CJFL MID SEASON UPDATE
DISCLAIMER: Football Canada tried to get the most recent, up to date statistics from CJFL’s website as well as team websites. Most times, we were only able to get player statistics for either prior to Week 9 or 10.
By Ameeta Vohra
One of the leagues that is deep into their season is the Canadian Junior Football League (CJFL). As we inch closer to the postseason, we look back on some highlights from each of the conferences this past fall as a countdown to the Canadian Bowl that will be played in British Columbia on November 16, 2019.
BRITISH COLUMBIA FOOTBALL CONFERENCE (PFC):
The Langley Rams haven’t missed a beat from their gridiron campaign a year ago. On a 9-0 tear so far this season, the Rams have been invincible in the BCFC.
On offence, the Rams are led on offense by quarterback Duncan Little – before Sunday’s 66-0 win over the Valley Huskers, Little had 91 completions in 155 attempts for 1698 yards and 18 touchdowns. Little’s main targets have been running back Andrew Pocrnic (893 yards on 127 carries and 15 touchdowns) and receiver Khalik Johnson (553 yards on 31 receptions and nine touchdowns).
Leading the Rams defense this season is Cole Barron who before Sunday’s game registered 25 tackles on the season.
In second place are the Westshore Rebels with a 7-2 mark on the season. Linebacker Bryon MacKinnon has led the defense with 21 tackles.
On offense, pivot Shaun Lal has completed 111 passes in 212 attempts for 1796 yards and 12 touchdowns. He is supported by receiver Hayden Crothers (497 yards on 33 receptions and four touchdowns and rusher Zach Lubin (505 yards on 101 carries and four touchdowns.
The Okanagan Sun sit in third place with a 5-4 record. 2018 IFAF World Junior Championship gold medal winning linebacker Tyler Going highlights the defense. Sitting in fourth place are the Vancouver Island Raiders with a 4-5 mark.
Two former provincial players who represented Manitoba at previous Football Canada Cup tournaments have been the bright spots for the Valley Huskers who have struggled this season with a 2-7 record. Quarterback Reid Vankoughnett has 83 completions in 147 attempts for 1034 yards and seven touchdowns while Remis Tshiovo has rushed for 230 yards on 56 carries. Receiver Brandon Poulin has been another highlight as he has amassed 574 yards on 58 receptions and six touchdowns. David Steeves leads the defense with 21 tackles.
Basement dwellers in the conference are the Kamloops Broncos who are winless in nine games played this season. Before last weekend’s games, quarterback Nicolas Nica completed 87 passes on 220 attempts for 1226 yards and seven majors. Kuda Murasiranwa has rushed for 147 yards on 36 carries while Garrett Kryzanowski has 436 yards on 29 receptions and four touchdowns. Abe Fimbo has racked up 35 tackles to lead the Broncos’ defense.
PRAIRIE FOOTBALL CONFERENCE (PFC):
For the defending champion Saskatoon Hilltops, it already appears that their dynasty in the league isn’t slowing down anytime soon. The cream of the crop in the PFC, the team has an unblemished 8-0 record. Ben Abrook has surpassed the 1,000 mark for rushing yards in a single season. During the 2019 campaign, the rusher has amassed 1114 yards on 180 carries and seven majors.
Prior to Week 10 play, Tyler Herman completed 93 passes in 147 attempts for 1290 yards and 10 touchdowns. Receiver Connor Graham racked up 433 yards on 32 receptions and four majors while Riley Keating led the team in tackles with 25.
\Sitting in second place are the Edmonton Huskies with a 6-2 mark on the season. Quarterback Declan O’Flaherty leads the offense with 102 completions in 176 attempts for 1314 yards on eight majors. His main weapons are Brandt Burzuk (625 yards on 108 carries and five touchdowns) and Ronnie Oling (359 yards on 22 receptions and a touchdown). Former Alberta provincial player Tadi Sawira highlights the defense with 29 tackles.
The Regina Thunder are currently in third place with a 5-3 record. Anchoring the defense is Davin Williamson who registered 23 tackles prior to Week 10 play. Offensively, pivot Blake Scherle (121/210, 1832 yards and 15 touchdowns), Brayden Long (456 yards on 82 carries and two majors) and Ethan Douglas (525 yards on 28 receptions and five touchdowns) have led the way.
Next in fourth place are the Winnipeg Rifles with a 3-5 mark. Prior to week 9, Riley Najouks completed 113 passes in 212 attempts for 1620 yards and seven touchdowns. He has created a lot of gridiron magic this season with both Brandon Urciuoli (294 yards on 57 carries) and Tim Solypa (352 yards on 26 receptions and a major). Cole Sneesby leads the defense with 23 tackles.
The Edmonton Wildcats have a 2-6 record for fifth place in the standings. Leading the defence is Chopper Hippe with 35 tackles. On offence, Dante Tabacu completed 50 passes in 97 attempts for 982 yards and four touchdowns while Ramone English has racked up 334 yards on 54 carries and a touchdown.
Finally at the bottom of the pack are the Calgary Colts who are winless in eight games. Quarterback Cole Belway (66/140, 762 yards and two touchdowns), former provincial player Adley Mayala (362 yards on 22 receptions and two majors) and Ike Okafor (200 yards on 24 carries and two touchdowns) have guided the offensive play. Meanwhile, Teodor Bucel has registered 21 tackles on defense.
ONTARIO FOOTBALL CONFERENCE (OFC):
Last weekend, the battle for first place was decided in Brantford as AKO Fratmen defeated Hamilton Hurricanes 33-26. The Fratmen lead the OFC with a 6-1 record. Prior to this match-up, pivot Daniel Mailloux completed 57 passes in 110 attempts for 1028 yards and 15 touchdowns. His main targets have been Nash Preiur (362 yards on 54 carries and three majors) and Jared Hayes-Williams (444 yards on 25 receptions and four touchdowns). Blake Ouellette has led the Fratmen defence with 14 tackles.
With the loss, the Hurricanes drop right behind the Fratmen with a 6-2 mark. Defensively, Demarre Brown has registered 11 tackles. Meanwhile, quarterback Ethan Belbeck has 83 completions on 130 attempts for 1169 yards and 14 touchdowns. Jevante Stanley, who helped Team Ontario win gold at the 2014 Football Canada Cup in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, has rushed for 208 yards on 31 carries and scored three touchdowns. Additionally, Keyshaun Jordan has racked up 391 yards on 17 receptions and tallied eight majors for the Hurricanes.
Also with a 6-2 record is the London Beefeaters. On offense, quarterback Clarke McCallum completed 55 passes on 98 attempts for 1017 yards on nine touchdowns. Tazie Vang-Bell leads the Beefeaters both the receiving core and all rushers (315 yards on 14 receptions and three majors; 383 yards on 34 carries and six majors). Danny Byrne (381 yards on 49 carries and four touchdowns) has also been a force on offence. Dan Fitzgerald has registered 16 tackles (11 solo, five assisted) to highlight the defensive output.
As for the Ottawa Sooners, the team is currently 2-4. On defensive Pascal Foccroulle-Menard has registered 23 tackles while Brett Massonaive (12/38, 168 yards and a touchdown), Shamar Skerritt (187 yards on 10 receptions and one major) and Ben Williams (110 yards on 14 carries) highlight offensive contributions for the Sooners.
The GTA Grizziles sit at 1-6 on the season. Some silver linings are player performances from quarterback Malachi Morrison (61/139, 712 yards 3 passing touchdowns, 130 yards on 18 carries and a rushing major), Harvey Mafuta (323 yards on 14 receptions and two touchdowns) and Mark Straw (20 tackles).
It’s been challenging times for the Niagara Generals as they had to forfeit their game last weekend against the London Beefeaters due to safety concerns with the reduced number of players.
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