS?)
  • Canada West: Regina at UBC (The Rams can ill-afford another loss, and if they've had two weeks to straighten up and fly right; UBC must avoid a letdown)
  • Ontario: McMaster at Guelph (University Rush game; Gryphons need this one to get in the hunt for the No. 4 playoff seed; Mac needs this one, period)
  • Quebec: Laval and Concordia (front end of a home-and-home) Montreal at Sherbrooke (possible semi-final preview)
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