Ilnicki named Canada West Player of the Week for third time

    Ilnicki earns third conference award after career-best performance against Saskatchewan

    By Canada West Communications on October 23, 2017


    - Alberta RB Ed Ilnicki (offence), UBC DB Stavros Katsantonis (defence), and Regina RET Kyle Borsa (special teams) are the Week 7 CW football players of the week
    - Ilnicki registered 279 rushing yards and three touchdowns, as he increased his season total to 1,309 yards and career total to 3,986 – both of which are Alberta records
    - The 2017 CW regular season concludes this Saturday, as Alberta and Saskatchewan look to claim the final playoff berth

    EDMONTON – There’s no slowing down veteran running back Ed Ilnicki, whose year for the ages continued this past weekend.

    Ilnicki was dominant against the Saskatchewan Huskies Saturday, rushing for 279 yards in a 49-23 win for the Alberta Golden Bears. The victory continued Ilnicki’s monster season, as he leads the nation in rushing with 1,309 yards and is now Alberta’s all-time rushing leader with 3,986 yards. Ilnicki is also within striking distance of former UBC Thunderbird Akbal Singh’s CW single-season rushing record of 1,415 yards set in 1999.

    On defence, UBC’s Stavros Katsantonis is the defensive player of the week, after becoming the third player in program history to record three interceptions in a game – one back of the program and CW record of four (UBC’s Curtis Galick shares the CW record with Saskatchewan’s Les MacFarlane). 

    Rounding out the Week 7 winners is Regina returner Kyle Borsa, who combined for 115 return yards for the Rams, who will square off with UBC this Saturday for second in the conference and a home playoff date in the Hardy Cup Semis. 

    The 2017 CW football regular season wraps up this Saturday with a trio of games, including Manitoba travelling to Saskatoon to take on the Huskies. That game is a must-win for Saskatchewan, who with a victory will claim the fourth and final playoff spot in the conference. 

    RB – Ed Ilnicki
    Alberta Golden Bears
    Spruce Grove, Alta.

    Massive rushing totals have become routine this season for running back Ed Ilnicki, who is the Canada West offensive player of the week after another dominant game on the ground for the Alberta Golden Bears. 

    For the third time this season, Ilnicki is the conference’s top offensive player, as the fifth-year veteran rumbled for 279 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 29 carries in Alberta’s decisive 49-23 win over the Saskatchewan Huskies at Foote Field.

    With the victory, Alberta kept their playoff hopes alive and Ilnicki continued one of the most dominant seasons in program history. The 2017 draft pick of the Ottawa REDBLACKS ran his season rushing total to 1,309 yards and career total to 3,986 – both of which are Alberta records. Ilnicki now needs 107 yards to break Akbal Singh’s single-season CW rushing record of 1,415 set in 1999 for UBC. 

    The Bears head into Week 8 against Calgary with a chance to crack the playoffs for the first time since 2010. Alberta will make the playoffs under two scenarios: a Saskatchewan loss to Manitoba, or if both Alberta and Saskatchewan win, Alberta will need to outscore Calgary by 15 more points than Saskatchewan’s margin of victory in their game against Manitoba. The second scenario would see both teams finish at 3-5, and the tiebreak of overall PF/PA used to determine the fourth and final playoff spot. Saskatchewan enters the weekend with a 14-point cushion in overall PF/PA against this season.

    DB – Stavros Katsantonis
    UBC Thunderbirds
    Bakersfield, Cali.

    Defensively there were no shortage of clutch performances around the conference this week, including UBC Thunderbird defensive back Stavros Katsantonis, who joined a select club of players to record three interceptions in a CW game.

    The Bakerfield, California product finished one pick off the Canada West single-game record of four, and became just the 22nd player in conference history to record at least a trio of picks in the same game.

    Katsantonis’ interceptions came in 2nd, 3rd, and 4th quarters, and helped UBC to a narrow 17-16 win over the Manitoba Bisons in Winnipeg. The win improved the T-Birds record to 5-2, good for second-place in the conference heading into Week 8.

    K – Kyle Borsa
    Regina Rams
    Regina, Sask.
    Media, Art & Performance 

    This week’s special teams player of the week is Regina’s return man Kyle Borsa, who had a big return day for the Rams, despite suffering a 42-30 setback to the Calgary Dinos at Regina’s Mosaic Stadium.

    The rookie running back finished the day with 90 kickoff return yards, including a long of 34, and added another 25 punt return yards. 

    Despite the loss, the 4-3 Rams can still earn a home playoff date, as they’ll take on UBC this Saturday in a showdown for second-place in the conference. The winner will clinch second in the regular season standings, and host a Hardy Cup semifinal either November 3 (Regina) or 4 (UBC).