Burlington, Ont. – Chris Merchant, Michael Moore, and Marc Liegghio have been named Ontario University Athletics (OUA) Football Players of the Week for the period ending November 25, 2018.
Offence: Chris Merchant, Western Mustangs
Despite the tough defensive presence of the Laval Rouge et Or, Western quarterback Chris Merchant did everything he could under centre to give his Mustangs a shot at their second straight Vanier Cup.
Even though the team fell short in one of the toughest places to play in all of U SPORTS, the 2017 Vanier Cup MVP performed well in his team’s final game. The Calgary native threw for one touchdown – a 25-yard major to Cole Majoros late in the game – while connecting on 26-of-46 for an impressive 358 yards.
The Yates Cup and Mitchell Bowl player of the game also continued his rushing rampage with 81 yards on eight carries for the purple ponies.
Defence: Michael Moore, Western Mustangs
In a game that saw the Laval Rouge et Or get off to a quick start offensively, the Mustangs needed their top-ranked defence to step up in a big way to get momentum back on their side; something that linebacker Michael Moore was able to oblige.
Moore made his presence felt in several scenarios on Saturday, limiting the home team’s advances whenever he could, which was no small task in the team’s Vanier Cup rematch. The fifth-year defensive standout racked up 10 tackles on the day to pace the Western squad, falling just 0.5 shy of the Bruce Coulter Award winner (Vanier Cup Defensive MVP), Adam Auclair.
Special Teams: Marc Liegghio, Western Mustangs
Marc Liegghio was in fine form once again for the purple and white in their quest for a second-straight undefeated season. The veteran kicker was called upon for three field goals on the day. While he only connected on two – including a long of 36 yards to close out the first half – there wasn’t much he could do on the third attempt, with the ball falling off the tee before he could get a foot on it.
In addition to his two field goals and two extra point efforts, Liegghio also punted five times for a total of 195 yards, which featured a long of 52 yards, as well as three kickoffs with an average of 45 yards per attempt.