OTTAWA --The Western Mustangs top the CIS football national rankings for the fourth consecutive week following a record-breaking performance which allowed them to wrap up the regular season with an unblemished 8-0 mark for the first time since 1998.
Western (8-0) and the second-ranked Laval Rouge et Or (7-0) once again received 20 and 10 first-place votes from the Football Reporters of Canada panel, respectively, with the Mustangs earning 290 total points in the media poll compared to 279 for the reigning Vanier Cup champions.
Rounding out the ninth Top 10 of the campaign are the No. 3 Calgary Dinos (7-0 / no change), No. 4 Queen’s Gaels (7-1 / up one position), No. 5 Guelph Gryphons (7-1 / down one), No. 6 Montreal Carabins (5-2 / no change), No. 7 Bishop’s Gaiters (5-2 / up one), No. 8 McMaster Marauders (5-3 / up one), No. 9 Manitoba Bisons (4-3) / previously unranked) and No. 10 Saskatchewan Huskies (4-3 / down three).
Western dominated York 50-10 last Saturday in its league finale to secure first place in the OUA standings and a bye in the first round of the conference playoffs. It marked the seventh 50-plus-point effort of the regular schedule - a CIS mark – for the Mustangs, who finished conference play with an OUA-record 458 points scored.
In the victory, sophomore quarterback Will Finch of Burlington, Ont., set a new CIS standard for most passing yards in a campaign (3,047), while fifth-year kicker Lirim Hajrullahu of St. Catharines, Ont., became the highest-scoring player in CIS history with 422 career points.
Other results from Top-10 teams this past weekend included Laval 38, Sherbrooke 3 (at Laval); Calgary 46, Regina 27 (at Calgary); Queen’s 37, Guelph 23 (at Queen’s); Montreal 28, McGill 3 (at McGill); Bishop’s 44, Concordia 36 (at Concordia); Manitoba 33, Saskatchewan 26 (at Saskatchewan); McMaster 45, Carleton 3 (at Carleton).
With their success over Sherbrooke, the second-ranked Rouge et Or clinched first place in the RSEQ for the ninth year in a row and extended their CIS-record streak to 62 straight overall wins on home turf, dating back to 2004.
In the marquee matchup of Week 9, Queen’s erased an early 16-7 deficit with 30 consecutive points to hand Guelph its first loss of the season. The Gaels leapfrogged the Gryphons in the standings and earned the second bye for round one of the OUA playoffs.
In the OUA quarter-finals this Saturday, No. 8 McMaster hosts Ottawa (5-3) at 1 p.m., live nationally on Sportsnet 360, while Guelph hosts Windsor (4-4) at 8 p.m.
The coming weekend also marks the end of league play in the three other CIS conferences.
Laval visits Montreal in the RSEQ game of the week, Saturday at 1 p.m., live nationally on Radio-Canada.
|Week 9 Rankings|
|Rank||School||Record||Points||1st Place||Last week|
Other teams receiving votes: Ottawa (9), UBC (9), Sherbrooke (4), Saint Mary’s (1).
|2||Blue Bombers||DE||Mulumba, Andy|
|3||Alouettes via EDM||LB||Edem, Mike|