U Sports player of the week (9): CFC100 Pinto, Taylor, DiFonte honoured

UBC receiver Trivel Pinto, Calgary defensive back Sterling Taylor and Calgary kicker Niko DiFonte are the U SPORTS Football Players of the Week, for the period ending Oct. 21, 2018.

Pinto helped propel the UBC Thunderbirds into the playoffs Saturday, as the fourth-year posted 198 receiving yards, along with 96 return yards in a 30-11 win over Alberta. Pinto hauled in 11 catches, as UBC ran their record to 4-3, clinching a Canada West playoff spot in the process. His 198 receiving yards are the most in a CW conference game this season, as the Toronto, Ont., product ranks second in the nation in yards per game, averaging 121.7 in six games played. The Arts student found the end zone once Saturday, giving UBC a 6-0 lead thanks to a 13-yard TD pass from Michael O’Connor on the final offensive play of the first quarter.

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With his dad travelling more than 3,000 kilometres from Atlanta, Georgia to Calgary to see his son play, Sterling Taylor IV didn’t disappoint. After redshirting last year as a transfer from Murray State University, Taylor posted his best game as a Dino in a dominant 58-6 win over the Regina Rams. Taylor recovered a pair of fumbles, and recorded a pass breakup for the Dinos, but those stats paled in comparison to the longest defensive play in Canada West history.

With under a minute to play in the third quarter, Taylor picked off Rams quarterback Josh Donnelly on the Calgary goal line, and ran the interception back the distance for the major. The 110-yard interception return surpassed the previous record of 109 yards held by former Saskatchewan Huskie Eric Duchene, who was the Canada West record holder since 2001. Taylor’s play is tied for third in the U SPORTS national record book, with the record held by Guelph’s Don Williams, who posted a 112-yard interception back in 1981.

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DiFonte continued his stellar season Saturday, accounting for 20 total points in a 58-6 win over Regina. DiFonte, who leads Canada West and ranks fourth in field goal percentage (minimum 10 attempts) at 81 per cent, made four field goals – including a long of 51 – in Calgary’s decisive victory. The Winnipeg, Man., native is third in points this season with 90, and also has the nation’s longest field goal at 52 yards. Of DiFonte’s 17 field goals this season, which ranks fifth in U SPORTS, seven are from 40 yards or beyond.

Offensive nominees:

  • CW: CFC100 Trivel Pinto, receiver, UBC (winner)
  • OUA: Tyler Ternowski, receiver, Waterloo
  • RSEQ: CFC100 Hugo Richard, quarterback, Laval
  • AUS: CFC100 Hunter Guenard, quarterback, Acadia

Defensive nominees:

  • CW: Sterling Taylor, defensive back, Calgary (winner)
  • OUA: CFC100 Kadeem Thomas, defensive back, York
  • RSEQ: Benjamin Carré, defensive back, McGill
  • AUS: Bailey Feltmate, linebacker, Acadia

Special teams nominees:

  • CW: Niko DiFonte, kicker, Calgary (winner)
  • OUA: Gabe Ferraro, kicker / punter, Guelph
  • RSEQ: Dominic Lévesque, punter, Laval
  • AUS: Kieran Burnham, kicker / punter, StFX

Sportsnet and TVA Sports are once again the official broadcasters of the U SPORTS football semifinals and final in 2018. The Mitchell Bowl (CW at OUA) and Uteck Bowl (AUS at RSEQ) are set for Saturday, Nov. 17, while the 54th Vanier Cup Presented by Promutuel Insurance follows on Saturday, Nov. 24 at TELUS-UL Stadium in Quebec City. For all the information on the 54th Vanier Cup (including tickets) click here.


Source: usports.ca

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