There are a couple of very good reasons for the Calgary Dinos (#5) to be proud, not only did their team win their last regular season game but both Aaron Ifield and Matt Walter cemented their names in the record books.
Ifield set a new CIS record for all time field goals by hitting his 71st with an impressive 51-yard kick in the Dinos 37-5 win over Alberta, moving one past Western's Frank Jagas ('90-'94) on the all time career ranking. The kick also set a new team record for most field goals in a season at 18 out of 22 attempts.
Matt Walter rushed for 79 yards on the day against the Golden Bears and caught a short, one yard pass for another score, and in doing so set a new Calgary record for most touchdowns in a season. The previous record of 28 was held by two Dino alums Dave Brown ('85-'89) and J.P. Izquierdo ('87-'90). Walter also becomes the 33rd player to score 30 or more touchdowns in CIS history and ranks fifth all time in Canada West for career majors.
The Dinos enter the postseason the second seed in the highly competitive Canada West conference, tied with Saskatchewan with a 6-2 record but the Huskies own the tiebreaker by beating Calgary twice on the season. And they ended the season on a high note with two impressive career performers reaching record heights.
Heading to the rest of the UFRC/CIS Top 10 begins in Ontario, where the OUA playoffs began this past weekend with the quarterfinals.
The Ottawa Gee-Gees (#4) ended the season with the same record as the Western Mustangs (#2), however they hold the tiebreaker having defeated the Mustangs earlier in the season. Both teams rested with bye weeks and will host the winners of the quarterfinal match-up's next weekend.
The McMaster Marauders (#7) hosted the defending Vanier Cup champions Queen's and with an impressive showing claimed the win 40-19. MAC accumulated 483 total yards Offence on the day, Kyle Quinlan leading the way for the Marauders throwing 18-of-26 for 361 yards and 4 touchdowns. The Gaels were led by the running of Jimmy Therrien who ran for 128 yards and a touchdown.
The other playoff game pitted two teams who made appearances in the Top 10 throughout the season as Wilfrid Laurier hosted Guelph. The Golden Hawks defended their home turf with a 42-10 victory on the day themselves. Shane Kelly threw for 2 touchdowns and an interception while leading the Hawks on the day. Guelph's Nick Fitzgibbons ended an excellent CIS career carrying the load for the Gryphons, rushing for 142 yards which included a 54 yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.
Laurier will now travel to Frank Clair Stadium iun Ottawa to face the Gee-Gees while Western will host MAC at TD Waterhouse Stadium in London next .
The rest of the conferences wrapped up their regular seasons. The domination that the Laval Rouge et Or (#1) hold over the rest of the Quebec conference continued with their third straight 60 point performance, defeating the Concordia Stingers 62-7 and ending the Stingers hopes at the playoffs. Their record of scoreless quarters ended at 11 when the Stingers Dan Rodrigues punched in the ball from two yards out for the lone Concordia score. Laval controlled the game mainly on the ground as Pascal Lochard rushed for 187 yards and 2 touchdowns and Guillaume G-Bourassa for 121 yards. Dominique Noel also had a big day for Laval with a couple interceptions with some nice returns after the picks. Laval finishes the regular season undefeated heading into the postseason.
The Saskatchewan Huskies (#3) claimed the regular season conference crown with a defeat of the Regina Rams (#6) in a very heated affair on Friday night. The Rams however were unable to stop the Huskies at the start, falling behind 42-7 before they staged a failed attempt at a comeback late in the game. The final score was 52-29 for Saskatchewan. This game a duel between two of the best Quarterbacks in the entire country assaulted the air. Lawrence Nixon went 23-for-32, throwing for 424 yards, 4 touchdowns and a pick in the Huskies win. Regina's Marc Mueller was 29-for-44 as he tossed for 437 yards, 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions in the loss. With an array of impressive outings by receivers on both sides of the ball Saskatchewan's Jade Etienne's performance stands out with 8 receptions for 204 yards and a touchdown.
Out West the Huskies will host the Alberta Golden Bears and Regina will travel to Calgary to face the Dinos as the playoffs kick off.
The Montreal Carabins (#8) put together a very impressive defensive outing limiting the previously Top 10 ranked Bishop's Gaiters to 134 yards in a 37-7 victory. The Gaiters shot themselves in the foot by losing 4 of 5 fumbles, 2 of which were returned for touchdowns by Montreal's David Menard and Greg Alexandre respectively.
Elsewhere in Quebec newly ranked Sherbrooke Vert et Or (#10) put together another impressive win defeating McGill 43-8 to end their regular season. Sherbrooke's pivot J-P Shoiry had another strong outing going 15-of-26 for 313 yards, 1 touchdown and 1 interception. Sherbrooke caused 5 turnovers, 2 fumbles and 3 interceptions - two of which were returned for majors by Dave Boucher.
In Quebec Laval finished on top and will face Bishop's, who remain in the postseason despite their loss because Concordia could not defeat Laval. Montreal finishes in second and will host the surging Sherbrooke side. The Carabins and Vert et Or met in the opening game of the year, a narrow victory by Montreal.
And rounding out the Top 10 on the East Coast are the Saint Mary's Huskies (#9), who continued to try and erase memories of their poor start to the season with a 21-0 victory over the formerly ranked Acadia Axemen. It was a defensive battle with the Huskies making the most of turnovers, returning two interceptions for scores. Saint Mary's Jeff Hect and Mark Holden grabbed the two pick 6 interceptions on the day. Both teams were plagued by turnovers, both teams losing the ball 3 times.
In the AUS Saint Mary's claims the regular season crown with Mount Allison hosting Acadia next weekend.