CIS Football Report (Week 2)

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The second week of the CIS season saw two more conferences officially begin their seasons with the RSEQ and CanWest teams getting started.

As schools fill in and students return to classes university football is finally starting to get into full swing.

The pursuit of the conference titles is beginning across the country.

As the teams progress towards the end of the season where all hope to find their way to the top there is another battle going on.

It is a battle that is far more individual than the game usually allows but it is one that goes on every year.

That is the battle to achieve a dream and get drafted into the pro game.

For those in the CIS that often means looking to the CFL Draft next year as they hope to make a living playing the sport they love in their own country.

To that end scouts are constantly looking at the new crop of talent that is ready to be drafted next year.

As they take more of a look eventually players begin to emerge as great players that might provide change for their team.

The Scouting Bureau provides the public with some insight into that process as they release multiple rankings throughout the year that show who the best Canadian players that are eligible for the draft next year.

The first ranking has been released this year and that ranking follows a distinct pattern in the rankings over the last few years.

The sport continues to grow in Canada and as the sport grows players get better and better.

That means more interest from bigger schools and for more and more Canadians are going down south to the NCAA where they can get more recognition from the NFL.

The Canadians down south are making their impact and every year it seems like the rankings are being filled up with NCAA players.

That doesn’t mean that the CIS is not represented but for a CIS player to be among the top players in the rankings means that they are really making an impact.

The first rankings came out this week and an NCAA receiver sits at the top with Tevaun Smith from the Iowa Hawkeyes.

Right behind him though is a CIS star in David Onyemata of the Manitoba Bisons.

Onyemata has a strangely familiar story for the Bisons as the Nigerian born nose tackle came to Canada for an education and ended up on the football field.football-sidebar

At 6’4” 300 lbs he has proven to be a natural at his new sport despite very little experience before becoming a Bison.

The story resembles that of former Bison Israel Idonije who moved to Canada from Nigeria for school and ended up becoming a superstar on the field.

He was good enough to be signed by the Cleveland Browns as an undrafted free agent and eventually found his way to the Chicago Bears where he started for ten years.

Onyemata is receiving the same type of hype this year as some see him going to the NFL while any CFL team will be happy to take his rights in the draft.

Aside from Onyemata there are a number of CIS players but unlike years before the list lacks many top CIS offensive lineman.

Instead Calgary defensive back Elie Bouka and running back Mercer Timmis round out the top five alongside Michigan State product defensive back Arjen Colquhoun.

The best CIS lineman in the group is reportedly Charles Vaillancourt form Laval while his linemates Phillipe Gagnon and Jason Lauzon-Seguin make up the only other CIS lineman in the rankings.

The linemen were always a strength of the CFL draft especially when it came to the CIS. This year is different as the top twenty has only five total lineman, three from the CIS, with the other position players filling out the rest.

The rankings are out now and it is officially time for the CFL scouts to get to work looking at players in real games as multiple players hope to find their way to the CFL Draft next year.

The pressure is on many of these players as this is the year that they will be watched closely throughout the year to see what they can do when the pressure is on.

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Key Scores:
Alberta Golden Bears 29 – 22 Regina Rams
– The CanWest conference opened their season with two teams facing off that might see this game be important in the end as the Bears and the Rams may be fighting for a playoff spot with the Bears getting the upper hand in a close fight

Laval Rouge et Or 12 – 9 Montreal Carabins
– The Carabins and Rouge et Or had a close battle to win the RSEQ last year including a Montreal win in the Dunsmore Cup but the Rouge et Or got their revenge for last season in another close game that saw Laval come out on top

Carlton Ravens 57 – 0 Waterloo Warriors
– The Ravens are the newest team in the OUA and they are ready to compete as they proved against the Warriors putting up a big 57 points that helped them climb to the top of the standings after two weeks

Toronto Varsity Blues 8 – 7 Windsor Lancers
– The Blues have had some major trouble putting wins together over the last few years but they got their first in Week 2 even if it wasn’t the prettiest win that they will have only beating the Lancers by a point

Next Week:
McGill Redmen vs. Montreal Carabins (Friday September 11th; 7:00 pm EDT)
– The Montreal Carabins did not start off their first season as champions well with a loss to their rival in Laval but they hope to get things back on track taking on a crosstown rival in McGill who are looking for their first win as well

Calgary Dinos vs. Manitoba Bisons (Friday September 11th; 7:00 pm CDT)
– The Bisons beat the Dinos last year for the Hardy Trophy ending a six-year reign at the top of the CanWest and now the Dinos want some revenge as they take on the Bisons in what is becoming a great rivalry

StfX X-Men vs. Acadian Axemen (Saturday September 12th; 2:00 pm ADT)
– The AUS open their season in Week three as the X-Men and Axemen face-off both looking to gain an advantage when it comes to the end of the season where both might be fighting to stay in the playoffs

Carlton Ravens vs. Windsor Lancers (Saturday September 12th; 1:00 pm EDT)
– The Ravens are trying to show the rest of the OUA that despite entering only their third year they are ready to compete now as they try to beat the Lancers who are coming off of a heart breaking loss to Toronto

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