This one really isn't getting enough attention so time to start with a very understated comment: Brad Sinopoli is a pretty good quarterback.
Of course this is an understatement since the pivot for the Ottawa Gee-Gees (#6), who can hurt an opponent both through the air and on the ground, set three new team records on the weekend as Ottawa pulled away late in the second half of a top ten showdown against the newly ranked Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks (#10). Ottawa rebounded from an embarrassing loss to the unranked University of Toronto last week and in this past game Sinopoli looked great.
He passed for 309 yards and three touchdowns on the day, giving him 2552 yards to date and setting a new Gee-Gees single season passing record, previously set by Josh Sacobie during his 2007 campaign. Sinopoli is tied with Sacobie for most touchdown passes in a season by an Ottawa player with 21 as well. Sinopoli also broke records for most attempts (272) and completions (165) in a season by an Ottawa player in the win over Laurier.
Ottawa has only one game remaining in their schedule following their bye week next weekend and it is against the surprisingly strong defence of rookie defensive coordinator Kevin McNeil and the Guelph Gryphons. Needing to pass just under 500 yards against the top ranked passing defence in the conference may too tall an order, and as such the record might very well stay intact another year. However the player who has to be the odds-on favourite for the OUA Hec nomination still deserves praise for the season he has put together.
With the Canada West conference taking a bye week over Thanksgiving, as well as the Western Mustangs in the OUA, things were quiet on the FRC-CIS Top 10 front with four ranked teams enjoying the long weekend. There was still some newsworthy games taking place however, none more significant than the dogfight in Montreal.
The Laval Rouge et Or (#1) faced off against their bitter rivals, the only in-conference team to beat them last year, the Montreal Carabins (#7). This game was a scrappy affair with strong defensive stands and lots of rough behaviour. The score was 11-6 at the half for Laval and the top ranked team eventually wore down the Carabins' offence and gained a bit of breathing room in the second half, earning the hard fought 19-12 victory. Should the Rouge et Or continue their winning ways they have a clear path through the conference and, considering that Quebec is hosting the Uteck Bowl this year (and Laval, the Vanier Cup) they can potentially stay at home all the way to the national championship finals.
The Bishop's Gaiters (#5) rolled to a convincing win over Sherbrooke scoring 23 unanswered points en route to a 40-10 victory. The Gaiters were led by an impressive outing from quarterback Jesse Andrews who threw for 310 yards and one touchdown, while also running one in on the ground as well. Two Gaiters receivers gained more than 100 yards on the ground, David Haddrall (113 yards, including a 69 yard TD) and Oliver Mongeau (102 yards). With the Montreal loss Bishop's takes sole possession of second place in Quebec, sporting a 5-1 record.
And the last top ten team in action were the McMaster Marauders (#9), who nearly surrendered a 33 point lead over Guelph on Thursday night. MAC still managed to hang on for the 43-35 victory however in the dying seconds of the game, while attempting to block a punt, a Gryphons player (or possibly more than one, a number of them rushed for the block) ran into freshman kicker Tyler Crapigna. Crapigna was injured, possibly breaking his ankle from initial reports. The young kicker was having a great campaign kicking field goals and while no formal announcement has been made he is certainly expected to miss some action if not the rest of the season.
Other notes of interest: Justin Chapdelaine threw for 284 yards and six touchdown passes as Queen's dismantled the Varsity Blues to a tune of 68-1. The Windsor Lancers kept their playoff hopes alive with an equally dominant 61-15 victory over the York Lions. And the Acadia Axeman took full advantage of an injury-ridden Mount Allison team for a 26-19 win that puts them on top of the AUS conference. The Mounties and Saint Mary's Huskies are tied for second, each sporting a 2-3 record.