Points on the Flag: Week One
Everyone knows that there are eleven points on the Canadian Maple Leaf, so every week in the 2018 season I’ll shine a light on the top eleven Canadian performances from the week that was.
11. Nakas Onyeka, LB, Toronto Argonauts (Wilfrid Laurier)
Stats: 4 Special Teams Tackles
Every once in a while, its nice to recognize the unsung heroes on a football team. Most Canadians make their football living as special teams’ specialists and Nakas Onyeka put together as special teams’ performance for the ages. His four special teams’ tackles tie him for third on his team in total tackles going into Week Two.
10. Juwan Brescacin, SB, Calgary Stampeders (Northern Illinois)
Stats: 2 Receptions, 47 Yards
Brescacin makes this list courtesy of a spectacular Catch of the Year candidate. Many thought he was poised for a breakout and he splashed onto the mainstage with his one-handed stab.
9. Jerome Messam, RB, Saskatchewan Roughriders (Graceland)
Stats: 21 Carries, 72 Yards, 2 Receptions, 10 Yards
Messam proved he can still be a workhorse in Week One with an impressive 23 touches going his way. It was far from his most impressive performance in terms of yards per carry, but its tough to ignore his level of production.
8. Shaq Johnson, WR, BC Lions (London Beefeaters)
Stats: 2 Receptions, 46 Yards, 1 Touchdown
Praise has been heaped on Shaq Johnson since training camp started and he certainly proved his cheerleaders correct. Shaq didn’t get a lot of action in his direction this weekend but torched the Alouettes on his touchdown catch.
7. Jamaal Westerman, DE, Montreal Alouettes (Rutgers)
Stats: 3 Defensive Tackles, 1 Sack
We are used to stellar performances from Westerman and he didn’t disappoint in his Alouettes debut. Even as his team struggled, Westerman was able to provide pressure off the edge.
6. Chris Ackie, LB, Montreal Alouettes (Wilfrid Laurier)
Stats: 6 Defensive Tackles
Chris Ackie certainly didn’t perform like a man making his first start at weak side linebacker. He appeared to be all over the field in his Week One debut.
5. Mike Jones, WR, Hamilton Tiger Cats (Southern)
Stats: 5 Receptions, 120 Yards
If you were placing bets on who would lead the Ti-Cats in receiving in their opener, its safe to say Mike Jones wouldn’t have been the first choice. His impressive speed torched the Stampeders on more than one occasion.
4. Andrew Harris, RB, Winnipeg Blue Bombers (Vancouver Island Raiders)
Stats: 14 Carries, 77 Yards, 3 Receptions, 6 Yards
While he wasn’t his usual threat in the receiving game, the reigning Most Outstanding Canadian looked explosive every time he ran the ball and fought through bumps and bruises to impact the longest game in league history.
3. Alex Singleton, LB, Calgary Stampeders (Montana State)
Stats: 8 Defensive Tackles, 1 Special Teams’ Tackle
Ho hum, just another stellar performance from the league’s Most Outstanding Defensive Player. He commands his defence like a general from the middle and is almost always around the ball.
2. Cleyon Laing, DT, Toronto Argonauts (Iowa State)
Stats: 5 Defensive Tackles, 1 Sack
The most underrated defensive tackle in football, Laing proved to be a true force in the center of the line. As the Riders pounded the inside run with Messam, Laing was the central plug and still managed to have an impact rushing the passer as well.
1. Tunde Adeleke, S, Calgary Stampeders (Carleton)
Stats: 3 Defensive Tackles, 2 Special Teams’ Tackles, 1 Sack, 1 Forced Fumble, 1 Fumble Recovery
Every time Adeleke makes a start, his performance seems to be a revelation. His Week One stat line illustrates how big of an impact he had all over the field. Both defensively and on special teams, Adeleke flashed on the field and proved why he deserves to be considered a bona fide star safety.