CIS Football Report (Week 10)

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The CIS playoffs have already begun with two big surprises in the OUA that have left many of the smaller teams with plenty of hope.

The Laurier Golden Hawks leaned on their best player in Dillon Campbell who ran for 295 yards against the McMaster Marauders to eliminate one of the most dominant programs over the last few years.

Then the Carleton Ravens were able to shut down the Queen’s Gaels and earn their spot in the Semi-Final in their first year in the playoffs since reviving the program.

Now every other conference begins their run towards the national playoffs with big teams hoping to ensure their spot where they think they belong.

Laval, Montreal, Western, Guelph, and Calgary are all looking to take titles in the next few weeks.

As important as these titles are for their programs though there are plenty of players entering their last chance to win a title.

Some will never play football again and want to go out on top as they enter the real world after graduation.

Others are looking to make a final impression before they enter the combine and eventually the CFL, or NFL, draft.

Then there are the slim few who are looking to make an impression to the team they are already promised to after already being drafted.

One of the best players in the league is a member of that last group as Andrew Buckley enters this year’s playoffs hoping to make enough of an impression on the Calgary Stampeders to give him a shot next year.

In 2014 Andrew Buckley burst onto the seen in his hometown university after winning a QB battle in training camp.

That season he led the Dinos to the top of the CanWest conference and took home the Hec Crighton Award as the best player in the CIS.

That performance caught the attention of his hometown team as the Calgary Stampeders selected him in the 2015 draft and brought him to training camp.

He didn’t make the team his first chance out instead deciding to return to university for his final year of eligibility.

This year he has only improved on his performance from 2014 once again leading the Dinos to the top of the conference with an undefeated record.

In this last week of the season he entered the record books as well when he passed Derek Wendel for the single season passing record, Wendel broke the record the week before in the OUA’s last week of play.

Despite all of his accomplishments there is one thing that he doesn’t have and it is one of the main reasons he returned to school for another year.football-sidebar

Despite the fact that there are no QB spots on the Stampeders’ roster, Buckley wanted a championship after losing the Hardy Cup to Manitoba, a loss that ended a five-year streak.

Now he is firing on all cylinders and he enters the playoffs with the top ranked team in the nation.

They have been unstoppable this year in the CanWest conference and Buckley is hoping that he can continue that by leading the Dinos back to the Hardy Cup.

More than that he would love nothing more than to leave school and enter the CFL leading the best team in the country after winning the Vanier Cup.

When Buckley finishes his CIS career, which will be sometime in the next few weeks, he hopes to be considered one of the best ever.

There are plenty of other people who hope the same thing as Buckley is the latest in a long line of quarterback hopefuls in the CFL.

Since Russ Jackson left the game there has only been one starting Canadian quarterback in the CFL but nobody has reached the levels that Jackson did.

Year after year there seems to be a chance for a new Canadian quarterback to enter the league and have a chance at potentially being a starting quarterback.

The Stampeders thought enough of Buckley to draft him and although they don’t have space with Bo Levi Mitchell and Drew Tate serving as the top two QBs the fact that they thought enough of him brings promise.

Whether he plays for Calgary or moves on to a new team Buckley could be the next Canadian starter.

For right now though, he is looking towards Saskatchewan who stand in his way of earning the trophy he wanted so bad to bring back to Calgary last year.

It is the end for so many players this month and there is no doubt that anyone in their last year is sure to give everything they have to be the last team standing on November 28th in Quebec City.

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