UFRC – CIS Top 10 (#5): No. 1 Laval extends winning streak to 15

OTTAWA (CIS) – For the fifth time in as many weeks, the reigning Vanier Cup champion Laval Rouge et Or were a unanimous No. 1 selection in the UFRC – CIS football poll.

The Rouge et Or, who have topped 53 of the past 54 national rankings dating back to the start of the 2005 season, earned the 55 available first-place votes and 1,730 points in the fifth Top 10 of 2009.

Laval improved to 3-0 on the season and extended its overall winning streak to 15 games defeating the No. 6 Montreal Carabins (2-1) 30-8 under unusual circumstances, last Saturday. The Rouge et Or were without the services of last year’s Hec Crighton Trophy winner, quarterback Benoit Groulx, who was nursing an injury. Meanwhile, their opponents were missing their top two pivots and attempted only two passes all afternoon as a number of players lined up behind centre.

The defending national champions can tie the second longest winning streak in CIS history on Sunday when they host Bishop’s (1-2), a team they defeated 45-6 on Sept. 12. Laval set the all-time record of 19 straight overall victories from 2004 to 2005, and also holds the second best sequence of 16 consecutive wins (1999-2000).

Montreal, which falls one spot in this week’s poll following its first loss of the campaign, hosts Acadia (1-1) Saturday (Radio-Canada, 1 p.m. Eastern) as part of the first of two weekends of interlock action between the Quebec and Atlantic conferences.

The 2008 Vanier Cup finalist Western Ontario Mustangs (3-0), the Saskatchewan Huskies (2-0) and Calgary Dinos (2-1) hold on to positions No. 2 to No. 4 in the new Top 10, while the Queen’s Gaels (3-0) move up one spot to take over from Montreal at No. 5.

Rounding out the poll are the No. 7-StFX X-Men (2-0), No. 8-Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks (2-1) and No. 9 Saint Mary’s Huskies (1-1), all up one position this week, as well as the No. 10-Guelph Gryphons (2-1), who crack the Top 10 for the first time since a brief one-week appearance at No. 10 on Sept. 20, 2004.

No. 2-Western dominated previously undefeated Windsor 60-7 last Saturday thanks in large part to sophomore running back Nathan Riva, who had the first five-touchdown performance in CIS since UBC’s Chris Ciezki reached the end zone five times against Simon Fraser back on Oct. 18, 2006.

The Mustangs should face a serious test Saturday when they visit No. 10-Guelph (The Score, 1 p.m. Eastern). The Gryphons, who themselves got a four-touchdown outing from fourth-year running back Nick Fitzgibbon last weekend, are the highest-scoring team in the nation averaging 56 points per game.

No. 3-Saskatchewan enjoyed a bye last week and travels to Edmonton to face Alberta (1-2) Friday night.

No. 4-Calgary was impressive last Saturday in a 41-15 domination of Regina. The Dinos are back in action at home Saturday against Simon Fraser (2-1), which falls out of the Top 10 this week after being upset 28-16 by Alberta on home turf.

No. 5-Queen’s travelled to the nation’s capital without star quarterback Dan Brannagan last Saturday and scored a crucial 20-8 win over Ottawa to remain one of only two unbeaten teams in Ontario, along with Western. The Gaels host winless York (0-3) Saturday.

No. 7-StFX is the only undefeated squad in the AUS following a 27-21 win over Mount Allison. The X-Men visit winless Concordia (0-3) in interlock action Saturday.

No. 8-Laurier rebounded from a loss to Western with a 29-18 defeat of cross-town rival Waterloo. The Hawks visit McMaster Saturday in a battle of 2-1 opponents.

No. 9-Saint Mary’s evened its record with a 38-10 victory over Acadia. The Huskies host 2-1 Sherbrooke Saturday (EastLink, 2 p.m. Atlantic).


Pts (1st place) – Last week

1. Laval (3-0) – 1730 (55) – 1
2. Western Ontario (3-0) – 1578 – 2
3. Saskatchewan (2-0) – 1374 – 3
4. Calgary (2-1) – 1195 – 4
5. Queen’s (3-0) – 1134 – 6
6. Montreal (2-1) – 819 – 5
7. StFX (2-0) – 768 – 8
8. Wilfrid Laurier (2-1) – 489 – 9
9. Saint Mary’s (1-1) – 330 – 10
10. Guelph (2-1) – 146 – NR

Other teams receiving votes: Simon Fraser (101), Sherbrooke (34), Alberta (3), Ottawa (2), Regina (1), McMaster (1).


Friday, Sept. 25

19:00 Ottawa (1-2) at Toronto (0-3)
19:00 No. 3-Saskatchewan (2-0) at Alberta (1-2)

Saturday, Sept. 26
13:00 No. 2-Western (3-0) at No. 10-Guelph (2-1), The Score
13:00 York (0-3) at No. 5-Queen’s (3-0)
13:00 Windsor (2-1) at Waterloo (0-3)
13:00 No. 8-Laurier (2-1) at McMaster (2-1)
13:00 No. 7-StFX (2-0) at Concordia (0-3)
13:00 Acadia (1-1) at No. 6-Montreal (2-1), Radio-Canada
13:00 Simon Fraser (2-1) at No. 4-Calgary (2-1)
14:00 McGill (1-2) at Mount Allison (0-2)
14:00 Sherbrooke (2-1) at No. 9-Saint Mary’s (1-1), EastLink
14:00 Regina (1-2) at UBC (1-2)

Sunday, Sept. 27
13:00 Bishop’s (1-2) at No. 1-Laval (3-0)

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