Points on the Flag: Week Two
It’s the second week of the season and my second week ranking the top 11 Canadian performances in the league, one for each point on the Canadian maple leaf. There is almost an entirely new crop of Canadian talent on the list this week, with only one repeat performer from last week, so let’s dive in.
11. Derek Wiggan, DT, Calgary Stampeders (Queen’s)
Stats: 2 Defensive Tackles, 1 Forced Fumble
Wiggan was a noticeable presence throughout the game and while he wasn’t credited with a sack, he was a contributing factor in a couple of them. On top of that, he added a key strip and significantly hindered James Wilder Jr’s ability to run up the gut.
10. Evan Johnson, RT, Ottawa Redblacks (Saskatchewan)
Stats: 1st Career Start at Tackle, No Sacks Allowed
I considered a number of stellar offensive line performances for the list this week, but it was hard to top a sophomore, first-time tackle stoning the lethal pass rush duo of Willie Jefferson and Charleston Hughes. In my draft analysis of Johnson last year, I said he had the potential to be a starting CFL tackle. He proved me right this week.
9. Rashaun Simonise, WR, Winnipeg Blue Bombers (Okanagan Sun)
Stats: 2 Receptions, 64 Yards, 1 Punt Block
Time to show some rookie love. Simonise isn’t yet a starter in Winnipeg but he appears to be embracing his role in the pros. His key punt block was shades of Duron Carter, trash talk and all, and later beat arguably the league’s best corner in Tommie Campbell on a 50-yard bomb when he got his late game opportunity
8. Christophe Mulumba-Tshimanga, WLB, Edmonton Eskimos (Maine)
Stats: 6 Defensive Tackles
Mulumba-Tshimanga filled in admirably for Adam Konar during his rookie season and Week Two of his sophomore campaign was no different. Mulumba’s noticeable presence and 6 tackles were a rare bright spot in a dismal Eskimos defensive performance.
7. Kienan LaFrance, RB, Winnipeg Blue Bombers (Manitoba)
Stats: 10 Carries, 50 Yards, 1 Reception, 23 Yards, 1 Touchdown
It may have come in garbage time, but Kienan Lafrance was nearly unstoppable in the 4th quarter of the Blue Bombers rout of the Alouettes. He chewed up both yards and clock, while firmly placing a dagger in the heart of Montreal.
6. Blair Smith, WLB, Edmonton Eskimos (Angelo State)
Stats: 2 Defensive Tackles, 4 Special Teams’ Tackles, 1 Interception
Blair Smith was as noticeable an Eskimo as took the field on Friday. He was an absolute demon on special teams, accounting for nearly half of all stops there, and made the most of his defensive opportunities with a pick and a couple tough tackles.
5. Brad Sinopoli, SB, Ottawa Redblacks (Ottawa)
Stats: 6 Receptions, 74 Yards
Old reliable Brad Sinopoli took the field for the first time this season and put up the type of consistent numbers that we’ve come to expect from the games best possession receiver. A solid outlet for Trevor Harris that was key in victory over the Riders.
4. Drew Wolitarsky, WR, Winnipeg Blue Bombers (Minnesota)
Stats: 4 Receptions, 46 Yards, 2 Touchdowns
Who had Drew Wolitarsky leading the league in receiving touchdowns going into Week Three? His chemistry with former college roommate Chris Streveler was on full display in Week Two as he muscled in for two red-zone scores.
3. Henoc Muamba, MLB, Montreal Alouettes (St. Francis Xavier)
Stats: 11 Defensive Tackles
His tactics in the Alouettes loss have been critiqued as dirty and unnecessary, but Henoc Muamba certainly didn’t quit on his team and its hard to ignore a double-digit tackle performance. Like him or not, Muamba established himself as the Alouettes defensive leader with a stellar performance.
2. Andrew Harris, RB, Winnipeg Blue Bombers (Vancouver Island Raiders)
Stats: 15 Carries, 58 Yards, 6 Receptions, 68 Yards, 1 Touchdown
The only repeat appearance on this week’s list, Harris was dominant on the ground and through the air in three quarters of action. While Chris Streveler is impressing, there is still no question that Paul Lapolice’s offence runs through Harris as he amassed over 125 all-purpose yards.
1. Mercer Timmis, RB, Hamilton Tiger-Cats (Calgary)
Stats: 17 Carries, 133 Yards, 2 Touchdowns
What a burst onto the scene for the young Canadian running back! Mercer Timmis slashed the Eskimos defence like they were the Alberta Golden Bears for his first hundred-yard rushing performance. Alex Green and John White beware, there is a new rushing threat in Tigertown.