Huskie Pivot Takes Canada West Nod

Manitoba defensive lineman David Onyemata, Saskatchewan second-year quarterback Kyle Siemens, and Calgary kicker Johnny Mark are the Canada West Football Players of the Week for the period ending October 24.

Onyemata, who was ranked second in the CFL Scouting Bureau’s initial rankings behind Iowa receiver Tevaun Smith back in September, is the Canada West Defensive Player of the Week after registering a season-high 9.5 tackles, along with 1.5 sacks and a forced fumble and recovery in Manitoba’s 29-7 win over Alberta Friday night in Winnipeg.

Despite falling 41-36 to the UBC Thunderbirds over the weekend, the Saskatchewan Huskies got a big performance from Siemens, who is the Offensive Player of the Week. Taking the place of Drew Burko as the Huskies’ starter, Siemens went 44-of-67 for 520 yards and three touchdown passes. Siemens’ 44 completions set a Saskatchewan single-game record, while his 520 yards was the fourth most by a Huskies QB in a game.

Mark etched his name further into the CIS history books Saturday, going 3-for-5 on field goal attempts, taking sole possession of the CIS career field goal mark with a 16-yard kick in the second quarter. The win marks the third time this season the Calgary kicker has been named conference Special Teams Player of the Week.

OFFENCE – Kyle Siemens
Saskatchewan Huskies
5-10, 179, 2nd-year
Saskatoon, Sk

Second-year University of Saskatchewan Huskie quarterback Kyle Siemens had a first career start to remember Friday night in Saskatoon.

Siemens completed an all-time Huskie record 44 passes in 67 attempts in a tough 41-36 loss to the No. 9-ranked UBC Thunderbirds. The Saskatoon, Sask. native threw for 520 yards, the fourth best game by a Saskatchewan quarterback, and three majors.

With the Huskies down 41-29 late in the game, Siemens led the green and white on an eight-play, 68-yard drive for a touchdown to cut the lead to five. The T-Birds would run out the clock before Siemens and the Huskie offence could get another chance.

Saskatchewan travels to face provincial rival the Regina Rams Friday night at Mosaic Stadium (7 p.m. CST), where the Huskies will need a win to keep their playoff hopes alive.

DEFENCE – David Onyemata
Manitoba Bisons
Defensive Lineman
6-4, 295, 4th-year
Lagos, Nigeria

Manitoba Bisons defensive lineman David Onyemata, the top-ranked CIS player on the initial prospect list released by the CFL’s Scouting Bureau in advance of the league’s 2016 Canadian Draft, has continued his dominance during the 2015 conference season.

In the 29-7 home win by the No. 8-ranked Bisons over the Alberta Golden Bears on Friday, October 23, Onyemata continued to wreak havoc on defence with 9.5 tackles (two for losses), 1.5 sacks, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery, along with one break-up.

At nose tackle, the 6’4 fourth-year Bison was a run stopper all game, as he made six tackles on rushes. In addition, Onyemata created pass pressure, as he registered 1.5 sacks and also forced and recovered a fumble when Alberta was trying to a mount a comeback in the fourth quarter.

The Lagos, Nigeria native is now second in the conference with five sacks and is tied for first with 7.5 tackles for losses, while also sitting 11th in Canada West in total tackles with 36.5 after seven weeks of conference action.

Next up for Manitoba (5-2) is a showdown for second place and a first round home game in the Hardy Cup Playoffs when they travel to take on the UBC Thunderbirds (5-2) on Saturday, October 31 in the final regular season game of 2015. Kickoff is 3 p.m. CDT and can be seen on SHAW TV.

Calgary Dinos
6-8, 185, 5th-year
Peterborough, ON

With his 16-yard field goal at the 4:33 mark of the second quarter, Calgary kicker Johnny Mark took sole possession of the all-time CIS field goals record with his 85th. The previous record of 84, held by Tyler Crapigna, was set just one year ago.

Fittingly, Crapigna made history of his own on Saturday, notching his first career CFL field goal for the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

Mark, the fifth-year science student out of Peterborough, Ont., went on to add two more field goals on the day to bring the record up to 87 with one regular season game remaining in his career. He also extended his all-time CIS scoring record Saturday, becoming the first player in CIS history to record 500 points with that same field goal. He scored a total of 19 points in the game, extending the record to 515 points.

With 22 field goals on the season, Mark leads the nation in that category. He will have one more chance to add to his records on Saturday when the Dinos (7-0) wrap up the regular season at Foote Field in Edmonton against the Golden Bears (2-5) at 1 p.m. MDT.