CIS Football Report (Conference Finals Week)

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The Conference Finals would cap off a week where the CIS would celebrate the end of the football season. There are only a few weeks left in the official season but the conferences would end their seasons this week with their championships. There were some surprises and some expected results as four teams moved on to the national playoffs and one step closer to the Vanier Cup on November 23rd. As a part of the winding down of the season the nominees for the individual awards were announced. The conferences would announce their nominees for the 2013 season awards including the biggest award of them all. The NCAA has the Heisman Trophy to honour their best player and the Canadian version of that legendary trophy is the Hec Crighton Award. The Hec Crigthon Award began in 1967 and honours the most outstanding player in the CIS. The award is named after one of the most influential members of the CIS Football world in Hec Crighton who created the CIS rulebook and was a teacher, coach, and referee in the CIS. Last year the award would go to McMaster QB Kyle Quinlan who would help his team to their second straight Vanier Cup appearance. Quinlan was the clear favorite for the award in 2012 as he was the best player throughout the year and was considered the next great Canadian hope in the CFL. He will now be followed by four players who have been unbelievable this year and may just have a big impact at the next level. The RSEQ would put forth the one player who might be the best bet to win the award in Jordan Heather. The Bishop’s QB would have a season that no other QB would ever have. He would be one of the biggest reasons that the Gaiters would finish in 2nd place in the RSEQ this year. With a CIS record 3,132 passing yards Heather had the greatest single season by a QB and although he would not be able to bring his team to the Dunsmore Cup he is still the favorite to win the award. His biggest challenger could be another record-setting QB from the OUA. Will Finch had plenty of questions surrounding him before the season as he would have to replace a great Western QB Donnie Marshall. He would do that in a great way as Finch would lead the Mustangs to the greatest offensive year by any team in OUA history scoring 458 points. They would also earn a CIS record for most 50+ point games with 7 and a large part of that was Will Finch. Finch would break the CIS record for passing in the last week of the OUA season only to be passed the next week by Jordan Heather. Leading the high-powered offence of the Western Mustangs would give Finch the nomination for the OUA and could be the one player to challenge Jordan Heather in the fight for the Hec Crighton. The two QBs will be the favorites this year but two running backs will look to make their case and the case for the running game as they go for the Hec Crighton. From the CanWest conference comes a player filling in for a legend much like Finch would this year. When Steven Lumbala left Calgary many wondered whether or not Mercer Timmis would be able to fill the shoes of the great Dinos back. He would be able to fill in and would do it well leading the Dinos to the best rushing attack in the CIS. With a total of 1,157 yards on the season Timmis was the best running back in the CIS and is hoping to win the Hec Crighton and show that the running game is still important. A less likely winner of the award will be Jordan Botel from as he has not had the same season as the rest of the nominees. Still he deserves to be in the conversation as the best player in the AUS conference and a top 10 running back in the league. With 758 rushing yards for the Mount Allison Mounties Botel is a big reason for the Mounties becoming AUS champions. The Hec Crighton Award has it’s nominees as some of them will wait to see the announcement while others will continue playing and looking to prove that they deserve the award in the national playoffs. Despite the results this year you can expect to see most of these top players make an impact in the CFL including the QBs who are now the next hopes for a Canadian to start at QB in the CFL.


Conference Finals

Loney Bowl:
Mount Allison Mounties 20 – 17 Saint Mary’s Huskies
– The Saint Mary’s Huskies had joined with the Acadia Axemen to win the Jewett Trophy for the last 14 years but that streak would come to an end when the Mounties would get the win in a tight back and forth battle that was decided with 10 points in the last 3 minutes of the game from the Mounties

Yates Cup:
Western Mustangs 51 – 22 Queen’s Golden Gaels
– The Gaels were hoping that the underdog role would help them sneak past Western but Will Finch and the rest of the Mustangs would not let that happen as they would once again score over 50 points in a dominant win for the 106th Yates Cup

Dunsmore Cup:
Laval Rouge et Or 14 – 11 Montreal Carabins
– The Rouge et Or are one of the scariest teams in the CIS but the Montreal Carabins are used to facing them and do not let their legend phase them as they would hold the Rouge et Or to only 14 points but were unable to get the win giving Laval their 11th straight Dunsmore Cup

Hardy Cup:
Calgary Dinos 43 – 38 Manitoba Bisons
– The Bisons would put up a fight in this game but once again the second most dominant team in the CIS would come out on top as the Dinos would take the win and earn their 6th straight Hardy Trophy


National Semi-Finals

Uteck Bowl:
Laval Rouge et Or vs. Mount Allison Mounties (Saturday November 16th; 1:30 pm ET)
– The Mounties are coming off of a big win against a dominant opponent but they will take a leap up in competition in the Uteck Bowl as the small school from New Brunswick looks to pull off the biggest upset in recent history against the defending Vanier Cup champions

Mitchell Bowl:
Western Mustangs vs. Calgary Dinos (Saturday November 16th; 4:00 pm ET)
– A matchup of two different thoughts on offence will face off as the dominant fast paced passing offence of the Mustangs takes on the deliberate grinding rushing offence of the Dinos with both teams looking to get a ticket to BC and the Vanier Cup

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