Burlington, Ont. – Jean-Paul Cimankinda, Kene Onyeka, and Gabe Ferraro have been named Ontario University Athletics (OUA) Football Players of the Week for the period ending October 28, 2018.
Offence: Jean-Paul Cimankinda, Guelph Gryphons
The running back position was a bit of a question mark for the Guelph Gryphons coming into the season, but with the arrival of rookie Jean-Paul Cimankinda, that question mark has turned into one of the team’s greatest strengths; a strength that was largely on display in their quarterfinal win over Waterloo.
The bruising back was unstoppable on Saturday, rushing for a career-high 256 yards on 29 carries (8.8 yards per carry). The Ottawa native found the endzone three times in the game, leading the Gryphons to a 45-34 win over the Warriors and booking a spot for the Gryphons in the OUA semi-finals. His first major, a 14-yard run, came late in the first quarter to put his Gryphons up by 10 early on. A six-yard run had the same result halfway through the second quarter, before he wrapped up the half by punching one in from two yards out.
Saturday's performance is the latest in an impressive stretch for the rookie running back, who has now eclipsed the 100-yard rushing mark in each of his past three games.
Defence: Kene Onyeka, Carleton Ravens
The Carleton Ravens turned in a quarterfinal victory on Saturday, largely keeping the McMaster Marauders at bay for the majority of the day, and they can thank much of that success to the strong play of Kene Onyeka.
The regular-season leader in sacks went right back to work to open Carleton’s postseason schedule, making his presence felt against Andreas Dueck and the McMaster offence. In addition to Onyeka’s five solo tackles and one assisted effort, he also did what he does best and that’s get to the quarterback. Onyeka powered his way to the pivot twice against Marauders, totaling a loss of 20 yards combined. And if that wasn’t enough, he also forced a fumble for his Ravens.
The reigning OUA lineman of the year has shown a tendency to perform on the biggest stages, just like he has all season long with his seven sacks and 42 sack yards. He’ll look to do the same in his upcoming semifinal clash with the Mustangs.
Special Teams: Gabe Ferraro, Guelph Gryphons
Just like he did to end the regular season, Gabe Ferraro has kicked his way to Special Teams Player of the Week honours to open the playoffs, helping his Guelph Gryphons defeat the Waterloo Warriors in quarterfinal action.
The two-time All-Canadian kicker wasn’t called upon nearly as much as the past couple weeks, only attempting one field goal on the day, but he stepped up to the plate in all facets of the game when his number was called, just like he has throughout his decorated career. The Guelph kicker went 1-for-1 on the day, connecting on a 36-yard boot to open the game’s scoring, while also chipping in with a perfect 5-for-5 on extra points.
Ferraro also made valuable contributions in the punting game in this one; however, twice pinning the Warriors inside their own 20-yard line, while also averaging 45.2 yards per punt in the windy conditions on Saturday at Alumni Stadium. Ferraro, a 7th round pick of the Calgary Stampeders in the 2018 CFL Draft, has been named the OUA's Special Teams Player of the Week in each of the past three weeks.