This past weekend was the first this season that all three CJFL Conferences saw live action. The Week 4 Football Canada Players of the Week are unveiled.
Offensive Players of the Week
WR Isaac Foord – Regina Thunder
Playing in his first game since the death of his mother, Isaac Foord was incredible. No-one across the CJFL made more than his nine receptions this past weekend as he gathered 179 yards and tallied three touchdowns.
QB Andrew Brush – St. Clair Saints
After a jittery start to open the game the Saints first year pivot quickly found his groove as he weaved his way through the Skyhawks defense for a 15-yard touchdown run. Brush then connected with three different receivers for his first touchdown passes of the season leading the Saints to a first week rout of the visiting Skyhawks. Brush connected on 6 of 11 passes for 119 yards and three touchdowns through the air in addition to his one on the ground before calling it a day after less than two quarters of work.
QB Dominic Britton – Okanagan Sun
For the second time in four weeks Dominic Britton has been named the Offensive Player of the Week in BC after dominating last weekend’s first place showdown. He completed 12 passes for 292 yards and threw five touchdowns to four different receivers. He also rushed once and collected 18 yards on the carry leading the Sun to a lopsided win.
Defensive Players of the Week
LB Konnor Johnson – Saskatoon Hilltops
The defending Conference champs pitched a second half shutout on Sunday and Konnor Johnson was a big reason why. He finished the game with four tackles, had a sack, a pair of knockdowns, an interception and assisted on another tackle.
DL Dylan Clarke – London Beefeaters
Dylan Clarke single handily wrecked the Ottawa Sooners' game plan as he racked up five solo tackles, a sack, knocked down a pass and blocked a field goal attempt for a total of 19 defensive points as the Beefeaters opened the season with a road win in the nation’s capital.
Keagan Curtis – Kamloops Broncos
For the first time in franchise history the Kamloops Broncos beat the VI Raiders in Nanaimo and their defence was a major factor. They forced nine turnovers and were led by Keagan Curtis who picked off two passes and added three solo tackles.
Special Teams Players of the Week
PK Connor Green – Saskatoon Hilltops
On Sunday, 13 of the 19 points the Hilltops scored came off the right foot of kicker Connor Green. He booted four field goals including a 46-yarder, had a convert, two kick-offs for 111 yards and tallied four punts for 123 yards flipping the field for the defending Conference champs.
KR LJ Dyer – London Beefeaters
The veteran running back for London quickly quieted the Ottawa crowd as he took the season opening kickoff 105 yards to the house for a touchdown. Dyer also had two touchdowns running the ball for the Beefeaters, but it was his fantastic return on the opening kickoff that set the tone for the defending champs as they defeated Ottawa in the Sooners' return to the CJFL.
KR Mike O’Shea – Okanagan Sun
He’s one of the most electric players in the CJFL and wasted little time making an impact in last weekend’s first place showdown. He took a punt up the right sideline 79 yards to the end zone helping the Sun to a 23-point first quarter. In all O’Shea returned six kicks for 136 yards on the evening which included his major.
It’s Week 4 of the CJFL season and all three Conferences will see live action for the first time in 2022. The BC Conference will play their fourth game already, while the Prairie and Ontario Conferences will kick-off their eight game schedules.
London Beefeaters @ Ottawa Sooners – Saturday August 13, 5:00pm – Carleton University
The defending Ontario Conference champion Beefeaters hit the road to begin their title defence and will visit the new look Ottawa Sooners who haven’t played a game since the 2019 season.
The Beefs graduate some key players and have a new head coach as Matt Snyder has taken the helm. He is a former Beefeater and is expecting his team to be in the mix when it comes to the end of the season.
Meanwhile the Sooners are back on the field after taking a hiatus last season to get their organization back to a competitive level. Toss in the two seasons missed due to the pandemic and the Sooners are on the field for the first time in three years. Kevin Ling has taken over as head coach and brings with him a new sense of rejuvenation.
Quinte Skyhawks @ St. Clair Saints - Saturday August 13, 7:00pm – Acumen Stadium | WATCH HERE
For the first time in their storied history the football team in Windsor will be referred to as the Saints. This completes the transition from the Fratmen to fully inline with the St. Clair College athletic department.
Last season St. Clair was undefeated in the regular season and looked to be on their way to hosting the Canadian Bowl however a wild finish in the Ontario championship game left them with a bitter taste in their mouth. This season the Saints have a clear focus but a very different looking team with over 40 first year players. One thing that remains consistent is at the head coaching position as highly decorated coach Mike LaChance returns with his incredibly successful track record.
The Skyhawks meanwhile enter their second CJFL season after falling to St. Clair in last year’s Conference semi-final. The Skyhawks have a handful of returning players and should be even better this season with a year under their belts. Peter Gabriel has taken over as their head coach.
Records: Skyhawks 2-6 – Saints 8-0
Points For: Skyhawks 120 – Saints 438
Points Allowed: Skyhawks 360 – Saints 91
Kamloops Broncos @ VI Raiders - Saturday August 13, 5:30pm – NDSS Turf Field | WATCH HERE
It’s early in the season but for the second time in three weeks the Raiders and Broncos will butt heads. The Raiders won the first meeting 14-7 at Hillside Stadium scoring a touchdown in the last quarter to pull out the win. Raiders quarterback Ben Chomolok threw for a touchdown and ran for the other in the victory while Broncos quarterback Reid Vankoughnett accounted for their score, also on the ground.
The Broncos are coming off a victory in Prince George where they put up 35 points and 456 yards of total offence while the Raiders lost big in Westshore, for their second setback of the season.
The winner of this game will record their second of the campaign. If the Raiders win they would own the tiebreaker at the end of the season, but if the Broncos win by more than seven points they would have possession of the tiebreaker.
Records: Broncos 1-1 – Raiders 1-2
Points For: Broncos 42 – Raiders 43
Points Allowed: Broncos 34 – Raiders 102
It’s a battle of the two remaining undefeated teams in the BC Conference when the Rebels visit the Sun on Saturday night in what should be a classic game.
The Rebels have been a juggernaut so far averaging over 39 points a game including dismantling the VI Raiders last weekend 45-10. The Sun have won two straight and are coming off their bye week so will be rested with the Rebels coming to town.
This will be a fun game to watch and is the first of two meetings on the season between these teams with the second game scheduled for Saturday September 10th at Westshore.
Records: Rebels 3-0 – Sun 2-0
Points For: Rebels 119 – Sun 70
Points Allowed: Rebels 47 – Sun 26
Prince George Kodiaks @ Valley Huskers – Saturday August 13, 7:00pm – Exhibition Field | WATCH HERE
For the second time this season the Huskers will entertain the Kodiaks in Chilliwack after they won the opener 31-5. In that game Huskers’ quarterback Josh Janssen threw four touchdown passes to four different receivers while their defence kept the Kodiaks out of the end zone forcing three turnovers.
The Huskers are coming off a massive win over the Langley Rams and confidence is high. Their defence kept the defending champion Rams out of the end zone giving up two field goals and a single. Running back Reece Wyke was named the Offensive Player of the Week.
On the other side the Kodiaks hosted their first ever CJFL game last weekend but fell to the visiting Kamloops Broncos giving up some big offensive numbers. They did score three touchdowns last weekend including a pair of the ground. They are still looking for the franchise’s first ever victory.
Records: Kodiaks 0-2 – Huskers 2-1
Points For: Kodiaks 25 – Huskers 62
Points Allowed: Kodiaks 66 – Huskers 50
On Sunday the Prairie Conference teams will finally hit the field for the first time with all six teams in action. There is a little extra incentive this season in the Prairies with the Conference winner hosting the 2022 Canadian Bowl.
Winnipeg Rifles @ Saskatoon Hilltops – Sunday August 14, 1:00pm – SMF Field | WATCH HERE
For the first time since the kick-off of the 2014 season the Saskatoon Hilltops are not defending a Canadian Bowl title. They are however the defending Conference champs and will no doubt be in the mix again this season. They are opening their 75th season this year and a poised to make it a memorable one.
The Rifles meanwhile kick-off the season on the road and are looking for an early season upset. They will see the Hilltops twice in the next three weeks as they host them for their home opener on August 28th.
Records: Rifles 2-6 – Hilltops 6-2
Points For: Rifles 126 – Hilltops 228
Points Allowed: Rifles 266 – Hilltops 135
Edmonton Wildcats @ Regina Thunder - Sunday August 14, 1:00pm – Leibel Field | WATCH HERE
Last season the Regina Thunder lost just one game, but unfortunately for them it was in the Prairie Conference final. They were dominating during the regular season averaging over 36 points a game and only allowing 18.
Coming into the 2022 campaign the Thunder return most of their weapons including the pre-season ranking’s #1 player, receiver Rylan Sokul along with quarterback Carter Shewchuk who led the Conference in passing yard average last year and completed 63.4% of his attempts.
The Wildcats got their first taste of live action last weekend when they hosted the Calgary Colts in an exhibition game. The game allowed head coach Darcy Park and the rest of the coaching staff an opportunity to evaluate the players they have brought in along with their returners including running back Nathan Zacharias.
In 2021 the Thunder won both meetings outscoring them 66-17.
Records: Wildcats 2-6 – Thunder 8-0
Points For: Wildcats 185 – Thunder 293
Points Allowed: Wildcats 272 – Thunder 144
Edmonton Huskies @ Calgary Colts - Sunday August 14, 1:00pm – Shouldice Park | WATCH HERE
It’s a battle of Alberta, CJFL style on Sunday when the Huskies travel to face the Colts in Calgary.
The Huskies had the top scoring office in the Prairie Conference in 2021 but have graduated quarterback Declan O’Flaherty after an incredible season leading the Conference in completions, attempts, yards and touchdowns. That said, they do return running back Alex Gayle who will no doubt handle the ball a lot early on and receiver Adner St. Hilaire is back to be a threat in the passing game.
On the other side the Colts are hoping to improve on their 1-7 finish last season and looking for a little payback as it was the Huskies that ended their last year in the Conference quarterfinal.
The Colts did play an exhibition game last weekend in Edmonton to give their coaching staff an idea of what their players can do. It also gave the players valuable experience coming into the 2022 CJFL season.
Records: Huskies 5-3 – Colts 1-7
Points For: Huskies 334 – Colts 158
Points Allowed: Huskies 195 – Colts 312
Hamilton Hurricanes @ GTA Grizzlies - Sunday August 14, 1:00pm – Esther Shiner Civic Stadium | WATCH HERE
The final game of the weekend in the Ontario Conference will feature the natural rivalry of Toronto vs. Hamilton when the Grizzlies welcome the Hurricanes.
After missing out on the Conference championship game last season the Hurricanes are expecting to once again be in the mix this year. They have lost a few of their big weapons on the offensive side after the graduation of quarterback Ethan Belbeck, running back Jevante Stanley and receiver Quincy Belanger. That said, head coach Jason Hayes is back and brings with him a pedigree of success and each season seems to get his players to reach new levels.
The Grizzlies have renewed optimism and a fresh start after going winless last season. They have retooled and could surprise several teams in 2022.
Records: Hurricanes 4-4 – Grizzlies 0-8
Points For: Hurricanes 215 – Grizzlies 53
Points Allowed: Hurricanes 196 – Grizzlies 357
For the first time in their storied history the football team in Windsor will be referred to as the Saints instead of the Fratmen. This completes the transition to fully inline the team with the St. Clair College athletic department.
The Saints open the season on Saturday at home when they face the Quinte Skyhawks with over 40 new players. One consistent is at the top as head coach Mike LaChance returns to the sidelines. He speaks with Ryan Watters in this CJFL Coach’s Comment.