2017 U Sports football season

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2017 U Sports football season
Regular season
DurationAugust 25 – October 28
Playoffs
Start dateOctober 28
Hardy CupCalgary Dinos2019-11-11
Yates CupWestern Mustangs2019-11-11
Dunsmore CupLaval Rouge et Or2019-11-11
Loney BowlAcadia Axemen2019-11-11
Mitchell BowlLaval Rouge et Or2019-11-18
Uteck BowlWestern Mustangs2019-11-18
Vanier Cup
DateNovember 25
SiteHamilton, Ontario
ChampionsWestern Mustangs
← 2016 U Sports football seasons 2018 →

The 2017 U Sports football season began on August 25 with the St. Francis Xavier X-Men visiting the Saint Mary's Huskies in Halifax, Nova Scotia and the Montreal Carabins visiting the Concordia Stingers in Montreal, Quebec.[1][2] The season concluded on November 25 with the 53rd Vanier Cup championship at Tim Hortons Field in Hamilton, Ontario.[3] This season saw the first conference shift since 2001 with the Bishop's Gaiters moving from the Quebec Student Sport Federation to the Atlantic University Sport conference. 27 university teams in Canada participated in the newly re-branded U Sports football, the highest level of amateur Canadian football. The Western Mustangs defeated the Laval Rouge et Or, 39-17, to win their first Vanier Cup since 1994.

Regular season[edit]

Conference changes[edit]

On December 15, 2016, Bishop's University Athletics and Atlantic University Sport (AUS) announced that the Bishop's Gaiters would be joining the AUS conference beginning in 2017.[4] The move increases the number of teams competing in the AUS from four to five, while reducing the teams in the Quebec Student Sport Federation (RSEQ) from six to five. It also marked the first time since 1990 that the AUS had more than four teams, when the University College of Cape Breton played for one season before disbanding.[5] This change also brought an end to the scheduled interlocking play with the RSEQ that had been in place since 2002.[5]

Schedules[edit]

The schedule for the Ontario University Athletics conference was released on January 18, 2017 with 11 teams playing over the course of nine weeks with each team receiving one bye week.[6] Compared to the previous season, there were no major format changes. The OUA will begin play on August 26, 2017 with the Carleton Ravens visiting the Queen's Gaels at Richardson Memorial Stadium. Eight other OUA teams will play the following day. The regular season will conclude on October 21, 2017 with the Yates Cup championship game taking place three weeks later on November 11, 2017.

On January 23, 2017, the schedule changes for the AUS were revealed, with the conference opening the season two weeks earlier than usual on Friday August 25 with the St. Francis Xavier X-Men visiting the Saint Mary's Huskies.[1] Each team will play the other four teams twice with each team also having two bye weeks over the ten-week schedule. With these changes, the AUS will also now permit teams to play one out-of-conference exhibition game, in lieu of interlock play with the RSEQ being eliminated. There are three Friday night regular season games in the AUS with the remaining 17 games being played on Saturday afternoons. The regular season will conclude on October 28, 2017 and playoff format will remain the same despite an additional team; the second place team will host the third place team in the semi-final and the first place team will host the Loney Bowl championship game on November 11, 2017.

The Quebec Student Sport Federation released their schedule on February 21, 2017.[2] Following the aforementioned departure of Bishop's, the conference's schedule featured five teams for the first time since 2002. Similar to the AUS schedule, the five teams will play eight regular season games over ten weeks with each team receiving two bye weeks. In contrast to the AUS, the RSEQ will have its top four teams qualify for the playoffs with two semi-final games and the winners of those games playing for the Dunsmore Cup on November 11, 2017. This was the same format used when the conference had five teams in 2002. Of the 20 games scheduled, two are on Thursdays, five are on Fridays, 11 are on Saturdays, and two are on Sundays.

With the changes to the other conferences, the Canada West Universities Athletic Association was left as the only conference with an even number of teams and there were no major format changes when the schedule was unveiled on April 18, 2017.[7] All six teams will play on September 1, 2017 and conclude their seasons on October 28, 2017. As usual, all teams will have a bye week on Thanksgiving Day weekend. In total, eight regular season games will be played on Fridays and 16 will be played on Saturdays. Similar to the other conferences, the conference championship game, the Hardy Cup, will be played on November 11, 2017.

Cancelled game[edit]

On October 4, 2017, it was announced that the October 5 game between the Montreal Carabins and Concordia Stingers was cancelled due to Montreal players and coaching staff members exhibiting flu symptoms.[8] Due to scheduling constraints, the game was outright cancelled and would not be rescheduled. Montreal and Concordia would only play sevens games as a result and winning percentage would be counted in the standings as opposed to point totals. If teams are tied in the standings based on win percentage, head-to-head results would be used as a second tie-breaker.[9] The decision was met with controversy as a similar situation in 2006 had the St. Francis Xavier X-Men forfeit a game to the McGill Redmen due to illnesses on their team rather than the game count as a no-decision.[9]

Standings[edit]

2017 AUS standings
Team W   L   PF   PA   Pts Ply
#7 Acadia 6 - 2   226 - 193   12
#8 Saint Mary's 5 - 3   209 - 149   10 X
St. FX 4 - 4   179 - 168   8 X
Mount Allison 4 - 4   235 - 211   8
Bishop's 1 - 7   158 - 286   2
† – Conference Champion
Rankings: U Sports Top 10
2017 RSEQ standings
Team W   L   PF   PA   Pts Ply
#1 Laval 7 - 1   266 - 77   14
#3 Montréal 6 - 1   176 - 93   12 X
Concordia 3 - 4   181 - 173   6 X
Sherbrooke 2 - 6   139 - 242   4 X
McGill 1 - 7   105 - 282   2
† – Conference Champion
Rankings: U Sports Top 10
* The October 5 game between Montreal and Concordia was cancelled due to a flu virus.
2017 OUA standings
Team W   L   PF   PA   Pts Ply
#2 Western 8 - 0   386 - 105   16
#5 Laurier 6 - 2   308 - 175   12 X
#10 McMaster 6 - 2   209 - 115   12 X
Ottawa 5 - 3   190 - 215   10 X
Guelph 5 - 3   293 - 196   10 X
Queen's 4 - 4   290 - 223   8 X
Waterloo 4 - 4   299 - 339   8
Carleton 3 - 5   222 - 232   6
Windsor 1 - 7   142 - 362   2
York 1 - 7   163 - 340   2
Toronto 1 - 7   108 - 308   2
† – Conference Champion
Rankings: U Sports Top 10
2017 Canada West standings
Team W   L   PF   PA   Pts Ply
#4 Calgary 7 - 1   340 - 224   14
#6 British Columbia 6 - 2   231 - 172   12 X
#9 Regina 4 - 4   259 - 283   8 X
Alberta 3 - 5   275 - 276   6 X
Saskatchewan 2 - 6   245 - 250   4
Manitoba 2 - 6   180 - 289   2
† – Conference Champion
Rankings: U Sports Top 10

Post-season awards[edit]

CIS post-season awards
Quebec[10] Ontario[10] Atlantic[10] Canada West[10] NATIONAL
Hec Crighton Trophy Hugo Richard (Laval) Kurleigh Gittens Jr. (Laurier) Dale Wright (Acadia) Ed Ilnicki (Alberta) Ed Ilnicki (Alberta)[10]
Presidents' Trophy Adam Auclair (Laval) Jackson Bennett (Ottawa) Bailey Feltmate (Acadia) Stavros Katsantonis (British Columbia) Adam Auclair (Laval)[10]
J. P. Metras Trophy Mathieu Betts (Laval) Kene Onyeka (Carleton) Jadarius Ceasar (Saint Mary's) Mark Korte (Alberta) Mathieu Betts (Laval)[10]
Peter Gorman Trophy Kean Harelimana (Laval) Tre Ford (Waterloo) Liam Patton (Bishop's) Nick Cross (Regina) Nick Cross (Regina)[10]
Russ Jackson Award Joël Houle (McGill) Nick Vanin (Western) Brandon Jennings (Acadia) Ed Ilnicki (Alberta) Nick Vanin (Western)[10]
Frank Tindall Trophy Glen Constantin (Laval) Chris Bertoia (Waterloo) Jeff Cummins (Acadia) Wayne Harris Jr. (Calgary) Jeff Cummins (Acadia)[10]

All-Canadian team[edit]

First team[edit]

Offence
QB - Noah Picton - Regina
RB - Alex Taylor - Western
RB - Ed Ilnicki - Alberta
IR - Trivell Pinto - British Columbia
IR - Mitch Hillis - Saskatchewan
WR - Kurleigh Gittens Jr. - Laurier
WR - Kaion Julien-Grant - St. Francis Xavier
C - Zach Annen - Carleton
G - Justin Lawrence - Alberta
G - Andrew Pickett - Guelph
T - Mark Korte - Alberta
T - David Brown - Western
Defence
DT - Vincent Desjardins - Laval
DT - Connor Griffiths - British Columbia
DE - Mathieu Betts - Laval
DE - Jadarius Ceasar - Saint Mary's
LB - Adam Auclair - Laval
LB - Nelkas Kwemo - Queen's
LB - Jean-Gabriel Poulin - Western
FS - Stavros Katsantonis - British Columbia
HB - Gabriel Ouellet - Laval
HB - Malcom Lee - British Columbia
CB - Jamie Harry - Ottawa
CB - Godfrey Onyeka - Laurier
Special teams
P - TJ Morton - Toronto
K - Gabriel Ferraro - Guelph
RET - Johnny King - Saint Mary's

Second team[edit]

Offence
QB - Hugo Richard - Laval
RB - Nathan Carter - Carleton
RB - Jean-Guy Rimpel - Concordia
IR - Nathan Rowe - Alberta
IR - Guillaume Paquet - Montreal
WR - Jacob Scarfone - Guelph
WR - Jeremy Sauvageau - McGill
C - Francis Lapointe - Sherbrooke
G - Samuel Thomassin - Laval
G - Ryan Sceviour - Calgary
T - Gustave Sylvestre - Montreal
T - Maurice Simba - Concordia
Defence
DT - Brett Wade - Calgary
DT - Adam Melanson - Acadia
DE - Kene Onyeka - Carleton
DE - Cory Robinson - Calgary
LB - Boston Rowe - Calgary
LB - Mickael Côté - Concordia
FS - François Hamel - Montreal
HB - Jackson Bennett - Ottawa
HB - Marc-Antoine Dequoy - Montreal
CB - Will Maxwell - British Columbia
CB - Khadeem Pierre - Concordia
Special teams
P - Félix Ménard-Brière - Montreal
K - Marc Liegghio - Western
RET - Kurleigh Gittens Jr. - Laurier

[11]

Post-season[edit]

The Vanier Cup is played between the champions of the Mitchell Bowl and the Uteck Bowl, the national semi-final games. In 2017, according to the rotating schedule, the Canada West Hardy Trophy championship team will host the Québec conference Dunsmore Cup championship team for the Mitchell Bowl. The winners of the Atlantic conference's Loney Bowl will host the Yates Cup Ontario championship team for the Uteck Bowl.[12]

Conference Playoffs[edit]

Atlantic University Sport[edit]

  November 4
Semi-final
    November 14
Loney Bowl
                 
    1 Acadia 45
  2 Saint Mary's 16     2 Saint Mary's 38
  3 St. Francis Xavier 15  

On November 9, 2017, Atlantic University Sport announced that the Saint Mary's team had been disqualified due to an undisclosed eligibility violation, and that the Loney Bowl had been cancelled. The Acadia Axemen were declared conference champions by default.[13] However, Saint Mary's took U Sports governing body to the Ontario Superior Court (where U Sports is headquartered) due to their interpretation of a player eligibility rule. Saint Mary's wide receiver Archelaus Jack had been on the practice roster of the Canadian Football League's Saskatchewan Roughriders until October 11, 2016. The league rules state that if a player is on a professional team's roster past August 15, that player would have to sit out one year. The rules were not clear on whether this referred to an academic year or season, or a 365-day period.[14]

On November 12, one day after the game was originally scheduled, the Ontario judge ruled in favour of Saint Mary's and the Loney Bowl was re-scheduled for November 14, with the Uteck Bowl still scheduled for the following Saturday, November 18, against the Western Mustangs.[15] Acadia won the game in overtime 45—38.[16]

Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec[edit]

November 4
Semi-finals
November 11
Dunsmore Cup
      
1 Laval 45
4 Sherbrooke 0
1 Laval 25
2 Montreal 22
2 Montreal 42
3 Concordia 20

Ontario University Athletics[edit]

  October 28
Quarter-finals
    November 4
Semi-finals
    November 11
110th Yates Cup
                           
        1 Western 66  
  4 Ottawa 8     5 Guelph 12    
  5 Guelph 30         1 Western 75
      2 Laurier 32
        2 Laurier 19    
  3 McMaster 12     3 McMaster 6  
  6 Queen's 9  

Canada West Universities Athletic Association[edit]

November 4
Semi-finals
November 11
81st Hardy Trophy
      
1 Calgary 39
4 Alberta 22
1 Calgary 44
2 UBC 43
2 UBC 28
3 Regina 21

National Semifinals[edit]

Uteck Bowl
1 2 34Total
Western 28 29 101481
Acadia 0 0 033

at Raymond Field, Wolfville, Nova Scotia

Mitchell Bowl
1 2 34Total
Laval 0 10 101535
Calgary 3 14 1523

at McMahon Stadium, Calgary, Alberta

National Championship[edit]

53rd Vanier Cup
1 2 34Total
Laval 0 7 3717
Western 8 8 91439

at Tim Hortons Field, Hamilton, Ontario

  • Date: November 25
  • Game time: 1:00 p.m. EST
  • Game weather: 9 °C (48 °F)
  • Game attendance: 10,754
  • Referee: G. MacLean
  • TV: Sportsnet, TVA Sports
  • Box Score

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Bishop's Gaiters sign deal to compete in 2017 AUS football season". Atlantic University Sport. 2017-01-23. Retrieved 2017-02-03.
  2. ^ a b "RSEQ and TVA Sports unveil the calendar for the 2017 football season". Quebec Student Sport Federation. 2017-02-25. Retrieved 2017-02-21.
  3. ^ CIS football: Hamilton to host Vanier Cup in 2016 and 2017 from Canadian Interuniversity Sport, January 18, 2015, retrieved 2016-01-18.
  4. ^ Bishop's Gaiters Football Program to Compete in AUS Starting in 2017
  5. ^ a b A History of Canadian University Football
  6. ^ "OUA announces 2017 football regular season and 110th Yates Cup postseason schedule". Ontario University Athletics. 2017-01-18. Retrieved 2017-02-03.
  7. ^ "Road to 81st Hardy Cup opens September 1". Canada West Universities Athletic Association. 2017-04-18. Retrieved 2017-05-15.
  8. ^ "BREAKING: Concordia's Football Game Against Université de Montréal Cancelled". thelinknewspaper.ca. 2017-10-04. Retrieved 2017-10-08.
  9. ^ a b "UPDATE: RSEQ Decides on Stingers-Carabins Game Cancellation". thelinknewspaper.ca. 2017-10-05. Retrieved 2017-10-08.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Alberta running back Ilnicki headlines U Sports football major award winners
  11. ^ Football All-Canadian teams announced
  12. ^ "CIS 5-year Championship Schedule" (PDF). Canadian Interuniversity Sport. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-02-21. Retrieved 2017-02-03.
  13. ^ "AUS hands Loney Bowl title to Acadia following eligibility controversy with SMU". Atlantic. 2017-11-09. Retrieved 2017-11-09.
  14. ^ "As confusion swirls, SMU pushes for cancelled championship game to go ahead". cbc.ca. 2017-11-10. Retrieved 2017-11-14.
  15. ^ "Huskies and Axemen ready to snap for last-minute Loney Bowl". cbc.ca. 2017-11-12. Retrieved 2017-11-14.
  16. ^ "Acadia defeats SMU in Loney Bowl after days of controversy". CBC News. Retrieved 2017-11-14.