Football: Digesting Week 10; Huskies suck the drama out of Can West's final day

  • Well, Saskatchewan sure sucked any drama out of the final Saturday in Canada West. The Huskies' 42-17 win in Regina locked in the Canada West playoff matchups, Manitoba-Calgary and Alberta-U of S.
  • Mount Allison's Gary Ross (not St. Francis Xavier!) became the most prolific pass receiver in AUS annals, which might get him a Hec Crighton Trophy nomination since it's either give it to a great player on an 0-8 team or give it to a specialist.
  • That specialist, Saint Mary's Justin Palardy kicked four field goals in a 21-7 win over Acadia, to finish with an AUS-record 23. Palardy was 85% kicker in a league where the rest of the kickers made only 66% of their placements.
Canada West

No. 4 Saskatchewan 42, Regina 17:
The phenom, Jeff Hassler, scooted for 49 yards on his second carry and went on to rush 23 times for 224 yards and three TDs, ensuring the U of S will not visit another Canada West stadium this fall. Saskatchewan went out to a 21-3 lead, with Laurence Nixon turned in an efficient day (9.3 per pass, no interceptions).

Huskies cornerback-kicker-punter Grant Shaw (is there anything he can't do) had a 45-yard run out of punt formation to set up the game's final touchdown. Please create an award which recognizes his talents, as Huskies Football Outsider argued persuasively earlier this week.

The story remains the same with Regina, nice team, some talented offensive players, but the defence just isn't there. They allowed an average of 554 yards during their season-ending three-game losing streak. Not ven in the OUA does a team feel good about giving up almost a third of a mile in offence.

Marc Mueller should finish as Canada West's leader in passing yards, but that's somewhat the nature of the offence. Regina scored only 14 TDs in eight games.

Perri Scarcelli's three field goals included a 50-yarder. No wonder some people would like him to keep kicking field goals at Taylor Field next season with the CFL's Roughriders.


No. 5 Saint Mary's 21, Acadia 7:
Saint Mary's, which offered its usual combo of methodical offence (212 rushing, 225 passing, with only only pass play longer than 25 yards) and solid defence, with sam linebacker Jeff Hecht collecting two sacks.

Jack Creighton (26 passes for 219 yards, no TDs) went most of the way for Saint Mary's, which will host the Loney Bowl in two weeks.

Acadia's played each quarterback, Keith Lockwood and Kyle Graves, about equally the past few weeks. Lockwood is a fifth-year passer and Graves is second-year, but at some point, why not go with the future of the program? Loyalty is nice, that being said.

Adrian Saturley's two sacks were an Acadia highlight. The

St. Francis Xavier 31, Mount Allison 18: Paraphrasing Jim Cuddy, at least X is livin' again. It took a half to wake up (Mount A was up 11-10 at the break), but two takeaways in the the third quarter helped get the game turned around for X, which hosts an AUS semifinal next week vs. Acadia.

The first was a Nick Riva interception on the first play of the second half which sparked a 14-point run that put the X-Men ahead to stay. The second was a John Skillen fumble recovery after Mount A give it credit, got back to within a converted touchdown (the young QB, Jake Hotchkiss, passed for 308 yards) of taking the lead.

St. FX's Steve Snyder, who passed 18 times for 207 yards, came out when the game was still close. Having followed the game from work, it's not clear what that was all about.

James Green's 109-yard night made him the leading rusher (2,304 yards) in St. FX football history.
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  1. I have to select Gary Ross as the HEC Winner for this season. I know players who have played against him and they all say he is fantastic and he is easily the best receiver and returner in the CIS. I'm sure someone from the OUA will win as the CIS does not look any further then outside Ontario.

  2. But very true!

  3. Gary Ross, a star among duds, imagine how good he could be with a team that knows how to block for him. I have watched him for four years and heeasily could play on any NCAA D1 team. That being said, at his advanced age (27) does he really deserve the HEC above a 22 yr old? I think not.

  4. The last two Hec Crighton winners were from outside the OUA. As amazing as Ross is, it will be hard to ignore Michael Faulds or Dan Brannagan, with all the records they broke.

  5. If Gary Ross was really that good he should have turned pro years ago.
    It's easy for a 27 year old MAN to look like a giant amongst players barely out of their teens.

  6. It's not the first or last anti-Ontario comment here by someone who didn't check to see if he/she had the facts straight. Opinions mean little if they're not supported by logic and facts, people.

  7. Is there not talk of Faulds winning the HEC? I do believe he is also 27?

  8. Would Gary Ross have better stats if instead of playing against Saint Mary's and Laval he could play against York, Toronto, Windsor, Waterloo? Would Brannagan or Faulds have the same passing yards say in The Q as they do in The OUA (this is not in support of anyone just making a point).

    Not sure you can consider this "anti'Ontario" Sager but the OUA does seem to get the nod in many areas for what ever reason and you only have to look as far as the Top 10 CIS Rankings with 5 OUA teams. I'm sure if Alberta, Sherbrooke, Montreal etc were in the OUA they too could have a 6-2 or 7-1 record like a MAC team. This debate can go on and on and it will only be fixed if either the CIS goes to a 2 divisions where maybe something like the top 3 teams in D- 2 can move up and the 3 last teams in D-1 move down (money is the issue for travel and most uni's and teams don't have the money to do this) or they do a cross over in the playoffs where say for example Saskatchewan can play Montreal or SMU can play Western as an example?

  9. You are preaching to the choir. We would love to see, if money and politics and small thinking were no object, a 16-team national championship tournament. The way it works now is the Vanier teams are often determined by who goes where for the semifinal and who is at home.

    It would also be great to have a "Big East" of the major Québec schools, the top half of the OUA and Saint Mary's. We've written about this before.

    Did you know the last 4 OUA teams to reach the Vanier — 2008 Western, '05 Laurier, '94-95 Western — each played an AUS team in the semi? The last who didn't was Toronto, so you know it's been a while (1993, beat Concordia in the Churchill played in Toronto if memory serves). Saint Mary's might have an easy ride in league play, but it's beaten teams from all three conferences within the past decade to get to the final.

    As for what's anti-Ontario, it's not anti if someone marshals the facts and logic to support what they're saying. There's no doubt some of the .500 teams in the Q and Canada West would go 6-2 in the OUA. Some would say you drop one of those teams into another conference and they would hold their own, go 4-4.

    But please, Saying the OUA wins the Hec every year when the last two winners — notwithstanding the previous seven did and everyone says that was too much — came from other conferences is a bit out-there. A big reason that happened is a lot of coaches did not want to vote for players who had come from junior ball and were older. That is becoming less of a factor with each passing season due to the 7-year rule.

    As for the Hec, when you look at his yards-per-pass and yards-per-carry, how can people not consider Erik Glavic from Calgary?

  10. All good points in the last 2 comments. I too like Erik Glavic as a pick but also feel Ross, Brannagan and Faulds are all good picks. Not sure I like the age thing coming into play (both Ross and Faulds 27 years old) but is a year or two here are there really going to make a difference on one player (now if we are talking about the Manitoba team from 2007 who won the VC with a team full of players that age) they it becomes an issue.