The Canadian Junior Football League is proud to announce the Football Canada Players of the Week following Week 5 of the regular season
Offensive Players of the Week
QB Declan O’Flaherty – Edmonton Huskies
In just three quarters of play Declan O’Flaherty seemingly had his way in Winnipeg. He completed 25 passes for an incredible 442 yards and threw four touchdowns to four different receivers. He also spread the ball around to keep the Rifles defence guessing as eight different players caught a pass.
RB Brandon Owusu - GTA Grizzlies
Despite the loss, Brandon Owusu helped to power the Grizzlies rushing attack carrying the ball 19 times for 112 yards and was the main offensive punch scoring a pair of touchdowns.
QB Jake Laberge – VI Raiders
As a veteran quarterback Jake Laberge was able to bounce back in his second game of the season and showed how he can take over a game. On Sunday he was masterful completing 20 of 27 passes for 348 yards and threw three touchdowns in the Raiders first victory of the season.
Defensive Players of the Week
LB Ryan Mills – Regina Thunder
For the second straight week the Thunder defence needed to have a solid game against a very scary Saskatoon Hilltop offence. Ryan Mills was the anchor compiling 23 defensive points after making six solo tackles, assisting on eight others and picked up a sack in a massive home win.
DB Thomas Robinson - Quinte Skyhawks
As part of a secondary that limited the GTA Grizzlies to only two pass completions for 10 yards for the entire game, Thomas Robinson contributed three tackles on the day while also recovering two fumbles including one that was returned 13 yards for a touchdown in the Skyhawks history making victory.
DB Kyle Clarot – Langley Rams
In a bizarre game that included a stadium without power, the Rams defence was electric in their second win of the season. The veteran Kyle Clarot came up big with a game high seven tackles, had an assist and a critical interception.
Special Teams Players of the Week
K Eric Maximuik – Regina Thunder
For the second straight week the Thunder kicker found himself in a critical role against their rival the Saskatoon Hilltops. He was responsible for 12 of the Thunder’s 30 points after kicking three field goals, a couple of coverts and had a rouge. He combined for 10 kicks that would travel 633 yards and did a good job of flipping the field for the home squad.
K Connor Rafferty - Quinte Skyhawks
It was quite the day for the Skyhawks kicker connecting on all five of his field goal attempts and both of his converts. He was most impressive in punting the ball as he constantly flipped the field and pinned the GTA Grizzlies all day long. His eight punts grossed 207 yards yet the Grizzlies were not able to gain a single yard on any of the eight kicks.
K Ethan Homan – Valley Huskers
In a massive road victory on the Island, Ethan Homan played an important role. He connected on a pair of field goals and scored 10 of the Huskers 22 points. His eight punts bailed out the Huskers offence as he combined for 271 yards and had a rouge.
Photo courtesy of Wanda Harron Photography
Regina Thunder 30
Saskatoon Hilltops 27
For the second straight week the Thunder and Hilltops battled to the final seconds in another instant classic as the best game in the CJFL. The Thunder held on for the victory as Justin McKerracher intercepted a pass in the end zone in the dying seconds with the Hilltops marching down the field. The victory also snapped the Hilltops 31-game road winning streak and hands the six-time champs their first multi-loss season since 2014. It’s the first time the Hilltops have lost back-to-back games in more than 20 years.
As for the game it was back and forth with both teams answering the others score. The Thunder’s winning drive was capped off by a 36-yard touchdown pass to Isaiah Woodley from back-up quarterback Zenon Orobko with just over two minutes to play in the fourth quarter. Woodley hauled in four passes for 106 yards while Rylan Sokul caught a game high eight passes for 167 yards and a 32-yard touchdown in the third quarter.
The Thunder ground game featured Brayden Long and his 19 carries chewing up a game high 103 yards and a score.
Starting quarterback Carter Shewchuck was 12 of 19 for 242 yards and found Sokul for his touchdown. Orobko finished four of 12 for 103 yards and the game winning touchdown toss.
Over on the defence Ryan Mills and Stephen Smith each made six solo tackles and Mills added a sack. McKerracher’s pick was the lone Hilltop turnover.
The Hilltops actually outgained the Thunder offence compiling 486 total yards. Quarterback Damon Dutton was simply outstanding completing 28 passes for 332 yards and found Ethan Godson for a 38-yard touchdown. In all Godson caught three balls for a team high 113 yards. Dutton led the Hilltops all the way down the field in the dying seconds and almost completed a miracle comeback.
On the ground both Carter McLean and Jordan Tabin each scored touchdowns.
Defensively Connor Johnson had a strong game with four tackles and a sack and veteran Jared Giddings had a team high six tackles and a knockdown. In all, the Hilltops tallied four sacks.
This weekend the Thunder (4-0) will visit the Edmonton Wildcats (2-2) while the Hilltops (2-2) welcome the Winnipeg Rifles (1-3).
Edmonton Huskies 41
Winnipeg Rifles 15
The visiting Huskies dominated the Rifles scoring 26 points in the second quarter on route to their third win of the season. Quarterback Declan O’Flaherty had a career game completing 25 passes for 442 yards and four touchdowns. His favourite target was Christopher Smith who caught five passes for 116 yards and a score. A total of eight different receivers caught passes and De Shawn Le Jour, Jemanie Watkis and Epharh Oyama each caught touchdowns.
Running back Alex Gayle added another touchdown on one of his 13 carries for 51 yards.
Meanwhile the Rifles offence struggled moving the ball against the Huskies defence. They used a pair of quarterbacks; Thomas Hubbard and Bryson McNeil who each threw touchdown passes and combined for 272 yards. Both Ronin Francis and Jake Roger caught touchdown passes.
This coming weekend the Huskies (3-1) go on the road to face the Calgary Colts (0-4) and the Rifles (1-3) visit the Saskatoon Hilltops (2-2).
Edmonton Wildcats 42
Calgary Colts 22
This game was back and forth for the first three quarters and was tied at 22 heading into the final frame. The Wildcats exploded for 20 points in the fourth on route to their second win of the season behind running back Nathan Zacharias and his 23 carries, 168 yards and three touchdowns.
Through air quarterback Devin Desormeau threw for 126 yards and hit Tanner Holt for a 16 yard touchdown.
During the fourth quarter onslaught defensive lineman Brett Phillips intercepted a pass and rumbled 45 yards for a touchdown. Justin Rutherford tallied the Wildcats first sack of the season to complement his three solo tackles.
The brightest light for the Colts was running back Ike Okafor who rushed an incredible 31 times for 151 yards and had a touchdown. Quarterback Justin Verloop threw a touchdown pass to Brandon MacIsaac.
This coming weekend the Wildcats (2-2) host the Regina Thunder (4-0) and the Colts (0-4) are home to the Edmonton Huskies (3-1).
Photo courtesy of Boris Terzic
This past weekend there was only one game played in the Ontario Conference and history was made as the Quinte Skyhawks recorded their first ever CJFL victory.
Quinte Skyhawks 31
GTA Grizzlies 20
The Skyhawks used some timely defence and their kicking game was perfect in picking up their first CJFL win on Sunday. They also used a very strong second quarter scoring 20 of their 31 total points in the second frame.
Kicker Connor Rafferty was a perfect 5-5 in field goal attempts connecting on kicks of 15, 33, 33, 32 and 25 yards out to help seal the deal. The biggest play however was arguably a 13-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown by Thomas Robinson in the second quarter. As a matter of fact he had two fumble recoveries and a pair of solo tackles on the afternoon.
Their lone offensive touchdown came courtesy of the run when quarterback Kyle Baronet scored on a seven yard dash in the second quarter.
On the other side of the field the Grizzlies did most of their scoring in the second half, scoring 13 of their 20 points after halftime.
They predominately stayed with the run game led by Brandon Owusu and his 19 carries for a game high 112 yards and had a pair of touchdowns. David Lim added a major in the fourth quarter on the strength of 14 carries and 79 yards. In all the Grizzlies pounded the rock for 269 yards.
This coming weekend the Skyhawks (1-2) will host the St. Clair Fratmen (2-0) while the Grizzlies (0-3) will travel to London to face the Beefeaters (2-1).