OTTAWA - Western quarterback Will Finch, Calgary running back Mercer Timmis and Mount Allison running back Jordan Botel have joined Bishop's quarterback Jordan Heather in the race for the Hec Crighton Trophy as Canadian Interuniversity Sport football player of the year.
The Ontario, Canada West and Atlantic conferences unveiled their annual award winners Thursday, two days after the Quebec winners were named. The CIS awards will be presented Nov. 21 in Quebec City.
Finch, a social science student from Burlington, Ont., was named OUA (Ontario conference) player of the year after setting single-season conference records with 3,047 passing yards over eight games and a 69.7 completion percentage.
He guided the top-ranked Mustangs to their first 8-0 season since 1998 and was at the helm of an offensive unit which established a new conference mark for most points scored in a season (458).
Timmis, also from Burlington, led the CIS in rushing yards (1,157) as well as all-purpose touchdowns (19) and rushing touchdowns (18), both Canada West season records. The business student became the first non-kicker to lead the conference in scoring since 2006, helping the No. 3-ranked Dinos to their first-ever undefeated campaign.
Botel, an arts student from Prince George, B.C., led the Atlantic conference in rushing yards (758) and touchdowns (six) and was the most-utilized back in the country with 170 carries. The Mounties finished with a 4-4 record this season.
Other OUA winners included Western linebacker Pawel Kruba (defensive MVP), Ottawa defensive tackle Ettore Lattanzio (outstanding down lineman), McMaster slotback Daniel Vendervoort (rookie of the year), Queen's receiver Aaron Gazendam (Russ Jackson Award nominee) and Western coach Greg Marshall (coach of the year).
The Canada West winners included linebacker Doctor Cassama (defensive MVP), receiver Rashaun Simonise (rookie of the year), quarterback Andrew Buckley (Russ Jackson Award nominee) and coach Blake Nill (coach of the year), all of the Calgary Dinos. UBC defensive tackle Donovan Dale took the nod for outstanding down lineman.
The other AUS (Atlantic conference) winners were St. Francis Xavier linebacker Ron Omara (defensive MVP), defensive end Jesse St. James (outstanding down lineman) and defensive tackle Adam Melanson (rookie of the year) from Acadia, wide receiver Stu Moore (Russ Jackson Award nominee) and coach Kelly Jeffrey (coach of the year), both of Mount Allison.
Heather, from Oromocto, N.B., set a single-season CIS record with 3,132 passing yards this fall.
The other RSEQ (Quebec conference) winners were Montreal linebackers Antoine Pruneau (defensive MVP) and Alex Cromer-Emond (rookie of the year), Bishop's coach Kevin Mackey (coach of the year) and McGill offensive tackle Laurent Duvernay-Tardif (outstanding down lineman & Russ Jackson Award nominee).
The Vanier Cup will be played Nov. 23 at Quebec City.