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 9:
Although many of the 2014 storylines seemed to continue in the 9th week of competition, surprise continues to be a constant in this season of Canadian Football. Whether it came in the form of defensive touchdowns, special teams triumphs, or broken plays extended by laterals, we saw yet another week of classic Canadian content unfold this week. As Winnipeg hosted Montreal on Friday, it was the second-year man out of Mecyhurst University that showed why he has become a staple of the Blue Bombers defensive and special teams. Ian Wild, on top of taking all reps as the team’s long snapper, also managed to contribute a league-wide high of 15 tackles against the Alouettes.
In Edmonton, we saw some more highlight-reel fireworks as the likes of: Odell Willis, Dexter McCoil, and Eddie Steele combined to stifle Ricky Ray’s offense. Most though would pinpoint a play crafted by Willis, to be an early contender for play of the year. As the pocket collapsed around Ricky Ray, an errant pass-attempt was deflected, and ultimately caught by Willis, who then took off towards the endzone. Prior to being hauled down, Willis recognized that his linemate Dexter McCoil was alongside him, and thus tossed him a lateral which resulted in a defensive touchdown for the Esks. Edmonton would ultimately best the Argos 41-27.
On Sunday, it was the Stampders that brought out the fireworks to face Ottawa. Jamar Wall added to his streak of games with an interception, and turned the opportunity into a pick-6 to put his team ahead of the REDBLACKS. On offense, Joe West had a breakout game as he managed to run 129 yards over 4 receptions. Rookie Sederrik Cunningham rushed for a touchdown, only to best himself later in the game with an 80-yard punt return for 6 more points.
In perhaps the most controversial game of the week though, is where we find the man who will be named the RIVALUS Featured Player of week 9. Prior to the game, BC Lions’ President Dennis Skulsky went as far as to guarantee a win over the Roughriders. Saskatchewan didn’t get the message though, as the Roughriders were able to take down the Leos in a hard-fought game. With Darian Durant injured, Tino Sunseri had his opportunity to lead the offense, and managed to complete 8 throws for 86 yards and a touchdown. Will Ford was the game’s offensive leader as he rushed for 108 yards on 10 carries. Surprisingly (but not uncharacteristically), the Roughriders even threw a touchdown to offensive lineman Dan Clark for his second TD in the CFL. Something that Skulsky’s ill-fated remarks did do though, was fire up his squad. The man that stood out in week 9’s games, and has remained a threat in all of the 2014 season thus far, was BC’s Solomon Elimimian.
Looking at his statisitics alone, any fan can tell that Solomon is producing something very special. A mere look at the defensive tackle totals this year shows Elimimian a whopping 30 tackles ahead of the closest competitor. In his game against Saskatchewan, he stood head and shoulders above the rest as he added 12 tackles to his total, along with 2 quarterback sacks to add to the accolades. Solomon would ultimately leave the game with a hamstring injury, from which all CFL fans hope to see him return quickly. With 72 tackles in less than half of a season, Solomon is on pace to decimate J.C. Sherritt’s current season-record of 130 tackles, should he remain healthy for the bulk of the remaining season. If you have been watching the Lions play recently, one thing is clear; Elimimian is everywhere. Congratulations Solomon, this week you truly owned your performance, and for that you are the Featured Player of the week.
With a 5-4 record, BC now sits at the bottom of the standings in the immensely competitive Western division. Although they are only 1 game above .500, the lions have a lot to be optimistic about. Travis Lulay continues to rehabilitate behind a very focused Kevin Glenn. Glenn may have incurred an injury against Saskatchewan, but in his absence Lulay was able to take some playoff-caliber reps. Defensively, the Lions are playing at a very high level as 2 of the top 5 CFL tackle leaders find themselves in BC’s linebacking corps: Solomon, and Adam Bighill. On special teams, Tim Brown is continually exposing and exploiting holes in oppositions’ schemes to put his offense in stellar field-position. Look for BC to make a very real push to the post-season with their team’s play on an ever-improving trajectory.
Congratulations Solomon, we hope you return soon, and continue on your record run!
Make sure to check back to see who earns the selection for week 10’s Featured Player!