MONTREAL (CIS) – Doug Corby of the Queen's Gaels set a CIS East-West Bowl record with three touchdown receptions as the East defeated the West 29-21 in a spirited affair at Percival Molson Memorial Stadium, Saturday.
It was the fifth victory in six years for the East, which improved to 6-7 overall in the annual Canadian Football League prospects game, which showcases – for the most part – CIS players who will be eligible for the following year's CFL draft.
"In a game like this, you don't want to put too much pressure on yourself but at the same time you know people are watching," said Corby, a 6-foot-2, 195-pound arts and science student who had 33 catches for 487 yards and four touchdowns in seven league contests last fall in his third season with Queen's. "It was a fun game and a fun week to be a part of. There were a lot of great players here this week and I'm happy I was able to have a solid performance today."
Corby, a native of Burlington, Ont., snared four passes for a game-high 131 yards and finished up with 156 all-purpose yards. He opened the scoring with a 63-yard TD toss from quarterback Brandon Leyh at 4:31 of the first quarter. Corby put his side up 22-14 with a seven-yard TD reception from Drew Burko midway through the third quarter and completed his TD hat-trick with a 50-yard reception from Leyh at 9:43 of the final stanza.
Corby and Laval linebacker Michael Langlois (six tackles) of Amos, Que., were selected as the Adidas offensive and defensive players of the game for the East. Alberta Golden Bears receiver Jimmy Ralph of Raymond, Alta., and Guelph linebacker Curtis Newton (3.5 tackles, one knockdown) of London, Ont., received similar honours for the West.
Ralph, who caught a pair of TD passes, led all players with 224 all-purpose yards, including 91 on four kickoff returns, 65 on half a dozen punt returns, and 68 on five receptions.
The East led from start to finish, holding an 8-7 edge after the opening quarter, which they improved to 15-7 at the half and 22-21 after three quarters. The combined 50 pointed scored was the third-highest scoring game in the 13-year history of the event. The only higher scoring contests both went into overtime – a 34-27 East victory in 2011 and a 34-26 decision for the West in 2006.
Both teams generated over 400 yards in net offence, with the East racking up 494, while the West had 407.
"I was very impressed with the execution on both sides of the ball, for both teams," said East head coach Danny Maciocia, who last November led his Montreal Carabins to the first Vanier Cup title in program history at Molson Stadium. "Hats off to the players but also the coaches for producing such a quality game despite the short preparation time."
His West counterpart, Brian Dobie from the University of Manitoba, echoed Maciocia's comments.
"I thought we put on a good show. It was an entertaining game for the fans, back and forth. Both teams played very well," said Dobie, who had previously coach the West squad at the East-West Bowl in 2008. "Overall, McGill put together a great week. This is all about the players, and I think all of them had a great experience."
All four quarterbacks who saw action passed for at least one TD and none of them were picked off. The most productive was Burko, who plays for the Saskatchewan Huskies but suited-up for the East side, led all pivots with game highs in attempts (16), completions (13) and yards (180), tying the EWB record for most touchdown passes (2).
Leyh, a native of Westminster, B.C., who plays for Mt. Allison, passed for 153 yards, going 6-for-12.
Llevi Noel of the Toronto Varsity Blues, was the only other receiver to reach the century mark, with 127 yards on six receptions.
Rounding out the scoring for the East was Blues running back Lukas Gavac of Mississauga, Ont., whose nine-yard run gave his side a 15-7 advantage just nine seconds into the second quarter.
Aside from Ralph, the only player from the West to hit pay-dirt was McMaster running back Wayne Moore, who scampered for 86 yards on 11 carries, including a 19-yard TD run at 8:52 of the second quarter, which narrowed the gap to 8-7.
Calgary defensive back Elie Bouka of Laval, Que., led all tacklers with seven tackles, to go along with a forced fumble.
GAME NOTES: The East West Bowl showcases CIS players who will be eligible for the following year's CFL Canadian draft... The East side is comprised – for the most part - of student-athletes representing schools from the Atlantic and Quebec conferences, as well as Queen's, Ottawa, Carleton and Toronto. The West contingent is made up of standouts from Canada West and the remaining OUA universities... McGill was hosting the week-long event for the first time, taking over from Western University, which hosted the previous six editions in London, Ont. The event has also been held at McMaster (2008), Laval (2007, 2006) and Wilfrid Laurier (2005, 2004, 2003).
EAST 8-7-7-7: 29
WEST 7-0-14-0: 21
EAST – TD Doug Corby 63 pass from Brandon Leyh (Dillon Wamsley kick) 4:31 (EAST 7-0)
EAST – Rouge Dillon Wamsley 29 6:47 (EAST 8-0)
WEST – TD Wayne Moore 19 run (Stephen Fabian kick) 8:52 (EAST 8-7)
EAST – TD Lukas Gavac 9 run (Dillon Wamsley kick) 0:09 (EAST 15-7)
WEST – TD Jimmy Ralph 9 pass from James Fracas (Stephen Fabian kick) 6:51 (EAST 15-14)
EAST – TD Doug Corby 7 pass from Drew Burko (Dillon Wamsley kick) 8:44 (EAST 22-14)
WEST – TD Jimmy Ralph 11 pass from Will Finch (Stephen Fabian kick) 12:54 (EAST 22-21)
EAST – TD Doug Corby 50 pass from Brandon Leyh (Dillon Wamsley kick) 9:43 (EAST 29-21)
ALL-TIME EAST-WEST BOWL RESULTS:
2015 (at McGill): East 29, West 21
2014 (at Western): East 19, West 12
2013 (at Western): West 18, East 17
2012 (at Western): East 24, West 16
2011 (at Western): East 34, West 27 (OT)
2010 (at Western): East 12, West 9
2009 (at Western): West 16, East 7
2008 (at McMaster): East 25, West 12
2007 (at Laval): West 22, East 19 (OT)
2006 (at Laval): West 34, East 26 (OT)
2005 (at Laurier): West 34, East 16
2004 (at Laurier): West 21, East 12
2003 (at Laurier): West 10, East 5