by Staff Writer – Jason Langvee
RIVALUS has joined the CFLPA to break down; the stats, the plays, and the intangibles of our players to determine the best selection for the RIVALUS Featured Player of the Week. The players of the CFL work tirelessly so that they can be one step quicker, and one rep stronger than the opposition on game-day. With the help of the safe and effective nutritional supplements designed and tested by RIVALUS, they can. Here’s who owned their performance in week 12:
With the twelfth week of competition in the books, the 9 teams of the CFL have started to stratify themselves into what looks like a very interesting post-season set-up. The west has continued to dominate inter-divisional match-ups which begs the question: will we see a western cross-over in the 2014 playoffs? The other trend, which is a much more worrisome pattern, is the rate at which western quarterbacks are getting injured. Prior to this weekend, we had already lost Darian Durant, and Travis Lulay, with Mike Reilly also being sidelined for weeks 10 and 11. Unfortunately, these weren’t the last of what might ultimately define some teams’ playoff pushes.
In the week’s first contest, the Alouettes looked to add another W to their first streak of 2014. Their host, the Edmonton Eskimos looked to do the exact opposite in snapping an uncharacteristic losing slide that saw them fall back 2 games in a row against Calgary. Although the game started out as a defensive chess match, the now-veteran quarterback Mike Reilly was able to make adjustments for the second half of the game, and found the league’s #1 receiver; Adarius Bowman to tally 131 yards through the air. Despite the strong defensive play by Alouettes like Bear Woods and Gabriel Knapton (who combined for 13 tackles and 2 sacks), the Eskimos ultimately took the game 33-16.
Saturday’s late game also had a lot questions to be answered as the last-seeded western team; the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, were set to take on the BC Lions for a 4-point slide game, with huge playoff implications. Kevin Glenn resumed his role as the BC starter, and looked as though he hadn’t missed a beat as he completed 20 of his 27 pass attempts for 261 yards. Andrew Harris had another stellar performance in rushing for 101 yards, and contributing 39 through the air as well. The Lions would take the game and move to 7-4, while the Bombers now slide to 6-6 on a 3-game losing streak.
The week ended with a great game in Hamilton as the Tiger-Cats hosted the Saskatchewan Roughriders. With Darian Durant falling to injury last week, it was Tino Sunseri’s first start as the riders’ QB. Sunseri struggled against the Hamilton secondary, which was only exacerbated by the strong run defense from Hamilton, which nullified the usually-deadly 3-headed monster (2-headed on Sunday as Will Ford did not play). Zach Collaros had a strong outing as he completed 29 passes for 287 yards, 108 of which went to Andy Fantuz. The Tiger-Cats would take the game 28-3 as they shut out Saskatchewan on offence.
The game which provided week 12’s featured player involved the Toronto Argonauts being hosted by Calgary. In the rematch of the 100th Grey Cup, Toronto opened the very first quarter with a performance that would cripple some of the league’s best teams. Ricky Ray closed the best quarterbacking performance of the week completing all but 5 of his 38 attempts for an astounding 338 yards and 4 touchdowns against the stingy Stampeder defence. Brandon Smith played lights-out for the Stamps as he brought down boatmen ball-carriers an impressive 10 times. It was in the second half of this game though, that week 12’s Featured Player really made his mark. Although Calgary was unable to break through the Toronto secondary through 30 minutes of play, Jon Cornish, along with his offensive line decided that the second half was their time to shine. By the end of the game Cornish had set a 2014 single-game rushing record for the league, and climbed to #3 on the league rushing list. As far as the stats go, Jon rushed for 174 yards over 11 carries, and also put 6 valuable points on the board.
Like most of our featured players though, it wasn’t the statistics alone that earned Jon the nod from RIVALUS and the CFLPA. It was the fact that in the face of adversity (being held out of the end zone until the final minutes of the second quarter) Cornish took it upon himself to, in his own words: “make a decision to refuse to be tackled.” (Tweeted to Andrew Harris on July 13th). Jon owned his performance on Saturday, and for that is week 12’s RIVALUS Featured Player!
Congratulations Jon, it was because you and your relentless effort that your team walked away from Saturday with a hard-fought victory!
Make sure to check back to see who earns the selection for week 13’s Featured Player!