Points on the Flag: Week 5
It may have been a short week in the CFL, with only three games played, but that certainly didn’t mean it was an off week for Canadian performances. Here are the top 11 from Week 5, one for every point on the Canadian flag.
11. Juwan Brescacin, SB, Calgary Stampeders (Northern Illinois)
Stats: 4 Receptions, 36 Yards, 1 Touchdown
Brescacin played an integral role in early in establishing the Stampeders’ offence early and scored his first career touchdown in the process. He should continue to play a growing role offensively going forward.
10. Michael Klassen, DT, Ottawa Redblacks (Calgary)
Stats: 4 Defensive Tackles
Few things went right for the Redblacks as they were routed by Calgary but Michael Klassen was perhaps the only player on the field who stood out positively. He provided a semblance of pressure up the middle and seemed to be one of few players able to make stops in the run game.
9. Brad Erdos, RG, Calgary Stampeders (Simon Fraser)
Stats: Paved the Way for 133 Team Rushing Yards
Its rare that a lineman for a team that lost its starting quarterback deserves praise but Brad Erdos can rest assured he wasn’t responsible for the late hit that injured Bo Levi Mitchell. He was a wall in pass blocking and was a key puller that opened lanes up for Don Jackson’s long runs.
8. Patrick Neufeld, LG, Winnipeg Blue Bombers (Saskatchewan)
Stats: Paved the Way for 187 Team Rushing Yards
In the first half, it looked like all three of Winnipeg’s linemen might deserve consideration on this list but the wheels came off late for all but one. Paddy Neufeld is the least highly touted of the Bombers’ front but he fought consistently all game long with impressive angles and leverage, rarely missing a block. Any time you pancake Solomon Eliminian off of a perfectly executed double team, you deserve high praise.
7. Blair Smith, WLB, Edmonton Eskimos (Angelo State)
Stats: 4 Defensive Tackles, 2 Special Teams’ Tackles
Replacing an injured Christophe Mulumba, Blair Smith once again made an impression. He was noticeable on special teams all game long and was consistently around the ball once he got his defensive opportunity.
6. Alex Singleton, MLB, Calgary Stampeders (Montana State)
Stats: 5 Defensive Tackles, 1 Special Teams’ Tackle
Just another ho-hum week of dominance for Alex Singleton and the Calgary defence. The league’s reigning Most Outstanding Defensive Player was integral to a defensive effort that held Ottawa to just 3 points.
5. Declan Cross, FB, Toronto Argonauts (McMaster)
Stats: 5 Receptions, 46 Yards
Cross is always a consistent performer for Toronto but rarely has he been so important in the receiving game. James Franklin milked the safe option pass to Cross all night and the fullback delivered a number of key first downs.
4. Bo Lokombo, WLB, BC Lions (Oregon)
Stats: 6 Defensive Tackles, 2 Special Teams’ Tackles
While BC struggled to stop Winnipeg in any way, shape or form in the first half, the defence stepped up big time in the second and Lokombo played a big role in that. His mobility is obvious on defence and he succeeded in sparking the team with a couple of hits on special teams as well.
3. Nic Demski, SB, Winnipeg Blue Bombers (Manitoba)
Stats: 6 Receptions, 32 Yards, 4 Carries, 35 Yards
Nic Demski is a multi-faceted weapon for the Bombers offence and was well used against BC, spreading the field to allow for Andrew Harris to run up the middle. Teams are forced to account for Demski due to his game-breaking speed and I expect him to be used more going forward.
2. Shaquille Johnson, WR, BC Lions (London Beefeaters)
Stats: 4 Receptions, 51 Yards, 1 Touchdown
Someone had to play hero as the Lions marched back from down 17-0 to win the game 20-17, and Shaq Johnson played that role to perfection. His late game-tying touchdown was pure will to win on display and had every fan on their feet.
1. Andrew Harris, RB, Winnipeg Blue Bombers (Vancouver Island Raiders)
Stats: 13 Carries, 139 Yards, 4 Receptions, 29 Yards, 2 Touchdowns
Andrew Harris continues to astound and amaze. He was simply unstoppable against BC and much of Winnipeg’s late game failings can be attributed to not running him more. When you have a running back that is averaging a first down per carry, use him as much as possible.