CIS Players of the Week (9): Finch, LeBlanc & Hajrullahu honoured

OTTAWA – Western quarterback Will Finch, Mount Allison defensive lineman Jacob LeBlanc and kicker Lirim Hajrullahu, also from Western, are the CIS football players of the week for the period ending Oct. 20, 2013.

Finch, a second-year social science student from Burlington, Ont., was honoured on offence thanks to a record-breaking performance which helped the nationally top-ranked Mustangs clinch first place in the OUA standings and finish league play with a perfect 8-0 mark for the first time since 1998. In a 50-10 home win against York last Saturday, the 6-foot-3, 215-pound sophomore completed 32 of 48 passes for three touchdowns and a CIS season-best 547 yards to finish the regular schedule with 3,047 yards through the air, a new CIS standard, and a completion percentage of 69,7, an OUA mark. Western earned a bye in the first round of the playoffs and will host a conference semifinal on Nov. 2.

Acadia running back Thomas Troop, Bishop’s receiver Alexander Fox and Manitoba quarterback Jordan Yantz were also up for the award.

LeBlanc, a third-year commerce student from Halifax, took home the weekly honour on defence after he helped the Mounties to a crucial 27-24 road win over Saint Mary’s. The 6-foot-3, 325-pound junior racked up a game-high 10.5 tackles, including nine solo, and a pair of sacks as Mount A triumphed at Huskies Stadium for the first time since 1997. Going into their regular season finale against Acadia (3-4) on Saturday, the Mounties (3-4) are in a three-way tie for second place in the AUS standings.

Laval linebacker Mathieu Masseau, Ottawa lineman Ettore Lattanzio and Calgary defensive back Adam Ballingall were also nominated.

Hajrullahu, a fifth-year kinesiology student from St. Catharines, Ont., also made CIS history in Western’s convincing win over York and earns was the weekly nod on special teams. Playing in his final conference game, the 6-foot, 190-pound senior scored 20 points and split the uprights five times in as many attempts to become the highest-scoring player in CIS history (422 points) and set an OUA record for most field goals in a career (77). He also tied the OUA season mark of 22 field goals and leads CIS this fall with 130 points.

Kickers Ryan Begin of Acadia and Boris Bede of Laval, as well as Calgary returner Michael Schmidt were the other nominee.

Offensive nominees:

AUS: Thomas Troop, running back, Acadia

RSEQ: Alexander Fox, receiver, Bishop’s

OUA: Will Finch, quarterback, Western (recipient)

CWUAA: Jordan Yantz, quarterback, Manitoba

Defensive nominees:

AUS: Jacob LeBlanc, lineman, Mount Allison (recipient)

RSEQ: Mathieu Masseau, linebacker, Laval

OUA: Ettore Lattanzio, lineman, Ottawa

CWUAA: Adam Ballingall, defensive back, Calgary

Special team nominees:

AUS: Ryan Begin, kicker, Acadia

RSEQ: Boris Bede, kicker, Laval

OUA: Lirim Hajrullahu, kicker, Western (recipient)

CWUAA: Michael Schmidt, returner, Calgary

WEEK 10 SCHEDULE (all times local)


NOTE: Click HERE for the complete 2013 schedule & results.


October 25

18:00   UBC (4-3) at No. 3 Calgary (7-0) (video webcast)


October 26

13:00   OUA quarter-final: Ottawa (5-3) at No. 8 McMaster (5-3) (Sportsnet 360)

13:00   No. 2 Laval (7-0) at No. 6 Montreal (5-2) (Radio-Canada TV & video webcast)

13:00   McGill (3-4) at No. 7 Bishop’s (5-2) (video webcast)

13:00   No. 10 Saskatchewan (4-3) at Regina (2-5) (SHAW TV & video webcast)

14:00   Saint Mary’s (4-3) at StFX (3-4) (Eastlink TV & video webcast)

14:00   Acadia (3-4) at Mount Allison (3-4) (video webcast)

16:00   Concordia (0-7) at Sherbrooke (2-5)

17:00   No. 9 Manitoba (4-3) at Alberta (0-7) (video webcast)

20:00   OUA quarter-final: Windsor (4-4) at No. 5 Guelph (7-1) (video webcast)

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