Photos courtesy of AllSportMedia.ca and Louis Christ Photography
Arguably the most important position on the field is the quarterback and the 112th Canadian Bowl will feature two of the best in the CJFL.
The defending champions seemingly always have a great signal caller. Typically it’s been a pivot that hasn’t seen much playing time in his first three seasons, but in year four and five they flourish after all the reps and practice time they have received.
Since this run of five straight Canadian Bowl titles the Toppers have seen Jared Andreychuk and Jordan Walls pick apart defences, chewing up yards through the air and on the ground.
For Andreychuk he played in four Canadian Bowl games throwing for 1001 yards and nine touchdowns while running for two of them. Walls on the other hand played in two Canadian Bowls in 2017 and 2018 throwing for 439 yards and five touchdowns and running for one.
This season Tyler Hermann has finally had the chance to start and play full time in his fifth and final year. He’s been lucky to see time in two Canadian Bowls backing up Walls and has thrown for 28 yards in those two games. Though it’s been limited the experience on the national stage is invaluable and it showed this regular season. He had the highest completion percentage in the Prairie Conference at 64.1% and threw for 1908 yards and 17 touchdowns on 123 completions. At 6’4 he may not be as agile as Walls or Andreychuk gaining yards on the ground, but he’s able to sit in the pocket and view over top of the trenches to make good decisions. Clearly he made a lot of good decisions. He’ll look to win his fifth Canadian Bowl ring, first as a starter on Saturday November 16th in Langley.
Speaking of veteran quarterbacks Duncan Little has led the Langley Rams the last two seasons and has been simply outstanding and has the Rams in their second straight Canadian Bowl.
This past regular season he finished with the BC Conference’s highest completion percentage at 59.5%, throwing for 1866 yards on 100 completions and 20 touchdowns. Like Hermann, Little is a big body in the pocket standing at 6’3 and 215 pounds and has great field vision.
Last year he became an instant threat in his first season in Langley. He threw for 2611 yards and completed 61% of his passes leading the Rams to the Canadian Bowl in Saskatoon. His experience in the championship game didn’t end in a victory despite throwing for 265 yards and a touchdown, however seeing the Hilltops defence first hand will no doubt better prepare him for this game.
Perhaps the only question is will he play in the Canadian Bowl? He hasn’t played since the Rams second last regular season game and missed the playoffs. Colby Peters has been thrust into action this post season and has got the job done with 282 yards on 18 completions.
One thing is for sure the quarterbacks in the Canadian Bowl will be faced with fast, physical defences that don’t like to give up much, so scoring will no doubt be at a premium. It’ll be fun to watch.
The 112th Canadian Bowl between the Rams and Hilltops will kick-off in Langley on Saturday November 16th at 1:00pm at McLeod Stadium. It’s the third time they have met in this venue and fourth time overall.
The CJFL is proud to announce the Players of the Week from Championship Saturday this past weekend.
Offensive Players of the Week
WR Liam Stewart – Langley Rams
What a time to have his best offensive game of the season! Liam Stewart hauled in three passes for a game high 107 yards, averaging 35.7 yards a catch. He was instrumental keeping the Rams moving in the right direction.
WR Connor Graham – Saskatoon Hilltops
Saturday night the Hilltops cruised to a CJFL semi-final victory behind the play of receiver Connor Graham. He made four receptions for 154 yards and scored three touchdowns. His average reception of 38.5 yards set a new CJFL Interconference record for the highest reception average and his three touchdowns tied the record.
Defensive Players of the Week
DB Kyle Clarot – Langley Rams
The Rams DB continues to add to his achievements this season as he helped lead his team’s defence to another Cullen Cup title. Kyle Clarot finished the BC Conference championship game with two solo tackles, had a knockdown and forced a fumble while locking down the Westshore Rebels’ top receivers.
DL Tristan Hering – Saskatoon Hilltops
The Hilltops defence was outstanding on Saturday night in giving up just one point in London. Tristan Hering was a big reason for that recording three sacks, three tackles and a special teams tackle.
Special Teams Players of the Week
K/WR Will Hughes – Westshore Rebels
During the Cullen Cup Will Hughes accounted for 10 of the 12 points the Rebels would score. He kicked a 28 yard field goal, caught a touchdown pass and kicked the convert. He also tried to flip the field with his seven punts for 262 yards, an average of 37 yards a kick. He added three kick-offs for 174 yards.
K/WR Rylan Kleiter – Saskatoon Hilltops
Another week and another Player of the Week award for Hilltops’ kicker Rylan Kleiter. He booted three field goals and six converts in the national semi-final game. He also got his work done kicking off seven times for 322 yards. He joined the offensive push from the Hilltops and made a 36 yard reception.
Photo courtesy of Joanna Kurowski Photography
Saskatoon Hilltops 51
London Beefeaters 1
Once again the Hilltops flexed their muscle on the national stage clobbering the Beefeaters in the CJFL National Semi-Final and have now won 30 games in a row. They would collect 564 yards of total offence and were balanced between passing and rushing. Quarterback Tyler Hermann finished 11 of 18 for 297 yards and threw three touchdowns. Back-up Doug Fleming also saw time and one of his completions was a touchdown pass.
In all the Hilltops’ passing game gained 320 yards led by Connor Graham who caught four balls for 154 yards and three touchdowns. Keegan Dicks also hauled in a touchdown pass.
On the ground Ben Abrook rushed 16 times for 110 yards and scored a touchdown. Jordan Tabin also scored a major on four carries and 71 yards.
Defensively the Hilltops forced eight turnovers and collected seven sacks. Both Bailey Taylor and Jared Giddings each picked off a pass and Tristan Hering had three sacks. Caleb Haight added two sacks and three tackles. Ultimately their unit held the Beefeaters to just 176 yards of total offence.
With the win head coach Tom Sargeant collects his 209th career victory and moves him one past retired Regina Rams head coach Frank McCrystal for most wins in Canadian post-secondary football. The Rams of course played in the CJFL and in USports under McCrystal.
The Beefeaters struggled to find any positive yardage on Saturday night. Their defence seemed to be on the field the majority of the game. Codey McRoberts had a game high seven tackles and Dan Fitzgerald and Tanner Gaskill-Cadwallader tallied six each.
The Hilltops head back to the Canadian Bowl for the sixth straight season looking to keep their title streak alive. They will be in a familiar setting on route to Langley BC for a date with the Rams for the second consecutive season. The Hilltops beat the Rams in Langley in 2012 and 2014, and again last year in Saskatoon.