CIS Football Report (2013 Season in Review)

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The CIS Season is officially over and the hardware has been handed out with not a whole lot changing. The season began with the Big Four and talk of the four repeat champions as questions arose as to who could continue their runs in their conferences. Changes would be seen but in the end the result was much the same as everyone had seen before. Two of the big four would last to the end of the season and both were the two teams that had much more than a three-peat at stake. The McMaster Marauders would see themselves taken over by the Western Mustangs while the Acadia Axemen would fall to the Mount Allison Mounties in the AUS. Meanwhile the Calgary Dinos would win their 5th straight Hardy Cup and the Laval Rouge et Or would win their 11th straight Dunsmore Cup. With all of the talk of the big four it would really be the big two that everyone should have been watching. The two most dominant programs in the CIS would prove that dynasties are real in the CIS and they are living well in Quebec and Western Canada. As the two most dominant teams faced off it would be the team that has lifted the Vanier Cup more than anyone in the history of the CIS that would be the ones crowned champions again. The Laval Rouge et Or would be crowned the champions for the 8th time in 49 Vanier Cups and would take the title for the second time in two years. They would represent the unchanging aspects of the league where they would once again run through the RSEQ conference while seeing a small challenge from the Montreal Carabins to win their 11th Dunsmore Cup. The RSEQ seemed very familiar aside from the rise of the Bishop’s Gaiters who rose from last in 2012 to second in 2013 but could not make it to the Dunsmore Cup final. The CanWest would follow suit as well with the Calgary Dinos running through the conference for an undefeated season and winning their 5th straight Hardy Cup. The CanWest was much like the RSEQ with the only real surprise coming with the Manitoba Bisons earning second place and a spot in the Hardy Cup finals. These two conferences would not represent the entire league though as the other two conference would see plenty of changes. In the OUA McMaster was no longer the strong team as Western would take over in a big way. Breaking records on offence the Mustangs would return to the top of the conference winning the Yates Cup. The OUA would see much of the same playoff teams but they would see a new rule that could last for a number of years. In the AUS it was a complete shift as Acadia would not have the same season they had the two seasons before and the Saint Mary’s Huskies would take over the top spot. They would not take the final championship though as the surprising Mount Allison Mounties would end the rein of the two most dominant AUS teams by taking the Loney Bowl. The season was that of change and staying the same for teams but they were not the only things that were making stories in 2013.

The players had their say as well with a number of players stepping up and helping their teams in record-breaking performances. There were plenty of great performances this year but there were two players that would highlight this year’s campaign for the Hec Crighton. As good as the running backs were in Mercer Timmis and Jordan Botel it was Jordan Heather and Will Finch that would take over the league. There has been a debate for years in Canadian football as to who could be the next great Canadian hope at QB in the CFL and these two QBs would put their names in the debate. Will Finch would have a big task ahead of him as he would replace one of the best QBs to put on the purple jersey of the Western Mustangs. Replacing Donnie Marshall would be no easy task but Finch would do it in amazing fashion this year. The Mustangs would break records averaging over 50 points a game and scoring more points than any other team in OUA history. Finch would be the main reason for this as he would throw more yards than any other quarterback in CIS history. It was a great season for Finch and would put his name among the future QBs that could make an impact in the CFL. As good as his season was there was one QB who was better and this player would end up going one better than Finch. With Will Finch finished his regular season a week earlier than the rest of the CIs his CIS record would come under fire. Bishop’s Gaiters’ QB Jordan Heather was the only player keeping pace with the Mustangs and Will Finch and would break the CIS passing record that at the time was only one week old. The Gaiters were a terrible team in 2012 as they finished at the bottom of the RSEQ with an 0-9 record but this year they would spring back. With a new coaching staff and the arm of Jordan Heather the Gaiters would fight their way to the 2nd place spot in the RSEQ. Heather was not on many people’s radar but the season he has had maybe put him in the debate among the next great hopes. The battle of Heather and Finch would go on all season and Heather would come out on top winning the Hec Crighton but both players are ones to watch as they get another offseason to build on some amazing numbers in 2013. It was a season of changes and of things staying the same but there is only one question left with the season over as the only left to wonder is what the next season of CIS football will provide.


2013 Season Awards

Hec Crighton Award:
Jordan Heather, QB (Bishop’s Gaiters)
3,132 yds
20 TD

President’s Trophy:
(CIS Defensive MVP)
Pawel Kruba, LB (Western Mustangs)
38 tkls
0 scks
1 TD

J.P. Metras Trophy:
(CIS Outstanding Down Lineman)
Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, OL (McGill Redmen)
– Helped MCGill to top the top completion percentage in the RSEQ
– Helped running back Luis Guimont-Mota to the RSEQ rushing crown

Peter Gorman Trophy:
(CIS Rookie of the Year)
Daniel Vandervoort, WR (McMaster Marauders)
31 rec
594 yds
19.2 ypc
8 TD

Frank Tindall Trophy:
(CIS Coach of the Year)
Kevin Mackey (Bishop’s Gaiters)
– Improved the team from 0-9 in 2012 to
– Helped the Gaiters to 2nd place in the RSEQ

Russ Jackson Award:
(CIS Academic MVP)
Andrew Buckley, QB (Calgary Dinos)
2,184 yds
12 TD
– 3.93 career GPA

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